Harvard Extension School?

I heard about HES today and was wondering what it is. Is it Harvard itself?
I'm 19, homeschooled, finished high school at 17. I want to get into Harvard but I don't think I'd get accepted; I have high testing scores but someone said knowledge isn't everything to get into Harvard or any of the other Ivies (which is ridiculous in my opinion, because I feel if I'm gifted, I'm definitely gifted in the ability to learn exceptionally and I have a scientific brain, but because my parents are immigrants, they did not really consider enrolling me in any activities while I was homeschooled - they didn't know). </p>

<p>Right now I'm not in community college or any other school, I'm simply at home trying to prepare myself for a good university. So, what is HES? Is this something that could get me into Harvard?</p>

<p>I currently live in AZ, by the way, so I'm looking to take online courses for now.</p>

<p>Matty: Have you tried Google or searching the Harvard thread? All of your questions can be answered by doing a bit of research on your own. Here, I’ll get you started:</p>

<p>[Harvard</a> Extension School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia](<a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School]Harvard”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School)
[Harvard</a> Extension School | Online Courses & Harvard Continuing Education | Boston](<a href=“http://www.extension.harvard.edu/]Harvard”>http://www.extension.harvard.edu/)
<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1513411-how-extension-school-viewed-undergraduate-transfer-admissions-officers.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school[/url]”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1513411-how-extension-school-viewed-undergraduate-transfer-admissions-officers.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school</a>
<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1468406-value-add-hes-my-particular-situation.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school[/url]”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1468406-value-add-hes-my-particular-situation.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school</a>
<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1406155-harvard-extension-school-undergraduate-privileges.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school[/url]”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/1406155-harvard-extension-school-undergraduate-privileges.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school</a>
<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/787882-harvard-extension-school-vs-state-school.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school[/url]”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/787882-harvard-extension-school-vs-state-school.html?highlight=harvard+extension+school</a></p>

<p>I have Googled it but I didn’t find out much about how it relates to my situation… I also didn’t find out whether or not it can push me into Harvard itself</p>



<p>Gibby’s links should keep you busy. I know a few people who have taken classes through HES. My impression was most of the students were nontraditional - older, maybe had day jobs. Their target group is not recent High School grads.</p>



<p>HES is part of Harvard University. It will not get you into Harvard College.</p>

<p>Snarlatron is right mattymatt; HES will not get you into Harvard College, which is the university’s day time program.</p>

<p>[Never mind. I did not notice how old this thread is.]</p>

<p>HES is not a backdoor to Harvard College; nor is it better to have on your resume’ than any random 4-year college. It is either open admission or close.</p>

<p>HES provides a service to the community and is primarily for adult learners who never went to college and for professionals that would like to get some specific training. It’s not the place for an 18-year-old who can get into a regular college. In short, just apply to a regular university.</p>

<p>There are threads on CC about HES if you search for them.</p>

<p>Area high school kids also take courses at HES if they are finished with their own high school’s curriculum in a particular subject. My son went to HES his senior year to take math both fall and spring because he had taken BC Calculus as a junior.</p>

<p>Hi folks!</p>

<p>Reading through all the different postings, forums, and topics (as well as whatever else you may call these things), I have found a dire lack of knowledge regarding the Extension School. I also can’t believe the no one would give Matty a straight up answer. Well, this here is a DETAILED look at the Extension School from someone who actually attends the school. Anyone interested in the Extension School, just read my posting and save yourself from reading through all the ******** about the school.</p>

<p>Anyway, getting on with it… Lets go through some common questions people have:</p>

<p>What is the Extension School and is it “really” Harvard?</p>

<p>The Extension School is for “non-traditional” students. It is one of two Undergraduate degree granting schools at Harvard University; the other being the College. The school also offers Graduate degrees. Yes, it is really Harvard. The why’s and how’s will be addressed in following questions.</p>

<p>Who teachers at the Extension School and how do the courses compare to those taught at say, Harvard College?</p>

<p>The Extension School’s classes are taught by various members of the Harvard faculty, some from the College, while others are from the Graduate schools. The other teachers that teach at the Extension School come from other local Universities such as Boston University. Obviously, if you have teachers that teach at the other Harvard schools as well as local schools such as BU, you do not have to worry about the teachers being capable of teaching academically challenging courses.</p>

<p>Are the courses challenging? How do they Compare with those at the College?</p>

<p>We have the EXACT same courses as at the college. The syllabus for the courses are the same and at times, the teachers are even the same. The courses are just are rigorous with their material and the grading is just as difficult/meticulous. We may not have EVERY single course that the College offers but there are so many to choose from that it’s hard to imagine anyone being unhappy with the course selection.</p>

<p>Does the Extension School have clubs?</p>

<p>Yes, the extension school does! They have their own student body (HESA) as well as many other clubs. But wait! How about the Harvard College clubs, you ask? I’ll address that in a separate question.</p>

<p>So if it really is Harvard, you have Harvard staff teaching you, and you have the same standards of academic rigor being met, how is the Extension School different from the College?</p>

<p>The Extension School has it’s classes during the evening. Second, you are not offered room in the dorms, primarily because most Extension Students are expected to be adults that have day jobs in far off places. Living on campus just wouldn’t be feasible for them. The Extension School is also different with its admission policy. Lets talk about this whole “open admission” thing first. Anyone can take a course at Harvard Extension if they can pay for it. It’s as simple as that. To be a degree candidate, on the other hand, requires you to fulfill some requirements. I won’t go into those details since those are very easily available on the Extension School’s website (I shall abbreviate the Extension School as the ES from on).</p>

<p>If it is “Open Admission” doesn’t that make the school less prestigious when compared to the College?</p>

<p>In a way, maybe? Most people don’t know that some very large schools used to be open admission until fairly recently as well. This whole notion of ranking colleges/universities is what changed that. Harvard Extension has stuck by it’s mission of allowing a wider community access to a QUALITY education. You are not falling for some cheap gimmick being passed off as something more than it is. It really depends on how you look at it and what you make of Harvard Extension School. More below!</p>

<p>What do people at the College think of you, as an Extension Student?</p>

<p>I have never faced any form of discrimination on Campus. I am a member of the Harvard Community. Most people acknowledge that. You’ll find the snobby exception, I guess… I have only ever heard of these people though! I have fortunately not run into anyone (yet).</p>

<p>All of that stuff can be found out by watching one of the ES Info Sessions (check Youtube). Lets talk about stuff that I found out from being a student!</p>

<p>I am of traditional student age. Is the ES for me?</p>

<p>Well join the club! So am I (as already mentioned above). The number of traditional age students at the Extension School keeps increasing. You will definitely be a minority at the ES but you have the opportunity to mix in with students from the College. You also have your classmates to learn from. You have access to both sides of the fence. It comes down to whether you want to take the bold step and actually make friends that are older than you/at the College.</p>

<p>The Extension School may have clubs but it doesn’t have as many as the College. Can you participate in the clubs of Harvard College?</p>

<p>This is up to the Club management. Most clubs will allow you to partake in their meetings. Not being at the college, you are not eligible to be an officer in the clubs but you are open to participate in them if the club allows you to! There are two hindrances that make this slightly difficult though… The first is that most clubs meet in the evenings when ES students have their classes. The second is that even after you become a degree candidate at the ES, you are not given access to the dorms and their dining halls. But wait!! All hope is not lost. I am a member of multiple Harvard College clubs. I don’t have swipe access but guess what. I don’t need it! Make friends at the college!! Tag along with friends to these meetings. If you aren’t going to socialize and make friends/network, then you aren’t making the most of Harvard anyway so make friends!!</p>

<p>Can you attend Harvard College classes?</p>

<p>Well, this question becomes a bit tricky. Technically the only way to do this is via the Special Student program but let me share the fruits of my research with everyone. Many College Professors will let you attend their lectures in the morning. One such example is CS50, taught by David J. Malan. CS50 is AMAZING btw. Take the class!! There are other classes too. You just have to ask the professors! It is ultimately up to them.</p>


<p>Well housing in Cambridge is super expensive. I commute to the campus. It sucks but I make do. I am on campus almost every single day of the week (clubs and events on the weekends).</p>

<p>Online vs. Local?</p>

<p>I would definitely say try try try and try AGAIN to live close to campus. Try to be on campus every day. Subscribe to every email list that even slightly piques your interest. Network, make friends, join clubs. This is all if you are of a “traditional” student age. There are events almost every single day on campus. Attend these! Club meetings, the Harvard Libraries (Widener is fabulous!), etc etc. Just be on campus people!!</p>

<p>Are the ES Harvard ID cards any different from the Havard College ID cards?</p>

<p>Nope! There is only a small distinction between the two that most people probably wouldn’t even notice. I guess the no dorm access can count as a difference too but I plan on talking to the admin to see if this can be changed (wish me luck)!</p>

<p>Can I transfer from the ES to the College?</p>

<p>Nope. :)</p>

<p>How much better is Harvard ES compared to community colleges?</p>

<p>Remember, you always want to compare apples to apples. There is really no comparison. The ES has online classes? Big deal! The ES has open admissions? Big deal!! Look at who you are being taught by, where you are being taught, whom you are being taught alongside, and what you are being taught.</p>

<p>Do you get financial aid at the ES?</p>

<p>Yes but only once you are a degree candidate! Check out the ES website!</p>

<p>Harvard ID perks?</p>

<p>You get all of them (access to museums, discounts etc etc). Again, the only difference between College and ES id’s is dorm access.</p>

<p>Ultimately, the entirely experience is in your hands. You have to take the initiative to go out and make the most of your ES career. Make friends at the college, make friends with the managers, accountants, PhD’s, and others that share your class. Make friends with the faculty. Be on campus. Attend on campus events. Use the libraries. Do everything that a traditional student would do, while also taking advantage of the things that students at the College do not have access to. The ES is an AMAZING school. I don’t care what anyone says about it. I have a 14 year old in one of my classes. Isn’t that amazing? Being given the opportunity to study at Harvard at 14, if you are capable of studying at College level. I have a friend who came to the ES straight out of high school. He graduated last year and started a business before he left school. 7 months in, the company is making HUGE money, working with Fortune 500 organizations, all because of the contacts he gained from the Extension School. Don’t let the people who have no idea what traditional students have to gain from the ES, talk you out of it. Don’t read stuff that makes you feel inferior about being at the ES! You are a part of Harvard University. You will be a part of the Alumni Association when you graduate. Harvard accepts you as their own, the people of the other schools accept you as one of them. You ARE at Harvard. Don’t come for the ability to put Harvard on your resume though. Come to make something of your experience at Harvard. Make a future for yourself. Supplement your time at the ES by using your free mornings with work. Internships/entry level professional jobs. Keep yourself busy and make the most of your time at college!!</p>

<p>If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!!</p>

<p>(Sorry this got so long… I was tired of reading the stuff people had to say about the school, most of which was based off of outdated information or just plain lies).</p>

<p>Btw, yes I joined just to write that post. First post haha</p>

<p>Thank you Broken Glasses for that wonderful post. </p>

<p>I’d like to add one additional item. At any college, a student will spend about 50% of their time in class, or in the library reading, writing papers or studying for exams. The other 50% of their time, they are on their own to do as they please. Often times, what distinguishes one college from another – and the experience student’s have – is the housing situation. I, for example, attended Boston University and lived in a 9 X 11 cinderblock cubicle in high-rise dorm with 3,000 other freshman. It was awful. BU’s dorm life was so bad that most students, my self included, moved off-campus for sophomore through senior years. My daughter, on the other hand, lives in one of Harvard’s Residential Houses and is having a vastly different experience than I did – one that cannot be duplicated by enrolling in Harvard’s Extension School (or by attending BU). As William Fitzsimmons has said “Harvard alumni/ae often report that the education they received from fellow classmates was a critically important component of their college experience.” The education that takes place between roommates, and in residential houses and dining halls is one reason Harvard is Harvard.</p>

<p>I certainly learned as much in the Lowell House dining hall as I did in classes.</p>

<p>But I often wonder, would I still be able to say that if I had done more of my homework? Sorry, Mom & Dad.</p>


This is not always true (and may be frequently untrue, but I’m not in a position to assert that). Compare the first semester single-variable calculus courses offered by the Extension School and Harvard College/FAS.
<a href=“http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~etowne/Spring%202012%20Schedule.pdf[/url]”>http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~etowne/Spring%202012%20Schedule.pdf</a>
<a href=“http://www.math.harvard.edu/~knill/teaching/math1a_2012/handouts/00-syllabus.pdf[/url]”>http://www.math.harvard.edu/~knill/teaching/math1a_2012/handouts/00-syllabus.pdf</a>
Math 1a introduced the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus on March 9th; E-15A did not cover it until April 19th. Math 1a covered far more material.</p>

<p>Also, E-15A is taught by someone whose highest degree is an AB and is not affiliated with the Harvard math dept:
[Introduction</a> to the Calculus A | Harvard Extension School](<a href=“http://www.extension.harvard.edu/courses/introduction-calculus]Introduction”>http://www.extension.harvard.edu/courses/introduction-calculus)</p>

<p>Furthermore, the mechanics and E&M courses at the Extension School aren’t calculus-based:
[Physics</a> Courses](<a href=“http://www.extension.harvard.edu/courses/subject/physics]Physics”>http://www.extension.harvard.edu/courses/subject/physics)
Even the lowest level course offered by the Harvard physics dept (which does not count for a physics concentration) uses some calculus:
[Physics</a> | FAS Registrar’s Office](<a href=“http://www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/courses-exams/courses-instruction/physics]Physics”>http://www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/courses-exams/courses-instruction/physics)</p>

