FAS Course Catalog and Course Selection

FAS Course Catalog and Course Selection

While most courses listed in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Course Catalogue are available for enrollment by Special Students and for audit by Visiting Fellows, please note that some departments and instructors have set limitations on specific courses.

In order to learn which courses are not available please visit the list of Restricted Courses.

Special Students are permitted to enroll in coursework at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  Special Students do not have priority for limited-enrollment courses.  Official registration in any course is subject to the approval of the courses instructor, which is managed at the beginning of each term through the Study Card process.

As a Visiting Fellow, you are entitled to audit the courses of your choice throughout the Faculty of Arts and Sciences provided you are given approval by the course’s instructor.  If you are admitted to conduct research at Harvard, should you find that you wish to audit courses in one of the other Harvard Faculties or cooperating schools, please consult the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.  Visiting Fellows may not take courses for academic credit.

To review all courses offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, please explore the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Courses Course Catalogue which can be found online.  

Courses appearing in the Course Catalogue with an asterisk (*) require instructor approval for any student seeking registration in the course.

Coursework appearing in brackets [  ] is not being currently offered, but may be offered during a future term.

The FAS Course Catalogue is subject to multiple changes throughout the period leading up to the term to which you seek registration and enrollment.  Please refer to it frequently to ensure accuracy.

International Special Students, as dictated by the terms of their visa status, are required to be enrolled full time in at least four courses (also known as “half-courses” at Harvard) for the duration of their stay at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Cross Registration

Special Students are permitted to enroll in a limited number of courses (not more than half of one's total program per term) outside the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in other Harvard faculties or cooperating schools by following faculty-specific cross-registration procedures.  Enrollment in such courses cannot be guaranteed in advance of registration.

To learn more about the Cross-registration process at Harvard, please visit the website.

Auditing Coursework and Independent Research Projects

TIME-A (Auditing Coursework)

Special Students will be permitted to audit coursework upon securing approval of the respective course’s instructor.  The level of participation an auditor will have in the course is the determination of the course instructor and can vary widely in terms of whether or not readings and sitting for exams are required, and papers are submitted.  A grade is not received for the course.  The course name will not appear on a transcript; instead, “TIME-A” will appear.  TIME-A is counted toward the four half-course load required for international students.  TIME-A can account for no more than half of a Special Student’s coursework.  Payment of full tuition is required for TIME-A coursework.  

Auditing coursework in other faculties at Harvard varies by school according to the following:

  • Business School – Auditing Permitted
  • Design School – Auditing Not Permitted
  • Divinity School – Permitted
  • School of Education – Not Permitted
  • Kennedy School of Public Policy – Not Permitted
  • Harvard Law School – Permitted
  • Medical School – Not Permitted
  • School of Public Health – Not Permitted


TIME-C (Independent Research Project)

Special Students are permitted to register for and engage in a supervised Independent Research Project in lieu of a half-course.  A grade is not received for the course.  The course name will not appear on a transcript; instead, “TIME-C” will appear.  This project must be completed under the auspices of a faculty member whose approval must be sought and secured prior to registering for “TIME-C.”  TIME-C is counted toward the four half-course load required for international students.  TIME-C can account for no more than half of a Special Student’s coursework.  Payment of full tuition is required for TIME-C coursework.