The Harvard Pre-College Program is an immersive, collaborative, and transformative residential experience. Alongside peers from around the world, you’ll thrive in a dynamic and supportive academic environment.
Learn without limits: Pursue your interests in courses focusing on physics, law, writing, philosophy, and a dozen other subjects. In our noncredit classes, we dispense with grades so that you can fully commit to your growth as a student.
Live at Harvard: When you attend the Pre-College Program, you’ll live in an historic undergraduate House, near Harvard Square.
Thrive outside the classroom: The Pre-College Passport: Guide to Life Outside of the Classroom is an integral and required part of the program. You use a “passport” to keep track of your attendance at events over the course of the two weeks. You choose two events in each of these four categories: academic exploration, college readiness, social events, trips and recreation.
At the end of the program, you’ll receive a written evaluation from your instructor, as well as a Harvard transcript with a grade of AR or NM (“requirements met” or “requirements not met”). This is a great way to supplement your college application.
With over 30 courses to choose from in each session, you’re sure to find a topic that piques your interest. You take one course during a session.
Here is a sampling of courses that were available in 2019.
Please visit our website in January to view courses for 2020.
From Stars to Planets: Are We Alone in the Universe?
The Science of Politics: An Introduction to Coding and Statistical Analysis
Speaking with Power, Passion, and Purpose
Introduction to Quantum Physics Law and Philosophy
Why Haven't We Cured Cancer Yet? Insights from Evolution, Ecology, and Paleontology
The Power and Politics of Fairy Tales
Game Theory and Strategic Decisions
On the Witness Stand: Scientific Evidence in the American Judicial System
Participant ReviewsWrite a Review
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It’s like an entire semester of college distilled down to two weeks. There are exciting and tense social experiences and a lot of learning in the classroom. My professors were really engaged with the class. They were really friendly, encouraging, and helpful. I loved being in an environment with people from all over.
Something I love about this program is the independence. You learn how to have a routine, how to go to your class on time. It’s a great experience, both academically and socially. It has all the opportunities that you would ever want in a summer – getting insight into what college is about and at the same time meeting new people.
It’s a simulation of an actual college experience. You have 15 hours of class a week, and you have the rest of the time to yourself. You get to choose what you want to do in that free time. Yet, you still have that responsibility to do your homework, to study for quizzes. In high school, I’m always pressed by grades, because I’m always trying to get that A. The non-credit aspect of the program puts less stress on me.
I had never been away from home, so two weeks seemed like the perfect time to get the experience, and not get too homesick.
I loved stepping into Harvard Yard and seeing the bustle of students around me, while at the same time knowing there were other kids doing the same thing I was doing.
I was surprised to see so many people from so many different countries when I arrived. They have different life experiences, so many different perspectives.