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Planning Your Degree

Course, General Education, and Elective Requirements

The undergraduate degree is designed with flexibility in mind: you set your own academic goals, and we will help you plan coursework to meet them—while also ensuring you receive a broad liberal arts education. 

While your plan of study will be individualized, both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees require courses in your concentration, a distribution of electives, and a selection of courses from our Program in General Education.

What you need to graduate

All A.B. or S.B. degrees require 32 half-courses, which is a semester-long course. Your degree will include extensive work in your chosen field of study, as well as general education and elective courses. See all graduation requirements.

Broad Engagement and Intellectual Exploration

The Program in General Education lies at the heart of the intellectually transformative mission of Harvard College and seeks to prepare students for meaningful lives of civic and ethical engagement in an ever changing world. This program is currently transitioning from one that includes eight courses distributed across the curriculum to one that requires four courses selected from a set created especially for the program. Starting in Fall 2018, students will also be required to take three departmental courses distributed across the three main divisions of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Arts and Humanities, Social Science, and Science and Engineering and Applied Sciences.  

Earn your degree faster

If you qualify for Advanced Standing upon admission to Harvard, you may choose to graduate in three years, or earn your A.B./A.M. in four years. Find out if you are eligible for Advanced Standing.

Credits from another institution

If you are transferring from another college or university, we will evaluate your work and grant Harvard credit on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about transfer credits.