International Student Study Options
Harvard Extension School offers a variety of ways for students around the world to study part time at Harvard University. Whether you are interested in online courses, a professional graduate certificate, or a degree, you will find flexible, challenging options to help you meet your goals.
We have more than 300 online courses available in the fall and spring semesters. Some courses have live meeting times in a virtual classroom each week. Others offer more flexibility, allowing you to watch weekly lecture videos or access course materials at your convenience. All classes have scheduled assignments.
No application is required to take a course; you simply register. However, English proficiency is required, and proof of proficiency must be provided for certain subjects.
Professional graduate certificates
If you are interested in earning a Harvard credential in a specialized area, we offer more than 20 professional graduate certificates in fields like management, technology, and sustainability. Certificates include between three and five courses, and many can be completed online. Explore the professional certificates
Our degrees combine online and on-campus study. If you decide to pursue a degree with us, you can take a number of your courses online. You will also come to Harvard for some of your studies.
The Harvard on-campus experience is a key aspect of our degree programs. You attend classes on campus in Cambridge, engage with faculty and fellow students in person, and use campus libraries and other resources to enrich your academic experience.
|Degree field||Number of on-campus courses required|
|Anthropology & Archeology||3|
|Bachelor of Liberal Arts||4|
|Bioengineering & Nanotechnologies||4|
|Digital Media Design||1|
|Foreign Literature, Language & Culture||3|
|Information Management Systems||1|
|Literature & Creative Writing||3|
|Mathematics for Teaching||4|
|Middle Eastern Studies||3|
As a part-time school, the Harvard Extension School does not issue I-20 certificates for the F-1 student visa for full-time study. If you need a student visa from Harvard University to enter the US, your only option to complete the on-campus requirement is through the Harvard Summer School (HSS). Due to its full time, residential program, HSS offers the I-20 certificate for the F-1 student visa. You must be a full-time Harvard Summer School student registered in 8 credits of on-campus-only or online-option courses during the seven-week session or one three-week, four-credit, on-campus-only course.
Begin planning in early March, as you will need to register for courses, apply for housing (if you want to live on campus), submit an I-20 application, and coordinate with your embassy to determine how long it will take to process your visa request. Summer housing is limited—so don’t delay. See the international student guidelines for Summer School.
International students interested in online courses with an intensive on-campus weekend, active learning weekends, and three-week January courses offered by Harvard Extension School should note the following information. The B-2 visa is solely for international travelers whose main reason for visiting the United States is tourism. If you intend to pursue full-time or part-time study, the B-2 tourist visa is not appropriate. However, the US Government has advised that a casual, short-term class, that is not the primary purpose of the visitor’s presence in the US, may be appropriate for the B-2 visa category. Some embassies interpret this to cover classes that meet for less than 18 hours a week, but it is at each embassy's discretion.
In sum, we cannot advise whether your plans to attend a January term or weekend course while visiting the US is appropriate under a tourist visa (or the visa-waiver program), as the ultimate decision lies with the individual US embassy or consulate. However, as long as you enter the US under the advice of your US embassy or consulate, it will not be an issue for Harvard Extension School.
If you need a letter confirming your registration in a weekend or January term course, you may request one through firstname.lastname@example.org.
English proficiency for degree programs
Strong English language skills are essential for success in our programs. Our courses are taught in English, and language facility will help you learn complex topics and engage in thoughtful discourse with fellow students.
If English is not your native language, you will need to provide proof of English proficiency when you apply to a program.
Limited financial aid funding is available to non-US citizens. You may be eligible to borrow a private education loan through a lender of your choice with a US citizen as a co-signer.
Professional development programs
For shorter offerings, you may be interested in the two-day Professional Development Programs offered by the Harvard Division of Continuing Education.