Harvard University Extension School

Staff picture
Updated August 6, 2020

Harvard University is one of the top Ivy Leagues schools in the nation and one of the oldest colleges in the country too. The Lowell Institute opened in later years and provided opportunities for students living in and around Boston. At the same time, professors from Harvard and other nearby campuses began moving to teach classes in other major cities on a temporary basis. This eventually led to those teachers offering classes through the Lowell Institute, which was much more affordable than traditional colleges. Harvard offered two full degree programs through the institute in the early 1900s. Harvard University now offers several certificate programs through the institute as well as bachelor's and master's degree programs in different subjects. There are around 800 subjects that students can major in today.

Called the Harvard Extension School now, this school was one of the first in the nation to offer distance education programs. Students could actually enroll in classes and sit in on lectures that the school broadcast over a local radio station. Distance education programs today allow students to watch live stream lectures from their homes or log in and watch lectures recorded previously. The school offers online classes as well. Its enrollment now includes more than 1,700 students seeking degrees and more than 20,000 non-degree seeking students. Anyone can take one of the non-degree open enrollment classes offered by the school.

Harvard Extension School Accreditation Details

As the Harvard Extension School is a branch of Harvard, it has all the same accreditation that the main university does. Accreditation comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Not only does this accreditation apply to all the programs offered through the school, but it also allows students to transfer their credits to a degree program at another accredited college or university. The accreditation that the extension school has also makes it easier for students to transfer credits back to one of the bachelor's programs offered on the main Harvard campus.

Harvard Extension School Application Requirements

With a degree from the Harvard Extension School, you can actually put that you attended Harvard on your resume, which may open doors that otherwise closed in your face. Its open enrollment programs are open to all students. You simply need to create an account and sign up for any of the classes that you want to take. Open enrollment classes do not award students credit and will not let you transfer those classes to another school. To qualify for one of its graduate programs, you must sign up and take two classes. The grades you receive in those courses will determine whether you need to take any more courses before you can apply for a graduate program.

Once you take a few classes through the Harvard Extension School, you can submit an application for the graduate program that interests you. The school will accept new students in the fall, spring and summer semesters. You'll get a response back quickly and can just as quickly begin taking classes for credit. Though the school lets you take most courses online, you will need to take at least four classes in your degree program on its campus in Massachusetts. The school offers longer weekend classes as well as evening classes to fit the schedules of working students.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Earning a graduate degree from the Harvard Extension School will cost less than $35,000 in total, which is significantly less than it would cost to earn a graduate degree from the main Harvard campus. It typically costs around $2,700 per course, but this cost refers only to the classes that you take for credit towards your degree. You will need to pay the total cost upfront and before beginning your classes. The school charges a late fee of $50 for students who do not pay their costs ahead of time. You can pay with a check, money order, credit card or debit card.

Financial aid is available to students who file the FAFSA. Make sure that you list the Harvard Extension School as the school you will attend and not Harvard University. Choosing the wrong school can cause a delay in the school awarding you with financial aid and with how quickly you get your aid. Student loans and grants are both available to Harvard undergrads, but you may qualify for one or more scholarships too. Those scholarships are only open to Boston residents or those studying certain subjects. You can apply for alternative student loans also.

Master's in Management

Before you can earn a Master's in Management through the Harvard Extension School, you must first sign up and take a course on business rhetoric. The better you perform in this class, the greater the chance is that the school will accept you as a full graduate student. You will also need to take an online exam that tests your writing skills and critical reading skills. The results of this test give the school an idea of how well you will do in your graduate classes. You will also need to take class on business economics or microeconomics and a class on managerial or financial accounting. As long as you maintain a B grade point average, you can enroll in the full program. The program is also open to those who do well in business and management open enrollment classes.

No matter where you live or work, you have the option of taking up to four classes on the real Harvard University campus. You can take online courses that include one long weekend of study on the campus, courses that run for three weeks in January or classes that run for between three and seven weeks in the summer. Students can also enroll in traditional 15-week courses that meet in both the spring and fall. You will also need to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all classes you take.

Related Resources: Top 30 Ranked Affordable Online Master's in Management

This Harvard program consists of 12 classes that include the first three you take before beginning the program. Those courses include two required management classes and four management electives. All Harvard Extension School management students must also take classes on organizational behavior, finance, marketing and business strategy, which are available both online and on the Harvard campus.

Latest Posts