Skip to content

FALL COURSE REGISTRATION is open through August 29. Explore courses today.

Online Learning

at Harvard Extension School

Deep learning springs from human connection. That’s why we work so hard to bring people together. Our approach to online learning fosters interaction without sacrificing flexibility. 

In our online courses, you engage with your instructor, participate in peer discussions, and receive one-on-one support from teaching staff—all from your home or office. 

Our online courses are collaborative and experiential

  • 90%

    Courses offered online

  • 4.5/5

    Satisfaction rate

The Online Course Experience

Members of our Teaching and Learning team, along with instructor Sergio Imparato, discuss the HES philosophy of “human-centered learning done online” — and how we foster interaction without sacrificing flexibility.

HELIX: Harvard Extension Live Interactive eXperience

To support active learning, we created a platform called the Helix classrooms and web conferences. The technology brings together students from around the globe to join an instructor in a live classroom. 

Helix classrooms and web conferences are “hyflex” — a combination of hybrid and flexible formats.

  • Students may join professors live in the classroom
  • Live online students join the class through Zoom displayed on large monitors and seamlessly interact with students in the classroom
  • On-demand students watch professional recordings of the class on their own schedule and interact through online discussion tools
  • Students participate in thoughtful discussion with their peers and engage with their instructor in real time

Explore Courses

To find online courses that work for you, use the Format filter in Advanced Search in our Course Search and Registration platform.

Benefits of Online Learning

Online education is fundamentally changing the paradigm of higher education. At Harvard Extension School, we think about online learning a little differently:

  • We focus on human-centered learning
    • People are at the core of every interaction—we’re connecting people for a shared learning experience
    • Our courses respect the full lives and varied preferences of adult, part-time learners
    • You receive personal, individualized feedback on your work
    • You will be part of a strong community of learners
  • Iterative course design keeps courses fresh and relevant for students and instructors
  • Everyone has the opportunity to earn credit in rigorous, Harvard-quality courses

Education is about being vulnerable. It’s about being unsettled, unnerved, unhoused – being open to that which you are not used to. To have to de-familiarize yourself to ways of being in the world – Harvard Extension is magnificent in that regard.

Cornel West

Distance Education Trailblazers for Over 110 Years

Harvard Extension School believes learners should be at the helm of their own education, while instructors act as mediators who introduce ideas, ask questions, and encourage students to explore new ways of thinking on their own. Online courses present a rich opportunity for this kind of teaching and learning. 

As an early adopter and national leader in distance education, we are perfectly positioned to offer an outstanding, world-class academic experience online, with no compromise on quality.