<p>I must agree with what Gibby has said (further added to by Sikorsky). The dorm-ing experience varies between schools but Harvard’s seems to be one of the better ones out there.
Using the dining halls for academic and club purposes seems common and that is something that Extension students may have trouble dealing with. As I mentioned in my first message though (I think I said it…), when it comes to clubs, you can usually find your way in via a friend at the college. I’ve never found the need to but if I really wanted to sit down with some friends to study in one of the dining halls, I am sure they would let me in. So yes, there are some trade-offs to being at the Extension school but not being at the College, I’d try my best to make good of the situation I am in. The Extension school is still a very good option for those not fortunate enough to get into the college.</p>

<p>As I did point out in my first post, College students do not have access to the wealth of industry knowledge that is there to be attained from the more experienced classmates that you’ll find sharing your classes at the Extension School. I try to reap the benefits of both, as I believe all ES students should attempt to.</p>

<p>One more bit of advice. Apply to the College. If you believe you are a strong candidate, apply! If you don’t apply (like I foolishly didn’t) you’ll never be considered. Sure the 6% acceptance rate is daunting but if you don’t try, that 6% falls to 0%. Truth be told, I don’t feel like a lesser member of Harvard, being at the Extension School, but given the option, I would have chosen the College. :)</p>

<p>I am in pain at the moment. I spent about half an hour typing an elabroate reply to searchingforinfo and I discovered that CollegeConfidential had timed out my login.</p>

<p>I lost what I typed… Yes… I am in a lot of pain… I will not be investing another half in hour in replying but just to summarize (in bullet form):</p>

<p>~ searchingforinfo caught me being lazy with my original post (written at 4AM… I thought I’d get away with it :stuck_out_tongue: But what I said wasn’t completely wrong either…). Searchingforinfo right for the most part
~ Intro to calc is split into two parts at the ES, whereas it is just one at the College
~ There are differences between the courses but there are many of the same
~ You get a Bachelor of Art/Science at the College while you get a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in science, social science, or humanities along with an optional field of study (which is pretty much a major) and an optional minor so naturally, you will have a ifference in some of the courses
~ Professors will let you know on the first day of class if the same class is being taught at the College (usually). They seem to like to do that.</p>

<p>I’ll try to find it in me to retype a lot of the important stuff I wrote, later. I’m just hurting from my loss right now… Can’t find it in me to type anymore… :(</p>


No, single-variable calculus is a year-long course at the College - Math 1a and 1b.</p>

<p>I want to attend HES but I am so scared that i will get rejected even if I do well in the prerequisite classes. I am currently enrolled at a CC and I did so horrible my first two semesters. My current GPA is comical, but I have earned A’s in my last 8 courses. Does HES calculate your GPA from other colleges when you apply to the ALB program? I wonder if they would give some generic reason if they reject me. Can someone please give me some advice? I would hate to sit a year out of college to complete their prerequisites only to be told I can not enroll into the program. I feel that if I am accepted it would be a GREAT opportunity and perfect fit for me. I am getting older and I need to do something with my life. If I know for sure they won’t frown their noses at my current transcripts i would gladly roll the dice and push forward. I would rather go out trying than not try at all. Thanks in advance</p>

<p>My bad. Regardless, classes at the Extension School do have a different course outline and the Extension school does shy away from the use of calculus in general. Again, resulting in a different degree than that at the College.</p>

<p>Many courses are different from the College and I was incorrect with saying that they were not. They can be quite similar and they are occasionally the same.</p>

<p>Lillydee, the threat of rejection is a part of the reality of HES. You are never quite sure. In regards to admission, your GPA at Harvard will not be effected by past classes you have taken. At the same time, any class that you did not get above a ‘C’ in, you will not receive transfer credit for. So you might get admission into the program but all of your credits may not transfer over.</p>

<p>What I did to solve this “how will I do” problem is, I took one course while still at my other colleges. It was a course that I could transfer over to my program if things did not work out at HES. Thing did and I ended up at HES.</p>

<p>Again, you can never be sure but what should matter to you is how much time you will be losing (if any) based on HES rejecting to transfer in some of your already taken classes.</p>

<p>If you have more questions, feel free to ask! :)</p>

<p>(How do you quote messages? I see the quote message check box but it never actually does quote the message… Weird…)</p>

<p>@BrokenGasses wrote:
There are differences between the courses but there are many of the same
~ You get a Bachelor of Art/Science at the College while you get a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in science, social science, or humanities along with an optional field of study (which is pretty much a major) and an optional minor so naturally, you will have a ifference in some of the courses</p>

<p>Actually, this is not entirely accurate. HES specifically offers Masters and Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, not a degree in Liberal Arts in science, social science or humanities.
<a href=“http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-certificates/undergraduate-degrees/graduation”>http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-certificates/undergraduate-degrees/graduation</a></p>

<p>Harvard is kind of a stickler on asserting that “Extension” is there somewhere on your resume, either by saying that your ALB/ALM is in Extension Studies, or that you specify “Harvard Extension School” instead of “Harvard University”</p>