Harvard Extension School is the continuing education division of Harvard University. It offers a wide range of courses and programs designed to provide flexible and accessible education to individuals who are not pursuing a traditional full-time degree.
The Extension School was established in 1910 and is one of the 12 degree-granting schools at Harvard University. It offers over 800 courses in various fields of study, including liberal arts, social sciences, humanities, business, technology, and more. These courses are typically offered in the evening, on weekends, or online, allowing working professionals and non-traditional students to pursue education while balancing their other commitments.
Harvard Extension School offers several types of programs:
1. Undergraduate Programs: Students can earn an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or a Bachelor of Liberal Arts (A.L.B.) degree through the Extension School. These programs require a specific number of courses and credits in various disciplines.
2. Graduate Programs: The Extension School offers a variety of master’s degrees, including a Master of Liberal Arts (A.L.M.) in various fields such as management, sustainability, information management systems, and more. Additionally, there are also graduate certificates available.
3. Non-Degree Programs: Students can take individual courses without pursuing a degree or enroll in one of the many professional development programs offered by the school. These programs provide specialized knowledge and skills in specific areas of study.
It’s important to note that while Harvard Extension School offers rigorous and high-quality education, the degrees and certificates earned through the Extension School are considered “Extension Studies” and are distinct from the degrees earned by students in Harvard’s traditional undergraduate and graduate programs.
Overall, Harvard Extension School provides an opportunity for individuals to continue their education, enhance their skills, and gain valuable knowledge from one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
A brief history of Harvard extension school
Harvard Extension School, also known as the Harvard Extension School of Continuing Education, is an extension school affiliated with Harvard University. It has a long and rich history that spans over a century. Here is a brief overview of the history of Harvard Extension School:
1. Founding Years (1909-1910): The Harvard Extension School was established in 1909-1910 as a way to extend Harvard’s educational resources to the greater Boston community. It was originally known as the Harvard University Extension, and its primary goal was to provide evening and part-time education to working professionals who could not attend regular daytime classes at Harvard.
2. Early Growth (1910s-1920s): In its early years, the Harvard Extension School offered a variety of courses in various fields, including the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The popularity of the extension program grew rapidly, and the school expanded its offerings to include a wider range of disciplines.
3. Distance Learning (1930s-1940s): During the 1930s and 1940s, the Harvard Extension School introduced correspondence courses and radio instruction, allowing students to participate remotely. This marked an important step in expanding access to education beyond the local Boston area.
4. Post-War Expansion (1950s-1970s): Following World War II, the Harvard Extension School experienced significant growth and diversification of its curriculum. It expanded its course offerings to include professional and technical fields, responding to the demands of returning veterans seeking education and career advancement opportunities.
5. Modern Era (1980s-present): In recent decades, the Harvard Extension School has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing educational landscape. It has embraced emerging technologies, such as online learning platforms, to reach a wider audience and provide flexible educational options. The school has expanded its online course offerings, allowing students from around the world to engage in high-quality Harvard education remotely.
6. Degree Programs and Academic Opportunities: Over time, the Harvard Extension School has expanded its offerings to include a wide range of degree programs. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as liberal arts, sciences, social sciences, management, and sustainability. Students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) or a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) degree through a combination of on-campus and online courses.
Throughout its history, the Harvard Extension School has remained committed to its mission of extending Harvard’s educational resources to a diverse student population. It has provided a flexible and accessible avenue for lifelong learning and professional development, allowing students to pursue their educational goals while balancing work and other responsibilities.
Admission and registration
Harvard Extension School offers multiple paths to enrollment. Whether you want to fill a knowledge gap in a single course or gain a set of new skills through a certificate or degree, you’ll find an accessible path to meet your goals.
Courses are offered during 15-week fall and spring terms, as well as a 3-week intensive January term. You can also take summer courses through Harvard Summer School.
2022–23 tuition for 4-credit courses.
- $1,880 for undergraduate
- $2,900 for graduate
- $1,500 for noncredit
All figures are based on the 2022–23 tuition rate for 4-credit courses.
Harvard Extension School online
To support active learning, HES 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. Check out how to access myDCE.
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 discussions with their peers and engage with their instructor in real-time.