Sophomores, juniors, and seniors wishing to enroll in courses given by other faculties of the University or by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (including the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology), can do so only by filing a petition for cross-registration. However, students may not enroll for degree credit in Harvard Extension School courses, Radcliffe Seminars, or in courses not given by one of the Faculties of Harvard University and MIT. Freshmen may petition the Freshman Dean’s Office to cross-register for one course under the terms above. 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 his or her concentration; see Study at Other Boston-Area Institutions. The Harvard Business School does not ordinarily allow undergraduates to cross-register in its courses. Students are also reminded that courses taken by cross-registration should NOT be listed on the study card. Instead, the cross-registration placeholder should be included on the study card in order to confirm intent to enroll in the course. A separate petition should be submitted (see “Filing a cross-registration petition” below). In order to cross-register, a student’s immediately previous academic record ordinarily must be satisfactory. Exceptions must be approved by the Allston Burr Resident Dean or the Freshman Dean’s Office (see Harvard Summer School for information on registration in the Harvard Summer School).

Before cross-registering, students are advised to consult the other faculties’ course catalogs in order to be certain that the course or courses in which they are interested are given for regular half-course degree credit (not for less), are not jointly offered with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and do not cover subjects available in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. If there is any doubt, consult the FAS Registrar.

Filing a cross-registration petition

Cross-registration petitions can be obtained from the Allston Burr Resident Dean, the Freshman Dean’s Office or the Registrar’s Office. The signatures of the instructor and the Registrar of the other school are required before the petition is returned to the Allston Burr Resident Dean or the Freshman Dean’s Office signature and approval. If the course is to count for concentration, the Head Tutor or Director of Undergraduate Studies of the student’s field of concentration must also sign the petition. Cross-registration petitions lacking the appropriate signatures or filled out incompletely will not be accepted. Students are officially enrolled in cross-registered courses after the completed petition is submitted to and accepted by the FAS Registrar. Freshmen and first-semester sophomores who have not declared a concentration but who have enrolled in a cross-registered course can petition for concentration credit by the seventh Monday of the term following the declaration of the concentration.


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 timetime (see Extension 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 Allston Burr Resident Dean or the Freshman Dean’s Office, 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.


When cross-registration courses taken by undergraduates are evaluated in terms not equivalent to grades used by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the 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. Questions about the grading options in a cross-registered course should be directed to the Registrar of the Faculty offering the course.

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 but will not be counted toward the letter-graded course 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.


ROTC courses may be taken only on a non-credit basis and only by cross-registration at MIT. Freshmen may also cross-register in ROTC courses. Specific naval seminar courses can be taken by cross-registration and count toward the undergraduate degree.

Current federal policy of excluding known lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from admission to ROTC or of discharging them from service is inconsistent with Harvard’s values as stated in its policy on discrimination. (See Harvard’s policy on discrimination.) Although the University respects the right of undergraduates to choose to participate in ROTC, the University does not provide any financial or other direct support for the ROTC program at MIT. Students should be aware that one or more of the military services may impose limitations on the freedom of speech of cadets and that there may be certain academic requirements for eligibility for ROTC scholarship aid. Students should also be aware that the military may require the repayment of scholarship funds if their sexual orientation results in their discharge from ROTC.