GSAS offers two opportunities for non-degree study, as special students or visiting fellows.
All non-degree students must:
- Follow GSAS registration procedures.
- Adhere to deadlines on the GSAS academic calendar.
- Follow GSAS codes of conduct.
Special students may take a maximum of four courses per term; additional courses must be approved by the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.
- As required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, special students holding a Harvard-sponsored F-1 visa must register for full-time study, equivalent to four courses per academic term.
- The Registrar's Office will provide a transcript of credits earned following completion of each academic term as long as the student does not have an outstanding student account balance.
Applying to a Degree Program
Special students may later apply for admission to a degree program.
- Former special students are not guaranteed admission.
- A special student admitted to a GSAS degree program may be eligible for financial credit for courses completed.
- Upon completion of one term in a GSAS degree program, students may petition their academic department to receive credit for work done as a special student; academic credit is granted only for graduate-level courses valid for the relevant degree program.
- A maximum of eight courses may be used for credit for a PhD or a two-year master’s program; a maximum of four courses may be used for credit for a one-year master’s degree.
Visiting fellows are considered full-time research students with access to Harvard University’s libraries and facilities and may apply for membership in the Harvard Faculty Club.
- While visiting fellows do not take courses for academic credit, they may audit courses with the approval of the instructor and seek faculty guidance as they conduct independent research.
- Visiting fellows are normally not permitted to audit basic skills courses such as beginning languages or computer science.
- Visiting fellows are charged reduced tuition, and are not eligible for financial aid.