Types of Courses

We understand you need flexible course options to balance school, career, and other life commitments. We offer a number of ways for you to experience the classroom. 

On-Campus Courses

These courses meet once a week in the evenings on the Harvard campus (several Saturday courses are also available). In course descriptions, the day and time of the class meetings are listed. Some courses have separate labs or small section meetings. The days and times of those are either listed in the descriptions, on the course website or in the syllabus, or announced by the teaching staff once class begins.

Online Courses

In an online course, you participate virtually, at a location that works for you.

Live web-conference courses. These online courses meet at a scheduled time weekly, and you participate in class live at that time. Meeting times are listed in course descriptions.

On campus with online option. Many courses that meet on campus also have an option to participate online, either by watching live or by watching recorded class sessions. The classroom meetings are, with few exceptions, live streamed for registered students. Access to the live stream is through the Lecture Video page on your course website once the class has begun. The classroom meetings are also recorded and posted to the course website Lecture Video page within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can watch the recorded classroom meetings at your convenience. In this type of course, you may attend class on campus, participate live online, watch the recorded class sessions on your own time, or do a combination of the three. Please see the Video Course Guidelines for more information.

Online only. These courses meet only online. Although they do not have required meeting times, students must keep up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. Some of these courses are classroom-based, with Harvard College or other Harvard students meeting in an on-campus classroom. In classroom-based courses, a live stream is usually available for registered Harvard Extension School students. Access to the live stream is through the Lecture Video page on your course website once the class has begun. The classroom meetings are also recorded and posted to the course website Lecture Video page within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can watch the recorded classroom meetings at your convenience. Please see the Video Course Guidelines for more information.

Scheduled assignments or exams are required for online courses. We recommend you refer to the course website or syllabus when planning your schedule.

Online Courses with a Required On-Campus Weekend

In this type of course you participate in most of the course online, and you attend one intensive weekend class on campus. Information about the format—online or live web conference—and dates of the intensive weekend class are outlined in the course description.

Active Learning Weekend

This is a 2-credit course that allows you to explore a topic in depth through a combination of simulations, discussions, interviews, group work, presentations, and hands-on activities over an intensive weekend on campus. You will be assigned reading to prepare, and you will complete a paper or project in the two weeks following the active learning weekend.

Thesis Proposal Tutorial

Tutorials help students to prepare a draft thesis proposal as the first stage of the thesis process for the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM). The tutorial involves in-person, or phone or Zoom web conference meetings with the instructor, along with a series of proposal development assignments available online in a modular format.

How Online Courses Work and Technical Requirements

For guidelines and a list of technical requirements for web-conference and video courses, see: