Students who wish to enroll in courses offered by Harvard’s professional schools or MIT should visit the Registrar's website for instructions. In addition to submitting an online petition, freshmen are also required to send a statement of interest by email to their Resident Dean. The statement should explain why the student wants to cross-register, how the course fits into the student's curricular plans, and why no other courses within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will meet those needs. The Harvard Business School does not ordinarily allow undergraduates to cross-register in its courses.

In order to cross-register, a student’s immediately previous academic record ordinarily must be satisfactory. Exceptions must be approved by the Resident Dean (see Harvard Summer School for information on registration in the Harvard Summer School).

Under special conditions it may be possible for a student to earn degree credit for courses taken at another local institution provided that those courses contribute to a compelling academic plan tied to the student's concentration; see Study at Other Boston-Area Institutions.


Harvard College students cross-registered in courses at other Harvard faculties may count up to eight credits toward the 128 minimum number of credits required for the Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. This arrangement excludes cross-registration with MIT, which is allowed without limitation on the number of credits.

Courses taken through cross-registration will not meet the College’s Divisional distribution requirement.

Exceptions to the eight-credit maximum will be allowed only if the student’s concentration will accept the credits for concentration credit. Each additional course must be approved by the student’s Head Tutor or Director of Undergraduate Studies.

All undergraduate regulations, including those regarding the deadlines for dropping and withdrawing, makeups, and extensions of time apply to cross-registration courses, even though other faculties may use a different calendar. These regulations also apply to undergraduates cross-registered in courses that may be applicable to graduate degree requirements. Harvard College students are expected to follow the deadlines and procedures of both the College and the other faculty or university. When two deadlines conflict, the earlier one applies.

Students must complete all course work by the last day of FAS examinations unless they receive approval from the Administrative Board for an extension of time (see Extensions of Time for Written or Laboratory Work). Students must bring examination conflicts caused by cross-registration to the attention of the appropriate registrars as soon as possible. Students requesting a makeup examination in a cross-registration course must report this to their Resident Dean, as usual, and must also petition the Registrar of the Faculty offering the course to arrange the makeup, which, if approved, will be given under the rules of that Faculty.

To meet graduation deadlines, second-term seniors should notify the instructor that grades for degree candidates must be received by the FAS Registrar at least ten days prior to Commencement. Students graduating in May are advised against taking classes at MIT in their final semester since that institution’s classes finish later than Harvard’s. Harvard College students cannot graduate if grades are missing.

Students may not cross-register into January term courses nor may they receive credit for January term courses.

Concentration Credit

Students who want to petition to receive concentration credit for a course taken through cross-registration should contact their undergraduate program administrator to complete the petition process no later than the fifth Monday of the term in which the course is taken. Students who have not yet declared a concentration may petition for credit retroactively no later than the fifth Monday of the fourth term in residence. Contact your program administrator for more information.


When cross-registration courses taken by undergraduates are evaluated in terms not equivalent to grades used by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the FAS Registrar will translate these evaluations into “Credit” or “No Credit,” as appropriate. Since “Incomplete” cannot be accepted as a grade for an undergraduate, such grades will be converted to “No Credit” (a failing grade) unless an extension of time is voted by the Administrative Board. Students may take cross-registered courses for a letter grade or Pass/Fail unless a specific grading option is required for the course.

Passing grades received for courses taken through cross-registration will not be used in computing a student’s grade point average except when the courses are counted toward concentration requirements or taken in the Graduate School of Education as part of UTEP (see Grade Point Averages for Undergraduates). Courses taken by cross-registration that are not counted toward concentration or UTEP requirements will normally be equated to FAS courses for the purpose of calculating rate of work (see Rate of Work) but will not be counted toward the letter-graded credit requirement or any honors degree requirements. A failing grade or the equivalent earned in a cross-registered course will be included in honors degree calculations and grade point average. Harvard will not count toward the undergraduate degree any courses that have been credited toward other degrees already conferred. Students may earn degree credit for cross-registration up to 8 credits (unless it is approved to count towards your concentration; such courses do not count against the 8 credit limit for cross-registration). Courses taken for cross-registration beyond the 8 credit limit will appear on your Harvard College transcript with a grade but with zero credit earned.


ROTC courses may be taken by cross-registration at MIT. Freshmen may cross-register in ROTC courses, but must follow the petition process established above for freshmen. Students may earn up to eight Harvard credits through ROTC cross-registration at MIT towards the Harvard degree. These courses will count towards the overall credits required to graduate, but they will not factor into the GPA or satisfy concentration requirements. In order to be transferrable to Harvard, the MIT ROTC courses in Naval Science, Military Science, and Aerospace Studies must earn at least six MIT units. Students should be aware that there may be certain academic requirements for eligibility in receiving ROTC scholarship aid.