Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree

The Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree is designed for adult students, ordinarily aged 21 or older, who have not already earned an undergraduate degree. The total required credits are 128. You may transfer up to 64 credits from other schools.

Key learning outcomes

Through the Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree you gain:

  • A well-rounded academic foundation, through a blend of courses in traditional liberal arts fields and focused subject areas, such as business management and administration, computer science, international relations, economics, and psychology.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills to convey views and opinions in academic and professional contexts.
  • The ability to think critically across a variety of subjects, fostering an informed, independent worldview.
  • Membership in a diverse student community of adult learners with years of full-time work experience, providing an enriching learning environment. 

Program Overview

  • Get started. You begin by completing three stipulated degree courses as outlined on the degree requirements page. This coursework establishes your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
  • Apply to the program. While you are completing your third degree course, you submit your application. We have application cycles in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Continue your studies, online and on campus. You can pursue most of your degree online, if you wish. But to fully experience Harvard, you are required to complete at least 16 credits (roughly four courses) on campus. Intensive three-week and weekend on-campus options available.
  • Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) in extension studies.

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Explore Degree Requirements

Learn about degree requirements, admissions, & on-campus study.

Explore Course Listings

Once you've learned about the degree requirements, you can search for courses that count toward the degree. See the degree courses.


Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2017–18 undergraduate tuition is $1,550 a course (an exception applies to courses in digital media and computer science, for which tuition is $2,700). To keep the path to admission affordable, three specific degree courses are offered for $1,000 each. 

At the 2017-18 $1,550 rate, the total tuition cost of earning the full undergraduate degree is $49,600. If you're transferring in 64 credits, the total tuition cost is $24,800.

There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.