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Study Medical Sciences and Ethics at Harvard

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Applications for Summer 2024 open on December 1.

What You’ll Learn

This summer, take a deep dive into courses that introduce you to topics in the health sciences. You can build a foundation of premedical studies or learn about ethics in medicine. Examine the roots and impacts of past — and current — epidemics. Look to the future and learn about where innovations in biology, such as stem cell regeneration, can take us.

The 7-week Secondary School Program allows you to take two courses instead of one, so you can use your summer to focus your studies on topics you are excited about or evaluate a potential field of study in college. Explore these Medical Sciences and Ethics subjects you can study at Harvard and design your own medical science summer program by choosing two courses.

Featured 7-Week SSP Courses

Premedical Sciences

  • Introduction to Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (BIOS S-1B)
  • Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology (BIOS S-1A)
  • Principles of Organic Chemistry (CHEM S-17)
  • Introduction to Biochemistry (BIOS S-10)

Ethics Training

  • Introduction to Biomedical Ethics (PHIL S-167)
  • Writing about Social and Ethical Issues (EXPO S-20D)

Medicine and Society

  • The Opioid Epidemic (ANTH S-1667)
  • Infectious Diseases, Pandemics, and Social Injustice (BIOS S-62)
  • Deadly Diseases: Epidemics throughout History (HSCI S-202)

New Directions in Biology

  • Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics (STAT S-103)
  • Biotechnology and the Human Good (PHIL S-159)
  • Introduction to Immunology With Laboratory Techniques (BIOS S-61)

Explore More Medical Science Courses

Interested in finding more courses like this? Browse our course catalog to see all of our medical sciences courses.

High school students interested in taking justice, ethics, and human rights courses must first apply and be accepted into the Secondary School Program. These courses are also open to adult and college students over the summer. Adults and college students should complete these steps to register.


How long are the Medical Sciences and Ethics classes?

These courses run the full length of the 7-week term. 4-credit courses are in session 2 days/week and 8-credit courses are in session 5 days/week (Monday-Friday). On class days, you will meet for 3 hours.

Do I earn college credit from these courses?

Yes. At the completion of the program, you may request a transcript listing your coursework, grades, and number of credits earned. Students participating in the 7-Week Residential program earn 8 credit hours, either taking two 4-credit courses or one 8-hour course, while SSP Online or Commuting students may choose to take either 4 or 8 credit hours during the 7-week summer session.

Are these classes online or in-person?

Some courses are available on-campus only, while others are available in a flexible format for 7-week SSP Online or Commuting students. Learn more about which courses are available depending on your program format.

Are my college credits transferable?

Harvard Summer School credits are accepted toward degrees at most colleges and universities at the discretion of the home institution. You can request a copy of your transcript after completing your courses. Because degree requirements vary among schools, you should check your home school’s transfer policies before you register.