The first online business program from Harvard Business School was launched five years ago. The school’s Credential of Readiness (CORE) trio of online business fundamentals courses, which debuted in the fall of 2014, were restricted to rising juniors and seniors, as well as recent college graduates, in Massachusetts, until June.
Harvard Business School now offers a dozen different online courses and programs, building on its initial foray into the online learning environment. More than 22,000 students, including nearly a third of the most recent entering class of Harvard MBAs, have enrolled in CORE, which continues to be its most popular program. The cost of the program, which includes Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting, has increased from $1,500 to $2,250 or, if a student wants to take the course for credit, to $3,680. Students can enroll in CORe over either a ten-week period, requiring a time commitment of roughly 15 hours per week, or a less demanding 17-week period, requiring roughly 8 hours per week.
One reason to enroll in a Harvard Business School Online course is that it is reasonably priced. The cheapest option, Sustainable Business Strategy, costs just over $1,000 and is finished in just three weeks. Most of the courses are available for about $1,600. Another is that they are all instructed by full-time, tenured, and endowed Harvard Business School professors who have previously taught in the core MBA program. Third, enrolling in a course and passing it will give you the opportunity to add the most valuable brand name in business education to your resume.
In addition, applying to these programs is simple compared to the difficult admissions process for Harvard’s highly competitive MBA program. And the acceptance rates are very high, particularly compared to the 11% admit rate for HBS%E2%80%99 full-time MBA
When it comes to enrolling in a course at HES, the acceptance rate is 100%, seeing as anyone with the desire to learn can register for courses.
What Is Harvard Extension School?
The university’s division of continuing education includes Harvard Extension School, one of the university’s 12 degree-granting institutions. It provides certificates, premedical training, undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Current students range in age from 18 to 89. The average age of an Extension School undergraduate is 32, and 91% of students work full time Evening classes are offered both online and on the Cambridge campus.
Harvard Extension School traces its origins to 1910. Harvard was a pioneer in continuing and distance education, in spite of its reputation as a school steeped in tradition. In the 1950s, extension courses were broadcast on television as well as radio in the late 1940s.
Taking advantage of new online technologies, the Extension School expanded considerably in the 1980s and 90s and is now one of the universitys largest schools, enrolling 850 undergraduates and 3,063 graduate students in fall 2021 and serving more than 15,000 students each year.
Not that this makes Harvard unique by any means. Penn, Columbia, and Brown of the Ivy League also offer similar continuing education programs, while Yale provides the Eli Whitney track for nontraditional undergraduates.
With more than 15,000 students it serves each year, Harvard Extension School, one of the university’s largest schools, underwent significant growth in the 1980s and 1990s.
Harvard is one of these institutions that offers bachelor’s degrees, while others only offer graduate degrees and professional certificates.
Harvard makes a clear effort to validate the Extension School on its website. The statement reads, “We are Harvard — extended to the world for all types of adult learners.” “We are a fully accredited Harvard school. Our diplomas and certificates bear the insignia of Harvard University. They carry the weight of that lineage. “.
Students who enroll in the extension program receive a Harvard ID card, a Harvard email address, access to the university’s libraries, and access to its labs. They have access to academic and career services. They attend sporting events and participate in community service activities.
Additionally, they participate in Harvard’s commencement exercises and, following graduation, join the Harvard Alumni Association to receive all of its advantages.
How Harvard Extension School Differs From Harvard College
The issue is how Harvard Extension School operates in comparison to the rest of the university, which is the cause of the issue.
Less Competitive Admission Requirements
Harvard College, the undergraduate school at Harvard University, can be difficult to get into, to say the least, much like Harvards graduate and professional schools. For this falls first-year class, Harvard received more than 61,000 applications and accepted only 1,954, or 3.19%.
Admission to the undergraduate Extension program is … less stringent. Anyone can sign up for a course at any time. However, to be accepted into the degree program, you must complete three courses, including one in academic writing and another in critical reading, and receive at least a B in each one.
Anybody can enroll in a Harvard Extension course for undergraduates at any time. However, in order to enroll in the degree program, you must complete three courses with a minimum grade of B in each.
That’s all; SAT and ACT scores as well as high school transcripts are not taken into account. No essays or teacher recommendations. Three Bs and youre in. Think youre Harvard material? Prove it.
A 2016 Harvard Gazette article noted that 32% of those seeking entry into the undergraduate degree program earned sufficient grades for admission. While that might seem like a competitive acceptance rate, its more a reflection of attrition than selectivity.
