To earn the Master of Liberal Arts degree in one of the 16 liberal arts fields of concentration, fulfill the following degree program requirements. 

Complete nine courses and a thesis (40 credits)

Depending on availability, you may take your courses in the fall, spring, or January term at Harvard Extension School, at Harvard Summer School, or as a Special Student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (see the special academic options). 

Field-specific course requirements are outlined on each individual field page. See the fields of concentration.

Also, review the thesis guidelines. 

Complete three on-campus-only courses 

You must spend at least two terms on campus. During this time, you take the proseminar, the field seminar, and at least one other on-campus-only course.

See the on-campus requirement for more information.

Earn the minimum grade requirements

Earn a grade of B– or higher in each course (a B or higher in the three required for admission) and maintain an overall average of B (3.0) in all degree courses.

You are allowed two withdrawal (WD) grades. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Complete seven of the courses with Harvard instructors 

Select the “Harvard instructor” option in the degree course search to find courses that meet this requirement.

In fields in which fewer Harvard instructors may be offering courses, choose electives taught by Harvard instructors. 

See how we define a Harvard instructor.

Complete the degree in five years

The five-year deadline is determined by the date of successful completion of the third degree course. If the application is delayed, the five-year limit is determined by the number of requirements yet to be fulfilled.

Find courses that fulfill requirements

  1. Refer to your field of concentration page.
  2. Use the degree course search to find current courses that fulfill degree requirements.