Skip to content

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

Earn-Your-Way-In Admissions

You enroll in courses toward the completion of your degree before you apply for admission. Why? Because we know that standardized test scores and previous transcripts don’t always accurately reflect our adult learners’ current academic capabilities and drive to succeed.

On this page we’ll cover:

  • Requirements you must meet to be eligible for admission
  • Courses you must take in order to apply for admission
  • Materials you should have ready for when your application window opens
  • How to submit your application
  • The application review process

1. Check Your Eligibility

To pursue an undergraduate degree at Harvard Extension, you must meet the following criteria:

You don’t already hold a bachelor’s degree.

If you already possess a bachelor’s degree, you may not pursue another at Harvard Extension School.

You aren’t enrolled in a degree program at another institution.

You may not be enrolled as an undergraduate degree-seeking student at another institution at the time of admission or during your Extension School degree candidacy.

You have a high school diploma or equivalent.

All applicants must possess proof of high school graduation, including those who were homeschooled.

Acceptable credentials include a high school diploma or a high school diploma equivalent as determined by your home state or, if you are an international student, by one of our approved credential evaluation companies.

Your high school diploma was awarded at least five years before you enrolled in your degree courses.

This program is designed expressly for working adults who wish to earn their degrees part time while they continue to advance in their professions.

As a minimum requirement, your high school diploma or its equivalent must have been earned at least five years prior to enrolling in any ALB degree-applicable courses.

2. Complete Degree Courses for Admission

At Harvard Extension School, your admission journey begins in the classroom. Here’s how to qualify for admission.

Register for three degree courses, including EXPO 25 Academic Writing and Critical Reading.

Refer to Degree Requirements to learn more about the degree courses you must take before being admitted.

Meet the grade requirements for admission.

B or higher

Earn at least a grade of B in EXPO 25 and two other 4-credit courses that count toward the degree. Harvard Business School Online’s CORe cannot be used as one of these three courses.

Two-attempt limit on EXPO 25
You are ineligible to apply for undergraduate degree program admission if you fail to earn the minimum grade of B or higher in two EXPO 25 registration attempts. A withdrawal (WD) is considered a registration attempt. See Enrollment Policies for Undergraduates to learn how repeated courses affect your GPA.

3.0 GPA

Earn the required cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 (equivalent to a grade of B) or higher in all Harvard courses. If you haven’t earned at least a B in all of your Harvard courses, use our GPA Estimator tool to determine your GPA. See Academic Standing for information on grade-point average calculation for the undergraduate degree program.

Apply during the semester in which you’re taking your third degree course.

Submitting an application promptly near the conclusion of your degree course(s) stipulated for admission is essential not only for your successful admission but also for degree program completion.

Moreover, degree requirements, including admission courses, can change from year to year, which may result in your losing degree credit if you postpone submitting your application.

As a result, students who do not apply for admission to the program in a timely manner are assessed an additional $300 delayed application fee.

Refer to When to Apply for the dates between which you are able to use the Extension Application Portal to begin an application. You cannot start an application outside these dates.

3. Gather Your Supplementary Materials

Although you may apply only during certain times of the year, you can—and should—prepare your supplementary materials early so that you don’t miss a deadline.

Prepare for your online application.

Before the application opens, you can get a head start on it by following these preparatory steps:

Request transcripts from previous schools.

We require a current official transcript (i.e., a transcript issued directly from the school to our office) from each college or university at which you have registered for courses.

Electronic transcripts may be sent by your school to admissions@extension.harvard.edu. See the Submit Your Application section below for instructions on how to submit paper transcripts.

Students with international credits and degrees must have them evaluated for equivalency as part of the admissions process. For more information, visit Admission Requirements for International Students.

4. Submit Your Application

Your application window corresponds with the semester during which you are enrolled in your third degree course. Details on application cycles can be found on When to Apply.

Start your online application.

Refer to When to Apply for the dates between which you are able to begin an application. You cannot start an application outside these dates. Log in to MyDCE using your Harvard Key and click on the ALB/ALM Application icon under your name and profile picture at the top of the home page to access the Extension Application Portal.

Pay the application fee.

A nonrefundable $100 fee is required to begin the application. You will be assessed an additional $300 delayed application fee if you have earned grades in more than six courses toward the undergraduate degree before applying.

Mail your transcripts (if applicable).

If transcripts must be mailed via post because your college or university does not offer electronic delivery, documents should be sent to:

Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions
Harvard Extension School
51 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Do not open envelopes addressed to you that contain official copies of documents. Instead, mail them unopened in a larger envelope to the Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions.
  • All materials must be received in the Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions no later than the application deadline date for your application to be considered complete.

Materials are accepted and processed by the Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Time.

5. How We Review Applications

After grades become available for the term, advisors conduct a final application review and consider the following.

Academic Standing and Student Conduct

You must be in good academic standing with Harvard University, with no disciplinary or administrative procedures pending, stemming from violations of our Academic Integrity and/or Student Conduct policies. The Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions will consider your academic disciplinary and student conduct records at Harvard University and other academic institutions in making admissions decisions.

You should be aware of our Application Expectations as well as our Right to Refuse Registration due to infractions that include criminal records, which will also be considered.

Financial Standing

You must be in good financial standing at Harvard as well as previous schools.

English Proficiency

English is the language of instruction at Harvard Extension School. If your native language is not English, you must have provided designated proof of English proficiency to register in the courses that qualify you for admission and you must be able to register in future courses according to Extension School’s current English proficiency requirements.

As part of your application review, advisors will confirm you have met these requirements and will ask you to provide a letter of explanation if you do not. Students who have misrepresented themselves will be found in violation of Extension School’s Student Conduct policy. Their applications will be removed from admission consideration, they will be prevented from applying again in the future to a degree program at Extension School, and their case will be reviewed by the Administrative Board to consider grounds for disciplinary action.

Your Complete Application and Admission Decision

A complete application comprises our receipt of a finished online application, specific grade and GPA requirements in stipulated Harvard degree courses, as well as certain academic standing, student conduct, and English proficiency requirements as outlined above and on the program-specific pages of this website.

If you submit a complete application and meet these eligibility requirements, you will be admitted.

Admission decisions are made according to the When to Apply schedule and appear in the Extension Application Portal, which is accessed by logging in to MyDCE using your Harvard Key and clicking on the ALB/ALM Application icon under your name and profile picture at the top of the home page.

If you did not earn the required GPA and/or grades by the end of the semester, you will be notified that you may reapply to the program after you have met those admission criteria.