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Student Handbook

Student Handbook: Preface

This handbook contains policies and procedures of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Students should become familiar with the material pertaining to their degree program, and together with their advisers, make certain that their chosen program of study complies with all policies.

Although we have attempted to include most of the regulations governing graduate academic programs, some programs have additional requirements and regulations of their own. Students also should become familiar with the academic policies relative to their individual program.

At times, a mid-year review of academic, financial, and other considerations may lead to changes in the policies, rules, and regulations applicable to students; the Harvard Graduate School of Education therefore reserves the right to make changes to the Student Handbook at any time. These changes may affect such matters as tuition and other fees, courses, degrees, and programs offered (including the modification or possible elimination of degrees and programs), degree and other academic requirements, academic policies, rules pertaining to student conduct and discipline, fields or areas of concentration, and other rules and regulations applicable to students. 

Delivery of Educational Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The public health crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented social and economic disruption worldwide, in the United States, and in the Boston/Cambridge area. Anticipating that continued in-person, on-campus instruction would increase the risk of infections in our community, the university acted promptly in March 2020 to “de-densify” its campus and transition to online instruction. Harvard reached this decision after careful (but time-pressed) deliberation, drawing on insights and expertise from public health experts worldwide — including on the Harvard faculty. 

In the academic year 2020-21 and beyond, we are planning for several contingency scenarios that would protect the health and safety of our community, preserve our ability to adapt to evolving circumstances, and ensure the continuity of our teaching and research mission. HGSE continues to retain the discretion to apply its considered judgment to the question of how best to pursue its educational programs during the COVID-19 crisis, which may include, among other things, making recourse to online instruction and instituting compulsory testing and tracing programs as required conditions for accessing the Harvard campus or Harvard facilities.

It is every student’s responsibility to be aware of, and to comply with all regulations, policies, procedures, and deadlines.

2020–2021 Edition
Updated August 2020