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January & Spring Registration is Open. Learn how to register, and review the new bivalent COVID-19 booster requirement for on-campus presence.

Prospective Students

Welcome to Harvard Extension School

We’re excited to meet you.

As dean of academic programs, I’m here to invite you to join our dynamic community of adult learners. 

Harvard Extension is place for reinvention, where academic abilities are tested and scholarly and professional aspirations are heightened.

I know that going back to school as a working adult—whether to take only one course or earn a degree—is a big decision. Our team of staff and faculty is here to support you every step of the way. 

Think of this page as your guide to getting started. And if you have a question at any point, remember: we’re here to help.

Ready to begin now? Registration is open, and courses are filling up. The final date to register for the January session is December 11 for on-campus courses and January 3 for online courses. The spring term deadline is January 19.

— Dean Suzanne Spreadbury

Suzanne Spreadbury

Getting Started

Read through our entire guide, or jump to the section you need:

Exploring Academic Paths

Whether you choose to earn a degree or certificate, pursue premedical studies, or build a new skill in a single course, we offer flexible pathways to fulfill your time, budget, and learning needs.

Not sure which path is right for you? You can start with a single course. Then, continue coursework to earn a certificate — and ultimately stack all your courses toward a degree.

aerial photo of Harvard College campus

Selecting Courses & Open Enrollment

At Harvard Extension School, most of our courses are open to the public for registration. We know that our adult learners make responsible academic choices. They are educated and committed students who put higher learning at the center of their active lives. 

After reading the description and prerequisites, if you believe you have the background to be successful in a course, you can register — no application required.

In the DCE Course Search and Registration platform, you can search all our course offerings for the academic year. 

Select a term, then start your search:

  • Courses for a program. Use the Browse by Degree, Certificate, or Premedical Programs filters to find courses that meet specific requirements. 
  • Individual courses. Browse over 50 subjects by selecting Advanced Search. 

Considering Your Schedule

We offer full-term and short-session courses throughout the year. When you choose to start depends on your academic goals, life priorities, and course availability.

Most of our students take 1 or 2 courses a semester to ensure they can succeed in the classroom while maintaining balance in their lives. Workload varies by course, and you can gauge the time commitment by reviewing course syllabi.

  • Fall

    15 weeks, late August to mid-December

  • January

    3-week intensive courses

  • Spring

    15 weeks, late January to mid-May

  • Summer

    3- and 7-week sessions, late June to mid-August

Course Formats: Online or On Campus

About 80% of our courses are online — we bring Harvard to you. And 20% are on campus. You can come to Harvard for a weekend or a full semester.

You can choose from synchronous and asynchronous online course formats to fit your busy schedule. Whether live or on-demand, our online courses provide you with personal attention from instructors and teaching staff as well as an active community of talented peers.  

Starting the Enrollment Process

Our enrollment window is only open for a short period of time each term, and many of our courses fill up quickly.

Review our Academic Calendar and add critical registration deadlines to your personal calendar, so you won’t miss important deadlines, including:

  • The payment deadline so you can avoid getting dropped from your courses for nonpayment.
  • The registration deadline so you don’t miss the chance to enroll that term.

Enrollment Requirements

While all our courses are open enrollment, there are several important enrollment requirements that you should be aware of before you begin the registration process:

English Proficiency

If English is your second language, you’ll need to prove English proficiency before registering for a course. We have multiple proficiency options.

Reading and Writing Placement Test

Some courses — including many courses for admission to degree programs — require you to pass the Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills (CRWS) before you can enroll. This free, online test helps ensure that your journey at Harvard Extension starts strong with the right course.

COVID and Other Immunization Requirements for On-Campus Study

You’ll need to meet vaccination guidelines to take courses on campus. This requirement doesn’t apply to online courses.

Registering for Courses

Registration for January and spring courses is currently open.

You can use our DCE Course Search and Registration platform to find your course and register. 

Your first steps include creating a MyDCE account, then completing pre-registration in MyDCE.  

Connecting with Us for Support

Personalized Enrollment Coaching

If you need support as you consider and choose a program, and you’ve never taken a course with us before, an enrollment coach will work with you one-on-one. Your coach can help you find a program that fits your goals and life, select courses, and finalize enrollment. 

General Questions about Registration and Enrollment

Our dedicated staff of Enrollment Services professionals can answer any of your questions about creating a student account, using the course search, registering for courses, and making payment. 

By Phone

(617) 495-4024

Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Eastern time

By Email

inquiry@extension.harvard.edu

Predegree Advising & Admissions: Virtual Office Hours 

Our Predegree Advising & Admissions team hosts virtual office hours, where you can ask questions about the admissions process. Learn more about virtual office hours.