Whether you are seeking a career change or advancement, teacher recertification, a stepping stone to doctoral work, or simply a chance to pursue a lifelong passion, Harvard’s Master of Liberal Arts degree offers a world of possibilities.
With focused study in 19 fields, the Master of Liberal Arts degree program is a rigorous Harvard graduate school experience that culminates in a thesis directed by a member of the Harvard faculty. The ALM degree is also an affordable alternative to a traditional master’s degree.
Study on campus at Harvard and online
- Through online and evening courses, you can balance school and other commitments.
- Choose from 19 fields of concentration. Each requires nine courses and a thesis. You can count up to six online courses toward the degree. Some courses must be taken on campus.
- Courses run in fall or spring terms (about 15 weeks each) or a seven-week Harvard Summer School term.
- You have five years to complete the degree.
Admission and getting started
Before you apply, you complete three courses (12 credits) for graduate credit, including the appropriate proseminar, at Harvard Extension School or Summer School with grades of B or higher. One of the three courses must be in your intended field of concentration.
Tuition and financial aid
Graduate-credit tuition is about $2,000 per course. In total, tuition is roughly $20,000. After you are admitted, a variety of financial aid options are available, including grants, scholarships, and loans. See the financial aid options for admitted degree candidates.
Benefits of the liberal arts degree
- Study with world-renowned faculty.
- Avail yourself of the vast resources in more than 70 Harvard libraries and 14 museum collections.
- Contribute to the knowledge in your subject area through independent laboratory, library, or field research.
- Join alumni who have gone on to doctoral programs and professional schools, advancement in their professions, and research or teaching careers.
See the privileges of degree candidacy.
A Harvard credential
See what employers and alumni have to say about the value of the Harvard Extension degree experience on Your Degree, Your Career.