Take a Harvard course from anywhere in the world. We offer more than 200 Harvard online classes, available in three formats, in the fall and spring semesters.

Three convenient formats

Video courses

Most of our distance education courses feature videos of Harvard and Boston-area faculty lecturing on campus. These courses are offered either online only or with an online option:

  • Online option: Classes meet on campus weekly, and lecture videos are posted for online students each week. Attend lectures in person, watch them online at your convenience, or both.
  • Online only: These courses feature videotaped lectures from courses held in previous years or from daytime Harvard College classes. Videos are posted weekly. There is no scheduled class time, so you can watch them at any time during the week. 

To search for video courses, select “Online courses” under the distance education options in the course search

Live web-conference courses

These courses are conducted live at a scheduled time each week. Instead of watching videos, you log in to a virtual classroom to participate.

To search for web-conference courses, select the web-conference format under the distance education options in the course search

Hybrid courses

These courses combine an intensive weekend session on campus with live web conferences or video lectures throughout the semester. These courses count toward the on-campus requirement in certain degree programs.

To search for hybrid courses, select the hybrid format under the distance education options in the course search. Note the dates and times for the weekend session in the course description.

Next steps

In addition to using course search to find a video, web-conference, or hybrid course:

1. Watch a sample distance education video

The following sample distance learning lectures will give you a feel for the online course experience:

Sample distance learning courses and lectures are also available to download to your computer or mp3 player for free at Harvard Extension School on iTunes U.

2. Learn what faculty and students think of Harvard distance education

Instructors and students share their distance education experiences in this video.

3. Review set-up and technical requirements

4. Prepare to register 

See the registration dates and steps.

5. Once enrolled:

  • For video courses, log into your course website to access weekly videos (links to websites are in the online courses list and in the course descriptions).
  • For web conferences, find the link to your virtual classroom by logging into online services a few days before classes begin.

Interested in a degree?

Although the Extension School does not offer online degrees, you can take a combination of online and on-campus courses to earn a degree. See the degree program that interests you for course offerings and degree requirements.