Advanced Standing

Full information concerning Advanced Standing is available in a publication, Advanced Standing at Harvard College. Questions about the program should be addressed to the Allston Burr Resident Dean or the Advising Programs Office (617-496-6354).

Advanced Placement
Freshmen who believe that they have completed in secondary school the equivalent of an introductory college-level Advanced Placement course and who have taken a College Board Advanced Placement Examination in the appropriate subject and received a qualifying score in that examination should consult the department concerned if they wish to receive advanced placement for their work. The qualifying scores and policies set by each Harvard department for its field may also be found in Advanced Standing at Harvard College. Harvard does not administer its own Advanced Placement examinations except in seven fields where there are no College Board Advanced Placement Examinations: Chinese, Ancient Greek, Hebrew (Modern), Japanese, Korean, Music (Harmony), and Russian. These tests are given only during Opening Days.

Advanced Standing
New students, excepting all those admitted as transfer students from other colleges, will be eligible for Advanced Standing if they have completed four or more college-level Advanced Placement courses and have received advanced placement at Harvard in those courses by receiving qualifying scores on the College Board Advanced Placement examinations. (Some examinations are granted only one half-course credit toward Advanced Standing. Consult Advanced Standing at Harvard College for details.)

Advanced Standing is designed for students who wish to accelerate their study and for those ready to undertake specialized work early. An eligible student who wishes to use Advanced Standing to graduate after only six or seven terms in the College or, if accepted, remain a fourth year to pursue one of several specific Master’s degree programs, must activate Advanced Standing by the advertised deadline for degree applications during the third term before the student intends to complete the undergraduate requirements (consult Advanced Standing at Harvard College, and the Academic Calendar for details).

Advanced Standing-eligible students who are considering pursuing the AB/AM degree program may, with the permission of the Administrative Board, “bracket” certain courses in their second, third, or fourth year. “Bracketed” courses are not counted toward the bachelor’s degree and the GPA calculations or honors recommendations, but count toward the master’s degree. (“Bracketed” courses are so called because they appear in brackets on the transcript.) The last date for “bracketing” courses is the fifth Monday of the term in which the course is being taken. Petitions to retroactively “bracket” courses may be considered by the Administrative Board from candidates admitted for the AB/AM degrees. If a student does not enroll in the AB/AM program, or does not complete the AB/AM program, any courses that he or she may have “bracketed” earlier will be automatically “unbracketed.”

For specific information on the number of letter-graded courses and the total course requirements for the degree required of Advanced Standing students, see Course Requirements for the Degree.

Foreign Credentials
Students presenting foreign credentials (e.g., British A levels, French Baccalauréat, Swiss Maturité scores) may be eligible for Advanced Standing upon evaluation of individual credentials and upon recommendation of the Committee on International Credentials. Students who have earned the International Baccalaureate diploma with scores of 7 on three Higher Level examinations may also qualify. For further information, please consult the Advising Programs Office.