Enrollment Policies

Minimum Age Policy

Harvard Extension School is designed for a working adult population. Our courses are taught at a high academic level and the average age of our students is 32. To register for credit or noncredit in courses with Harvard Extension School, students must meet the following age requirements:

Noncredit and undergraduate credit. Harvard Extension School welcomes academically talented students ages 15 and above to register for noncredit or undergraduate credit. Students must be 15 years of age at time of registration.

Graduate credit. To register for graduate credit, students must be 18 years of age and ordinarily, possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited US institution or the international equivalent. Students must be 18 years of age at time of registration.

Undergraduate degree program application. To apply to the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) degree programs you are required to be 21 years of age or older (visit How to Apply for details). 

Full- and Part-Time Enrollment

One credit is equivalent to one semester hour. Full-time enrollment is 16 credits per term, three-quarter time enrollment is 12 credits, half-time enrollment is 8 credits, and less than half-time enrollment is less than 8 credits. Enrollment for the January session is included in the calculation of spring term enrollment status. See financial aid

Enrollment in a thesis proposal course, graduate thesis, thesis continuation, capstone course, or a four-credit required graduate internship constitutes full-time enrollment. Courses for which you have withdrawal (WD), required-to-withdraw (RQ), administrative withdrawal (WA), and excluded-from-course (EXD) grades are excluded from these definitions.

All certifications of current enrollment status, including information submitted to the National Direct Student Loan Clearinghouse, are based on these time status calculations. See Transcripts and Enrollment Verification for more information on enrollment verification and loan deferments.

If you are enrolled full time, you must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization regulations.

Maximum Enrollment

You may enroll in no more than 16 credits per term unless you are an admitted candidate in the Bachelor of Liberal Arts Program or Premedical Program and you receive your program advisor’s approval. If you do not have this approval and you register for more credits than the maximum, you must drop your overload course(s) by the late registration deadline, or you will be dropped from those courses by the Registrar. You may, however, enroll with noncredit status in one 4-credit course beyond the maximum.

In the January session, you may enroll in no more than 6 credits, with no more than 4 undergraduate or graduate credits.

If you are registered in MGMT E-10 HBX CORe, you may not register for a January session course.

Time Conflicts

You may not be enrolled in courses that meet at the same or any overlapping times unless at least one of the courses is also offered online and is not a live web-conference course. If you register for courses with time conflicts, you must drop one or more of the conflicting courses by the late registration deadline, or you will be dropped from those courses by the Registrar. 

Course Prerequisites

In some courses, instructors give assignments during the first class to confirm that you have met course prerequisites and that your English proficiency is sufficient. Based on the results or on your general performance, you may be dropped during the course change period and required to move into courses that are more appropriate for your level.

Repeating Courses

You are allowed to repeat most Extension School courses, in accordance with the following policies and restrictions:

  • All repeated courses and grades assigned for those courses are included on your Division of Continuing Education transcript.
  • You may not repeat EXPO 25 or a graduate proseminar other than ENVR 210 if taught by the same instructor, whether or not you intend to apply the course towards degree program admission. If you register for one of these courses taught by the same instructor, you may be dropped by the Registrar before the full-tuition-refund deadline.
  • If you repeat a course, you must have the instructor’s permission to reuse or resubmit work you previously submitted for the same course.
  • The Extension School may prohibit your repeat registration in other courses if the school determines that your repeat enrollment will be disruptive to course instruction.
  • See requirements for the program that interests you in the Academics section.

Right to Refuse Registration

The Extension School may refuse registration to a person who has been required to withdraw from another Harvard school or course, officially ordered to stay away from the Harvard campus, found responsible for a disciplinary violation at another educational institution, or adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime.

Course Cancellations and Schedule Changes

Courses occasionally must be canceled or rescheduled for a semester or session, due to low enrollment or other unexpected reasons. Note that if a course is canceled, or if you must drop a course due to a schedule change, your tuition is refunded in full, but you are responsible for textbooks, course packs, travel costs, and other incurred expenses.