English Proficiency Requirement for Registration

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 any Extension School course, unless you are an admitted degree candidate at Harvard College, Harvard Extension School, or at a Harvard graduate or professional school.

Meeting the Requirement

To meet the English proficiency requirement for registration, you must provide one of the following satisfactory test scores or satisfactory transcripts by the registration deadline.

Satisfactory Test Scores

Provide the minimum approved score on the TOEFL, IELTS Academic, or PTEA. Take the test well before registration begins to ensure that your score is received by the registration deadline. 

Scores must be no more than two years old.

Test Minimum Approved Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
  • 250 on the computer-based TOEFL
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic
  • 7.0
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA)
  • 70

Satisfactory Transcripts

Submit an official transcript, or a copy of an official transcript, showing completion of a high school diploma, an undergraduate degree (bachelor’s), or a graduate degree (master’s or PhD) at a school, college, or university in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, at which English is the sole language of instruction.

Transcript requirements:

  • Transcripts must indicate completion of high school, a three- or four-year bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree (master’s or PhD).
  • Transcripts must show at least one year of study and graduation from a campus located in one of these six countries mentioned above.
  • Transcripts from schools whose language of instruction is English but are not physically located in one of the six approved countries are ineligible.
  • Degrees in progress will not be considered.

If you do not have a test score or an official transcript that meets the above requirements, you must take an English test and submit an up-to-date satisfactory test score in order to qualify to take Harvard Extension School courses.

Submission of Scores and Transcripts


  • Have your official score sent electronically to the Harvard Extension School Registrar’s Office. For the TOEFL, use institution code: 3458. IELTS and PTEA do not require a specific code. You simply choose Harvard Extension School as the designated recipient.
  • You may also upload a copy of your score report in online services using the “Document Management” page.

To see if we have received your electronic scores, log in to online services and select "Placement Tests," then "View Placement Test Scores."

If your score has been received and posted by the Registrar's Office, you will see an option for "English Proficiency Tests" after selecting "View Placement Test Scores."


ATTN: English Proficiency 
Office of Enrollment Management
Harvard Extension School
51 Brattle Street, Room 602
Cambridge, MA 02138

How to Register for Courses While Meeting the Requirement

  • You’re encouraged to submit materials before registration opens for your best chance of meeting the deadline. You can submit your transcript or test score year-round in online services.
    • If you are a new student, create an account and provide required English proficiency information before submitting your test score or transcript. If registration is open, provide the information when you register as a new student.
    • If you are a returning student, provide required English proficiency information in "English Proficiency Information and Status" in online services before registration opens, or when you register.
  • You can register before you meet the requirement, but your registration will be conditional until your test score or transcript is reviewed and a determination regarding your proficiency is made.
    • 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. The registration fee is nonrefundable.
  • You can check your English proficiency status and your course registration status in online services, via the "English Proficiency Information and Status" page or your course schedule.
  • You must 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.


You must meet the English proficiency requirement by the registration deadline for the course(s) you plan to take. Deadlines may differ for courses that do not follow the full academic calendar. If so, they are noted in course descriptions.

Accurate Representation

Honesty in all communications, including self-representation of native language, is a requirement of student enrollment. Submission of fraudulent information is subject to review by the Administrative Board and may be grounds for disciplinary action. See Student Conduct for more information.

Considering an Extension School Degree Program?

Three- or four-year undergraduate degree program transcripts and all graduate degree program transcripts that are used to prove English proficiency for course registration will not be screened to determine Harvard Extension School degree program admission eligibility, including requirements related to regional accreditation, duplicate content, and degree equivalency. If you have questions about admission requirements, refer to Degree Program Admissions.


Please contact Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 or email proficiency@extension.harvard.edu.