Business Education

Short term courses in Harvard Business School

International Student Study Options  October 20, 2020 – 11:02 pm
Executive Education

Harvard Extension School offers a variety of ways for students around the world to study part time at Harvard University. Whether you are interested in online courses, a professional graduate certificate, or a degree, you will find flexible, challenging options to help you meet your goals.

Online Courses

We have about 500 online courses available in the fall and spring semesters.

Some courses have live meeting times in a virtual classroom each week. Others offer more flexibility, allowing you to watch weekly lecture videos or access course materials at your convenience. All classes have scheduled assignments each week.

Graduate Certificates

If you are interested in earning a Harvard credential in a specialized area, we offer more than 30 graduate certificates in fields like management, technology, and sustainability. Certificates include between three and five courses, and many can be completed online. Explore graduate certificates


Our degrees combine online and on-campus study. You can take a number of your courses online, but you will also come to Harvard during the summer for some of your studies.

The Harvard on-campus experience is a key aspect of our degree programs. You attend classes on campus at Harvard Summer School, engage with faculty and fellow students in person, and use campus libraries and other resources to enrich your academic experience.

Depending on your program of choice, you complete between one and four courses on campus. Review our undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees.

Degrees that Can Be Completed Online with On-Campus Summer Terms

Degree Field Number of On-Campus Courses Required Minimum Number of Summers On Campus
Bachelor of Liberal Arts
Digital Media Design
Information Management Systems
International Relations
Legal Studies
Mathematics for Teaching
Museum Studies
Software Engineering

Important Visa Information

As a part-time school that offers the majority of their courses online, Harvard Extension School does not issue I-20 certificates for the F-1 student visa for full-time on-campus study. Many types of US visas do allow part-time study (e.g., J-2, F-2, H-4, etc.)

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and B-2 Visas

Neither ESTA nor the B-2 visa allows full-time study, nor do they allow part-time study. ESTA and B-2 visas are only for international travelers whose main reason for visiting the United States is tourism.

If you intend to pursue full- or part-time study at Harvard Extension School, ESTA or the B-2 tourist visa are not appropriate. Do not attempt to enter the United States on either ESTA or the B-2 visa. Attempting to enter the United States in ESTA or the B-2 visa status to earn credit is a violation of US visa policy and you risk being denied entry to the United States. This is true for non-degree students as well as admitted degree candidates. Please note noncredit study is permissible.

Harvard Summer School

If you need a student visa from Harvard University to enter the United States, your only option to complete the on-campus requirement is through Harvard Summer School. Because the Summer School has a full-time residential program option, the school offers the I-20 certificate for the F-1 student visa.

To qualify for an I-20, you must be a full-time Harvard Summer School student, registered in:

  • 8 credits of on-campus courses during the seven-week session
  • 4-credit capstone courses (for degree candidates only) during the seven-week session
  • One three-week, 4-credit, on-campus course

Begin planning in early March, as you will need to register for courses, apply for housing (if you want to live on campus), submit an I-20 application, and coordinate with the US embassy or consulate in your country to determine how long it will take to process your visa request.

Summer School registration opens in early March, the I-20 request deadline is in early May, and on-campus housing is limited—so don’t delay. See the international student guidelines for Summer School. Please note that if you obtain an I-20 from HSS for an F-1 visa, it is not possible to continue studying on the F-1 at Harvard Extension School due to the part-time nature of the program.

English Proficiency for Degree Programs

Strong English language skills are essential for success in our programs. Our courses are taught in English, and language facility will help you learn complex topics and engage in thoughtful discourse with fellow students.

Financing Options

Limited financial aid funding is available to non-US citizens. You may be eligible to borrow a private education loan through a lender of your choice with a US citizen as a cosigner.


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