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Minimum Age Policy

Harvard Extension School is designed for a working adult population. Our courses are taught at a high academic level and the average age of our students is 32. To register for credit or noncredit in courses with Harvard Extension School, students must meet the following age requirements:

Noncredit and undergraduate credit. Harvard Extension School welcomes academically talented students ages 15 and above to register for noncredit or undergraduate credit. Students must be 15 years of age at time of registration.

Graduate credit. To register for graduate credit, students must be 18 years of age and ordinarily, possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited US institution or the international equivalent. Students must be 18 years of age at time of registration.

Undergraduate degree program application. Refer to the ALB program eligibility requirements for full details.

Full- and Part-Time Enrollment

One credit is equivalent to one semester hour. Full-time enrollment is 16 credits per term, three-quarter time enrollment is 12 credits, half-time enrollment is 8 credits, and less than half-time enrollment is less than 8 credits. Enrollment for the January session is included in the calculation of spring term enrollment status. See financial aid.

Enrollment in a thesis proposal course, graduate thesis, thesis continuation, capstone course, or a four-credit required graduate internship constitutes full-time enrollment. Courses for which you have withdrawal (WD), required-to-withdraw (RQ), administrative withdrawal (WA), and excluded-from-course (EXD) grades are excluded from these definitions.

All certifications of current enrollment status, including information submitted to the National Direct Student Loan Clearinghouse, are based on these time status calculations. See Transcripts and Enrollment Verification for more information on enrollment verification and loan deferments.

If you are enrolled full time, you must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization regulations.

Maximum Enrollment

You may enroll in courses up to the enrollment maximums listed below. Exceptions to this policy are made only if you are an admitted candidate in the Bachelor of Liberal Arts Program or Premedical Program and you receive your program advisor’s pre-approval.

  • Fall Term: 16 credits
  • January Session: 4 credits
  • Spring Term: 16 credits

During registration, you may register beyond the maximum in courses in which your status is waitlisted. If you are later moved into a course from the waitlist, you must reduce your enrollment to the maximum credits allowed, or you will be dropped from one or more courses by the Registrar’s Office.

If you are registered in the spring term for MGMT E-10 CORe, you may not register for a January session course.

Time Conflicts

You may not be enrolled in courses that meet at the same or any overlapping times unless at least one of the courses is offered online asynchronously. 

During registration, you may register for a time conflict in courses in which your status is waitlisted. If you are later moved into one of the courses from the waitlist, you must drop one or more of the conflicting courses, or you will be dropped from those courses by the Registrar’s Office. 

Course Prerequisites

In some courses, instructors give assignments during the first class to confirm that you have met course prerequisites and that your English proficiency is sufficient. Based on the results or on your general performance, you may be advised by the instructor to drop the course and add an alternative course more appropriate for your level.

Repeating Courses

Repeat/equivalent courses are identified by a same subject and course number (for example, MGMT E-4000 and MGMT S-4000) or by a notation in the course description (for example, “Students may not take both ECON E-1600 and ECON S-1615 for degree or certificate credit”).

We discourage you from repeating courses as there is likely limited educational value. The following policies and restrictions apply to repeat/equivalent courses:

  • Degree or certificate credit is not ordinarily awarded for a repeat course. If you are interested in or admitted to a degree program or pursuing a certificate, see either Enrollment Policies for Graduate StudentsEnrollment Policies for Undergraduates, or Pursuing a Certificate for full information.
  • You may not repeat EXPO 25 or a graduate proseminar other than ENVR 210 if taught by the same instructor, whether or not you intend to apply the course towards degree program admission. If you register for one of these courses taught by the same instructor, you may be dropped by the Registrar before the full-tuition-refund deadline.
  • If you repeat a course, you must have the instructor’s permission to reuse or resubmit work you previously submitted for the same course.
  • The Extension School may prohibit your repeat registration in other courses if the school determines that your repeat enrollment will be disruptive to course instruction.
  • All repeated courses and grades assigned for those courses are included on your Division of Continuing Education transcript.

Right to Refuse Registration

The Extension School may refuse registration to a person:

  1. whose conduct the Extension School has determined, in its discretion, indicates that the person’s presence would either pose a significant risk to the safety of any person or cause serious disruption to the educational environment of the Harvard community.
  2. who has been required to withdraw from another Harvard school or course or officially ordered to stay away from the Harvard campus.
  3. who was found responsible for a disciplinary violation at another educational institution.
  4. who was adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime.

Such conduct and circumstances will be taken into consideration at the time of application to a degree program. To avoid unanticipated delays or outcomes, contact the Admissions Office prior to registering in any courses.

Third Parties and Agencies

The Extension School deals directly with individual applicants and students. We do not work with agents to enroll individuals or groups of students, nor do we offer any commission or discount for doing so. Any agency offering enrollment services to clients vis-a-vis Harvard University may not in any way represent itself as an agency of Harvard University. All applications and registrations must come from the individual student.

Course Cancellations and Schedule Changes

Courses occasionally must be canceled or rescheduled for a semester or session, due to low enrollment or other unexpected reasons. Note that if a course is canceled, or if you must drop a course due to a schedule change, your tuition is refunded in full, but you are responsible for textbooks, course packs, travel costs, and other incurred expenses.


Harvard Extension School staff take great care to provide students with information and advice on courses, degrees, and policies. We want you to succeed in your academic and professional goals, so we strive to be accurate at all times. However, in the event that there is a discrepancy between written and/or oral staff communications and this website, the text on this website supersedes staff communication. We encourage you to regularly review the website and to take ownership of your educational journey by familiarizing yourself with relevant policies, which may change.