Minimum Age Policy
The people who go to Harvard Extension School are working adults. The average age of our students is 32, and our classes are taught at a high academic level. Students must be at least one of the following ages to sign up for credit or noncredit courses at Harvard Extension School:
Noncredit and credit for undergraduates. Students over 15 who are smart and want to sign up for noncredit or undergraduate credit at Harvard Extension School are welcome. When they sign up, students must be at least 15 years old.
Graduate credit. Students must be 18 years old and have a bachelor’s degree from a US-accredited school or the international equivalent to be able to sign up for graduate credit. When they sign up, students must be at least 18 years old.
Undergraduate degree program application. See the eligibility requirements for the ALB program for more information.
Enrollment for Full-Time and Part-Time
One credit is equivalent to one semester hour. Full-time enrollment is 16 credits per term, three-quarter time enrollment is 12, half-time enrollment is 8, and less than half-time enrollment is less than 8 credits. The status of enrollment for the spring term takes into account those who signed up for the January session. See help with money.
Full-time enrollment means that you are taking a thesis proposal course, a graduate thesis, a thesis continuation, a capstone course, or a required four-credit graduate internship. These definitions don’t include grades for withdrawal (WD), required-to-withdraw (RQ), administrative withdrawal (WA), and excluded-from-course (EXD).
All certifications of current enrollment status, including information sent to the National Direct Student Loan Clearinghouse, are based on these time status calculations. See Transcripts and Verification of Enrollment for more information about verifying enrollment and loan deferments.
If you are a full-time student, Massachusetts and Harvard University have rules about immunizations that you must follow.
You can sign up for courses up to the maximums shown below. The only way around this rule is if you are accepted into the Bachelor of Liberal Arts Program or the Premedical Program and get approval from your program advisor ahead of time.
- 16 credits for the fall term
- 4 credits for the January session
- 16 credits for the Spring Term
During registration, you can sign up for more than the maximum number of waitlisted courses. If you are later moved into a course from the waitlist, you must lower your enrollment to the maximum number of credits allowed or the Registrar’s Office will drop you from one or more courses.
If you are signed up for MGMT E-10 CORe in the spring term, you cannot sign up for a course in January.
Problems with Time
You can’t take classes that meet at the same time or at times that overlap, unless at least one of the classes is offered online and has a “on demand” option so you don’t have to be there at the scheduled meeting time.
During registration, you can sign up for courses in which you are waitlisted but have a time conflict. If you are later moved into one of the waitlisted classes, you must drop one or more of the classes that conflict, or the Registrar’s Office will drop you from those classes.
Some teachers give assignments on the first day of class to make sure that you have met the course requirements and that your English is good enough. Depending on the results or how you did in general, the teacher may tell you to drop the course and take another one that is better for your level.
The same subject and course number (like MGMT E-4000 and MGMT S-4000) or a note in the course description (like “Students may not take both ECON E-1600 and ECON S-1615 for degree or certificate credit”) can help you find repeat or equivalent courses.
We don’t want you to take the same class more than once because it probably won’t help you learn much. The following rules and limits apply to courses that are the same or similar:
Most of the time, a repeat course doesn’t count toward a degree or certificate. See Enrollment Policies for Graduate Students, Enrollment Policies for Undergraduate Students, or Pursuing a Certificate for more information if you are interested in a degree program or have been accepted into one.
You can’t take EXPO 25 or a graduate seminar other than ENVR 210 taught by the same teacher more than once, even if you don’t plan to use the course for your degree. If you sign up for one of these courses taught by the same teacher, the Registrar may drop you before the deadline for getting your full tuition back.
If you take a course more than once, you need the instructor’s permission to use or resubmit work you already did for that course.
The Extension School may not let you sign up for other classes again if it thinks that you will make it hard for the teachers to teach the classes.
Your Division of Continuing Education transcript lists all courses you’ve taken more than once and the grades you got for them.
The Right to Not Sign Up
The Extension School may not let someone sign up if:
- whose behavior, in the Extension School’s opinion, shows that the person’s presence would pose a serious threat to the safety of others or seriously disrupt the learning environment of the Harvard community.
- who has been forced to drop out of another Harvard school or course or has been told by the school to stay away from campus.
- who was found to have broken rules at another school and was punished for it.
- who was found guilty of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime and sentenced.
When a person applies to a degree program, this kind of behavior and situation will be taken into account. Before you sign up for any classes, call the Admissions Office to make sure there won’t be any delays or problems you didn’t expect.
Groups and Organizations
The Extension School works directly with the people who want to apply and study there. We don’t work with agents to sign up students individually or in groups, and we don’t pay them a commission or give them a discount for doing so. Any company that helps people sign up for services vis-à-vis Harvard University may not in any way act as if it is a part of the school. All applications and sign-ups must come from the student himself or herself.
Cancellations and changes to class schedules
Courses are sometimes canceled or moved during a semester or session because there aren’t enough students signed up or because of something unexpected. Note that if a course is canceled or if you have to drop it because your schedule changed, you will get a full refund of your tuition. However, you will still have to pay for textbooks, course packs, travel costs, and any other costs you incurred.
The people who work at Harvard Extension School work hard to give students information and advice about courses, degrees, and rules. We want you to do well in school and in your career, so we try to be correct all the time. But if there is a difference between what staff members write or say and what is on this website, the text on this website takes precedence. We want you to check the website often and take charge of your educational journey by getting to know the relevant policies, which may change.