Going back to school as a working adult is a big commitment. At Harvard Extension School (HES), you’ll join a community that’s invested in your growth and success. All of us — our staff, faculty, alumni, and current students — are here to support you every step of the way.
At HES, you can choose from a variety of flexible learning options designed to fit your time, budget, and goals. Whether you live minutes from campus or across the globe, you can experience a Harvard education on your terms.
Taking a single course or earning a certificate? You only need to meet enrollment requirements — there’s no application required.
Planning to pursue a degree? Through our earn-your-way-in admissions process, we honor the student you are today: a working professional with a wealth of life and work experience.
To begin, you’ll bring that experience right into the classroom before you apply — establishing your academic readiness by completing two or three required, foundational courses before applying for admission to your chosen program.
Stackable Credentials: An Academic Journey that Grows With You
We understand that your goals may evolve over time. Our courses, certificates, and degrees are designed to be adaptable and stackable.
If you’re taking a single course or are earning a microcertificate, that work may apply toward a future graduate certificate or degree.
Or, you might pursue a master’s degree and earn a graduate certificate along the way by choosing courses that apply toward both credentials.
You can learn more about how to stack microcertificates, certificates, and degrees in our blog.
Online Synchronous. Most of our courses are held live online (Eastern time).
Online Asynchronous. 35% have no required live attendance.
On Campus. 20% provide the option to attend on campus (intensive weekends available).
Affordable Tuition & Financing Options
Our goal is to provide you with easy-to-understand information about the costs and financing options that will enable you to reach your education goals.
We believe that a high-quality education should also be affordable. Our course tuition rates are comparable to public universities and only a fraction of the tuition of our peer institutions.
Our 2023-24 Course Tuition
Average Course Tuition of Peer Institutions
$2,040 per course
$2,900 per course
$3,220 per course
$4,330 per course
If you are planning to complete a degree or certificate, the total cost of completion will depend on how many courses are required.
There are a variety of ways to pay for courses, including through our payment plan or an employer’s tuition reimbursement program. Our Student Financial Services team is here to help you through the process.
Whether you plan to enroll for your first course toward a certificate or degree or an individual course, you simply register — no application required. The best part? You’ll benefit immediately. Our courses are designed so you’ll be able to take what you learn in class today and apply it to your work tomorrow.
Review Enrollment Requirements
While all our courses are open enrollment, there are several important requirements that you should be aware of before you begin the registration process.
English Proficiency Requirement
If English is your second language, you’ll need to prove English proficiency before registering for a course. We have multiple proficiency options.
Reading & 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 before you can enroll. This free, online test helps ensure that your journey at Harvard Extension starts strong with the right course.
On-Campus Study Immunization Requirements
If the course you’re taking is on campus, you’ll need to meet vaccination guidelines. This requirement doesn’t apply to online courses.
Confirm your email address. If you are new to Harvard, your Harvard ID number will be issued, activated, and viewable on your MyDCE dashboard generally within two business days of your course registration.
You’ll be asked to provide your contact information and answer a few questions before you can register.
Familiarize yourself with the MyDCE platform. MyDCE will be your HES hub for placement testing, new student orientation, links to your course websites (via Canvas), and viewing your final grades once they are posted.
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.
The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.