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.

Review the degree requirements >

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.

See how to get started and read the admission criteria.

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.