Pursuing a Certificate

Certificates are the fastest-growing post-secondary credential in the United States. Learn how to get started, track your progress, and successfully earn a graduate certificate from Harvard Extension School.

Certificates at a Glance

Cost per Course Number of Courses
$2,750 3–5

Getting Started

No application is required to pursue a graduate certificate. 

Follow these three steps to get started: 

  1. Find a graduate certificate that interests you.
  2. Browse the current certificate course offerings.
  3. Enroll in a course for graduate credit when registration is open.

Reg CTA - landing page

Ready to Get Started?

Your journey at Harvard Extension School begins by enrolling in a course. Get started as soon as an enrollment period opens.

Course registration is now open through: 

  • December 19 for January session
  • January 27 for spring term

Can I earn a certificate online?

I’m an international student. Can I take courses on campus?

Grade Requirements

Students must earn a grade of B, B+, A-, or A in a certificate course in order to have it count towards the certificate. Courses in which a student has earned a grade of B- or below cannot be counted towards a graduate certificate.

Currently, there is no restriction regarding retaking a course in order to have it qualify for a certificate. The course will be listed on your transcript for each term that you take it and will include all grades you are assigned. 

Tracking Your Progress

The Certificate Course Tracker and Request Form—available through online services—will help you keep track of the courses you have taken that are eligible to count towards your graduate certificate of interest.

Monitor your progress by logging in to online services and choosing the Certificate Course Tracker and Request Form. This form will confirm the courses that count toward the certificate, the courses for which you are currently registered, and the courses that you've completed.

Will all the courses listed be offered every year?

Can I substitute a course that is not listed on the certificate course search?

What will my certificate say?

Financing Your Certificate

You may be eligible for scholarship funds, including Lowell Scholarships for Boston-area middle and high school teachers, community scholarships, and private student loans. Federal or state aid is only available to students who have been admitted to a degree program.

Earning Multiple Certificates

If you plan to pursue multiple certificates, keep in mind that your courses can only count toward one certificate. Each certificate is carefully designed to include a distinct set of courses to ensure its academic and professional value.

Continuing on to Earn a Master’s.

Graduate certificates are stand-alone academic credentials that allow you to broaden your knowledge, update your professional profile, and advance your career. 

Earning a certificate can also be a great first step to exploring a new field of study. Most of our certificates stack toward at least one master's degree. The courses you take to earn one certificate may count toward a graduate degree.

Plan ahead

If you think you want to pursue this path, make sure to do your research. You will need to plan ahead to ensure your certificate courses count toward your specific degree requirements.

If you know you would like to pursue a degree program, we encourage you to apply to the degree program first and earn your certificate along the way.

How do certificates differ from degrees?

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.