Types of Courses

We understand you need flexible course options to balance school, career, and other life commitments. We offer a number of ways for you to experience the classroom. 

On-Campus Courses

These courses meet on the Harvard campus. In course descriptions, the day and time of the class meetings are listed. Some courses have separate labs or small section meetings. The days and times of those are either listed in the descriptions, on the course website or in the syllabus, or announced by the teaching staff once class begins.

Online Courses

These courses meet only online. Except as explicitly noted in the course description or the syllabus, these classes they do not have required meeting times. You need to keep up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams.

Some of these courses are classroom-based, with Harvard College or other Harvard students meeting in an on-campus classroom. In classroom-based courses, live online participation or a live stream is usually available for registered Harvard Extension School students. Access to the live stream is through the Lecture Video page on your course website once the class has begun.

The classroom meetings are also recorded and posted to the course website Lecture Video page within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can watch the recorded classroom meetings at your convenience and participate on your own schedule within the bounds of assignment due dates and course expectations.

Please see the Course Video Technology Guidelines for more information about watching video and the Web Conference Technology Guidelines for information about live class participation and section meetings. 

Online (Live) Web-Conference Courses

These online courses meet at a scheduled time weekly, and you participate in class live at that time. Meeting times are listed in course descriptions. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines for more information.

On-Campus or Online Courses

Many courses that meet on campus also have an option to participate online, either by watching live or by watching recorded class sessions.

With few exceptions, live participation or a live video stream is provided for registered Harvard Extension School students. Access to the live stream is through the Lecture Video page on your course website.

The classroom meetings are also recorded and posted to the course website Lecture Video page within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can watch the recorded classroom meetings at your convenience.

In this type of course, you may attend class on campus, participate live online, watch the recorded class sessions on your own time, or do a combination of the three. In some courses, you may be required to attend some or all sessions either on campus or live online. Any such requirement will be explicitly noted in the course description or syllabus.

Please see the Course Video Technology Guidelines for more information on accessing and view course video. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines for more information on live online participation in section meetings.

Online Courses with a Required On-Campus Weekend

In this type of course, you participate in most of the course online, and you attend one intensive weekend class on campus. Information about the format—online or live web conference—and dates of the intensive weekend class are outlined in the course description.

Active Learning Weekend

This is a 2-credit course that allows you to explore a topic in depth through a combination of simulations, discussions, interviews, group work, presentations, and hands-on activities over an intensive weekend on campus. You will be assigned reading to prepare, and you will complete a paper or project in the two weeks following the active learning weekend.

Thesis Proposal Tutorial

Tutorials help students to prepare a draft thesis proposal as the first stage of the thesis process for the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM). The tutorial involves in-person, or phone or Zoom web conference meetings with the instructor, along with a series of proposal development assignments available online in a modular format.

Technical Requirements

For guidelines and a list of technical requirements for courses using web-conference or video technology, see:

Registration is Open!

Spring course registration is open through January 27. Interested in a 3-week January session course? Register by December 19. You can browse the course catalog.