Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The Master of Liberal Arts, Information Management Systems degree consists of 12 courses, two of which are required for admission and one is required on campus. Weekend on-campus options are available.

12 Graduate Courses

The degree field is for individuals who have a background in object-oriented programming using C++ or Java. If you need to strengthen this background, first complete our programming certificate.

  • 1 web principles course
  • 1 data communications course
  • 1 cloud computing course
  • 1 security and risk management course
  • 1 database management course
  • 1 IT management course
  • 5 electives
    • EXPO 34 is an elective option
  • 1 capstone project course

Search Information Management Systems Degree Courses

Admissions: Earn Your Way In

To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two, graduate-level degree courses (both are available online):

  • 1 web principles course
  • 1 data communication course or database management course

You complete the two degree courses with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. Before you enroll any degree-applicable courses, you need to possess an undergraduate degree.

Applying to the Degree Program

During the semester of your second degree course, submit an official application to the program. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.

If you submit a complete application—which includes required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you'll have only 10 more courses to take to earn the degree.

Please note a complete application includes a passing score on our online test of critical reading and writing skills or completion of the program elective, EXPO 34 Business Rhetoric with a grade of B or higher.

How to Apply

The Harvard On-Campus Experience

Many courses can be taken online, but the degree requires a Harvard campus experience. You come to Cambridge for at least one of your courses—the capstone project course—which gives you access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community.

Accelerated on-campus path: if you have limited flexibility, you can typically fulfill the requirement in one weekend (the capstone meets primarily online and includes a mandatory weekend at Harvard).

International Students Who Need a Student Visa

To meet the on campus requirement, you study with us in the summer. The accelerated on-campus path is typically seven weeks, during which you complete the on-campus capstone. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School. For more details, see International Student Study Options for important visa information.

To Complete Your Degree

Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher

Earn a B or higher in each of two degree courses required for admission and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. You are allowed to receive two withdrawal (WD) grades without them affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years

You have five years to complete your degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any two degree-applicable courses, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to a degree program. Moreover, courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your degree: Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, Field: Information Management Systems. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May. 

For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.