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Coronavirus Updates: See latest COVID-19 news from Harvard Extension School.

The following outlines Harvard Extension School’s plans to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the community. The plans are in accordance with the University’s response and we encourage you to also visit the general Harvard University COVID-19 information page.

The University asks that you contact Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) if you have been tested for COVID-19. Even if you do not usually get medical care at HUHS, please let them know if you are being tested or if you tested positive for COVID-19. This will help HUHS assess the impact on our community. Email them at

Below is information for students. Faculty and teaching assistants should visit the Faculty Handbook site for the latest updates and the Teaching and Learning site for support moving their courses online.

Classes and Resources Move Online

2021-22 Harvard Extension School Courses

We’ve made the difficult decision to offer our 2021-22 courses fully online for fall, January, and spring.

Because the health and safety of our students, instructors, and staff is our top priority, we made this decision using the most current COVID-related information available to us. This includes the most recent public health data regarding the highly contagious Delta variant, which is roughly twice as infectious as the original virus.

Moreover, we are a national leader in quality distance education with 75% of courses already offered online, both live and on demand. Further, most of you live far from campus, with 75% of you living outside Massachusetts. Therefore, “coming to campus” means traveling from another part of the country or world for intensive, all-day, active-learning weekends, where social distancing and mask wearing would be difficult.

See below for information regarding the on-campus requirement for our degree programs.

Harvard Extension School Buildings and Operations

  • Harvard Extension School (HES) administrative offices and classrooms are currently closed to visitors and students.
  • HES continues to offer email, phone, web conference, and online student service and all departments are fully functional.
  • Visit Contact Us. We are eager to answer your questions!

ID cards & Campus Access, Student Resources, Advising and Admissions

  • ID Cards & Campus Access
    • Current Degree Degree Candidates and Premedical Program Participants. To use your Harvard ID card to access on-campus resources such as libraries, athletics, and study spaces, you must participate in the University’s COVID-19 testing cadence. To support your access, we have launched a pilot program to provision individual HES degree candidates and premedical program participants for the new Colorplatform. Color is the health testing company that administers the University’s testing protocols.
    • The below procedure is for any HES ALB and ALM officially admitted degree candidate or officially admitted Premedical Program participant who wishes to come to campus this fall (if you are also a Harvard staff member, you should follow your department’s testing instructions).
      • Fill out the Campus Access Request form to let us know the likely frequency of your campus visits. It takes 3-5 business days to complete the provisioning process prior to your first campus visit. Please plan accordingly.
      • Wait for detailed instructions and confirmation that your profile has been added to the Color platform via an email from
      • Once you receive this email, review your Crimson Clear account information, report your vaccination status, and set up your Color account. If you don’t have your Harvard ID card yet, you will be able to pick it up at Campus Services (Smith Center) after completing these steps.
      • Test kits and test drop off are available on campus.  You need to test any time you are on campus. If you come to campus just for one day, including just one hour, you need to test for that one day. Being on campus for any amount of time requires testing.
    • Current Course Takers and Prospective Candidates. We are responsible for upholding the University’s COVID-19 compliance requirements, including university testing. We are working with HUIT and HUHS on a pilot program beginning with officially admitted degree candidates and premedical program participants (see above). We will learn much from this pilot and hope to broaden access to other cohorts of students. Please stay tuned.
      • As such, new and replacement class participant library cards are not currently available to Extension School students for the fall 2021 or spring 2022 term.  To keep Harvard safe, we also ask that any student who has an ID card from a previous Harvard Summer or Extension School term not use their ID card to access campus resources until further notice. Contact with questions.
  • Student Resources
  • Program Advising
    • Advisors are standing by. We encourage you to connect with our advising team for individual support. Admissions, degree program, certificate, and premedical program advising continues via email and Zoom.
  • Admissions
    • We are ready and excited to accept 2021-22 applications to our undergraduate, graduate, and premedical programs as planned.


Harvard Extension School Prospective and Admitted Degree Candidates On-Campus Requirement, 2021-2022 Academic Year

We were inspired by the leadership of Claudine Gay, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who eloquently wrote: “We must ensure that the academic progress of our students is maintained, even if what that means must evolve.” We have evolved and re-imagined the on-campus requirement as a live, active learning requirement.

Live web-conference courses will continue to meet the on-campus requirement for the entire 2021-22 academic year. These courses provide real-time engagement with faculty and peers, which meets the spirit of the on-campus requirement until it is safe for us to return to in-person learning here in Cambridge. Please use your specific program’s degree course search to identify live, web conference courses that meet the on-campus requirement.

This change is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will not be continued beyond this academic year.

Summer 2022. Harvard Summer School (HSS) plans to be fully on campus in 2022, offering its usual on-campus 3- and 7-week courses. Consequently, also in summer 2022, the on-campus requirement will revert to the former pre-COVID policy. We are looking so forward to welcoming you back to campus this summer!

Commencement. If the University decides that Commencement 2022 will take place on campus, we will be ready, with an abundance of enthusiasm and excitement.

Both Your Health and Education Are Paramount to Us

The faculty and staff are working around the clock to continue to offer you the highest quality academic experience. We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we navigate, to the best of our ability, this challenging and unprecedented global public health event.