English is the language of instruction at Harvard Extension School. If your native language is not English, you must provide designated proof of English proficiency to be enrolled in the following courses and subjects:

Meet the requirement in one of three ways

1. Submit the minimum required score on a test of English proficiency.

Earn the minimum required score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic.

Take one of the tests of English proficiency before registration begins to meet the requirement by the registration deadline. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

You must earn one of these minimum scores:

  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
  • 250 on the computer-based TOEFL
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL

Have your score sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the Harvard Extension School Registrar’s Office: institution code 3458, department code 02. Select undergraduate or graduate based on the courses you plan to take.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

You must earn a minimum score of band 7.0 on the Academic IELTS.

Have your score sent electronically to the Harvard Extension School Registrar’s Office.

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA)

You must earn a minimum score of 68 on the PTEA.

Have your score sent electronically to the Harvard Extension School.

Register online or by phone (1-800-901-0229), or check to see if other local PTEA dates and locations are available.

2. Submit a four-year undergraduate degree transcript from listed countries.

Submit an official transcript showing completion of a four-year undergraduate degree at a college or university located in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland or United Kingdom, at which English is the sole language of instruction. 

Transcripts showing more than one year of transfer credit from a school in a country not listed will not meet this requirement. Have your official transcript sent to Registrar’s Office, Attn:  English Proficiency, Harvard Extension School, 51 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138, or by email to proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu.

3. Submit a four-year high school transcript from listed countries.

Submit an official transcript showing your graduation from a four-year high school located in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, or United Kingdom, at which English is the sole language of instruction.

Transcripts showing more than one year of transfer credit from a school in another country will not meet this requirement. Have your official transcript sent to Registrar’s Office, Attn:  English Proficiency, 51 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138, or by email to proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu.

How to register and meet the requirement

  • Take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA if you do not have a four-year undergraduate degree or a four-year high school diploma from a school in one of the listed countries. Providing the minimum test score is the only way to meet the requirement if you cannot provide transcripts as described.
  • Take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA before registration opens so that your score is received by the registration deadline.
  • Register early for courses that require proof of proficiency. Your test score or transcript cannot be reviewed until you have registered for one or more of these courses.
  • Your registration/waitlist status will be conditional until your test score or transcript is reviewed and a determination regarding your proficiency is made. 
  • Check your English proficiency status online.
    • If you meet the requirement, you will be officially registered/waitlisted for courses in which your status was conditional. 
    • If you do not meet the requirement, you will be dropped for a full-tuition refund from those courses.  Please note that the registration fee is nonrefundable.
  • Meet the English proficiency requirement before attempting the test of critical reading and writing skills (CRWS) if you register for a course with both prerequisites.

Deadlines

You must meet the English proficiency requirement by the registration deadline for the course(s) you plan to take. If course registration deadlines are different from dates in the full academic calendar, they are included in the course description.

What if the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA is not available in your location?

If the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTEA are not available in your location and you have not earned a four-year undergraduate degree or four-year high school diploma at a school in one of the countries listed above, you may submit an appeal to have alternate proof of English proficiency accepted for one term only of enrollment. Your appeal and documentation must be received by the registration deadline.

Only documentation listed on the English proficiency appeal form will be considered. It must be submitted with the appeal form.

Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may not be approved. If an appeal is approved, it is for one semester only and minimum test scores are required for future enrollment.

Are you considering an Extension degree program?

Review admission policies for the degree program that interests you and contact the program office directly with questions about this requirement.