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The Harvard Summer School study abroad programs seek motivated, independent students who are eager for a unique academic challenge. All programs are selective and have limited enrollment.

Who Can Apply

To apply, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student
  • Be in good academic standing

Students enrolled at any accredited university are welcome to apply. Harvard Summer School does not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry or any other protected classification.

We do not accept students in high school.

Before You Apply

  • Familiarize yourself with your program(s) of interest; learn about where you will study, travel, and live; and understand the academic expectations for the program(s).
  • Carefully consider the mental, emotional, and physical challenges of the program(s) of interest.
  • Read the Study Abroad program policies.
  • Contact program staff if you have any questions; email or the contact person for your program of interest (see the individual program webpages for contact information).

How To Apply

The online application opens in December and the application deadline falls in late January each year. Click the “Apply Now” button (available in December) on the webpage of your program of interest to be directed to the online application.

The online application for all programs includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable, may include letters of recommendation, references, etc.)

You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. 

The Mignone Center for Career Success (MCS) offers funding for a limited number of admitted and eligible Harvard College students. If you are a Harvard College student, you will be asked on your Harvard Summer School study abroad application if you would like to be considered funding. Funding selection is by lottery, and award amounts vary by program and financial aid status.

Credit Information

Most Harvard Summer School study abroad courses count as work done in residence if they are taken for credit after your matriculation as a Harvard College degree candidate and before your graduation. Harvard College students should always consult with departments regarding application of credit toward concentrations, citations, or secondary fields. See the specific program page for information about the degree credit earned for the course. For general questions, please contact the Summer School Study Abroad Office at

Please see the General Education website for information on courses that count for General Education credit. Please note that Summer School courses only count for General Education credit if they are offered during the fall or spring term, are taught by the same Harvard faculty members who teach them during the academic year (or by a member of the same department) and have been approved for this credit.

Harvard graduate students and students at other institutions: Harvard Summer School credits are accepted toward degrees at most colleges and universities. Since degree requirements vary among schools, you are advised to obtain transfer credit approval from your home institutions before registering for Harvard Summer School courses.

Pass/fail option: Only Harvard College undergraduates may take courses on a pass/fail basis. You may change your status to pass/fail by completing a pass/fail request form and returning it to the Academic Services Office for processing by the deadline for your program.