It actually represents the proportion of students who completed three courses and obtained the necessary number of Bs to be admitted. So, in theory, the acceptance rate of those who accomplish this task is 100%
Many Faculty Don’t Hold Harvard Appointments
The humanities, sciences, and social sciences are the three areas in which students must focus, and Harvard Extension offers a wide range of courses in each of these fields. There are some fields at Harvard that are only available through the Extension School, like journalism.
Thats partly why not all Extension courses are taught by faculty holding a Harvard appointment. Almost half of Extension instructors teach at nearby institutions or are industry professionals offering real-world experience. The bachelors program mandates that students take only 52 credits of the 128 required with Harvard professors.
“This means that while you do get to carry the Harvard brand, the coursework is not as rigorous,” noted one observer.
The Extension experience falls somewhat short if the notion that a “Harvard education” entails only receiving instruction from Harvard faculty is to be believed.
It is debatable whether or not courses taught by professors from Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University are equally difficult or worthwhile as those taught by Harvard faculty.
The situation at the Extension School is not that unusual because many institutions offer courses taught by adjunct faculty and professors from other colleges. However, the Extension experience falls short if the notion that a “Harvard education” entails only receiving instruction from Harvard faculty is to be believed.
“If you are looking for a real Harvard experience,” an Extension graduate suggests, “take as many classes on campus with real Harvard instructors as you can.”
That experience can include up to two courses at Harvard College, learning alongside traditional undergraduates.
A Peculiar Degree Designation
Students who complete the baccalaureate program earn a bachelor of liberal arts in extension studies. Harvard stipulates that resumes must show the degree as “Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Harvard University Extension School” or “Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Extension Studies, Harvard University.”
Only recently did Harvard suggest graduates could list their field of study as well. Presumably, one does not major in “extension studies.”
Harvard makes this distinction to signal the difference between a bachelors degree from Harvard Extension and one from Harvard College. Evidently, some Extension graduates exclude “extension” from their resumes to try to suggest their bachelors degree is from the college. Thats tantamount to fraud in the minds of many employers.
The degree must be listed on resumes as a “Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Harvard University Extension School” or “Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Extension Studies, Harvard University,” according to Harvard.
“Keep this important point in mind as when you present your resume to a potential employer listing Harvard University,” recommended one writer, “as your alma mater will be easily understood by employers who have actual Harvard University graduates there.”
However, students who are enrolled in Extension have asked the university to strike “extension studies” from their diplomas.
“When the name of a degree does not state the subject in which a student has specialized, it diminishes the academic work that the student successfully completed while at Harvard,” opined a Harvard Crimson editorial.
Other Differences Between Harvard Extension and Harvard College
Students at the Harvard Extension School can anticipate the following variations from the university:
- Harvard requires Extension School degree candidates to have obtained their high school diploma or equivalent five years prior to enrolling due to its emphasis on adult learners.
- About 70% of Extension School courses are offered online, but students must take at least four courses on campus, with weekend, January, and summer options Thus, if you don’t currently reside in the Boston area, you’ll need to make plans to visit it eventually in order to complete your degree.
- The Extension program is a relative bargain. Harvard claimed that peer institutions charged $2,738 per undergraduate course in 2020–21, but it only charged $1,880 (typically 4 credits). You can transfer up to 64 credits from other schools. According to Harvard, the total price of an undergraduate Extension degree ranges from $30,000 to $60,000. In contrast, Harvard College’s annual tuition is about $50,000.
- There is financial assistance for degree candidates, including institutional aid. However, non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid, which has led some to assert that the Extension School is nothing less than a “cash cow” for the university.
Perceptions Vary on Harvard Extension School’s Quality
So is Harvard Extension School truly Harvard? Opinions vary.
A few years ago, a Boston.com article referred to a particular Extension School student with questionable judgment as a “Harvard student,” which drew criticism from readers who called the term “misleading and sensationalist.”
The article stated that “The Extension School = not the real Harvard” was the general consensus. “.
“While it is associated with the Harvard brand,” wrote one critic, “the coursework is designed primarily for people who are more casual in their pursuit of a formal education. This gives a certain number of regular Harvard privileges to enrolled students, but you are definitely not a regular Harvard student.”
A current Harvard Extension School student confirmed this belief. “Ive had a sense that I dont really belong at Harvard sometimes,” he said in a YouTube video, “and Im sure there are lots of other students at the Extension School who would feel the same way.”
Harvard Extension School may provide access to quality, but prestige is a different story. Prestige is a nebulous concept that is closely related to exclusivity, which is not the mission of the Extension Schools.
Yet another student held a different opinion. “This is Harvards best-kept secret,” he said. “As a kid on the steps of Widener Library, I dreamed of going in one day. And when that day finally came … I knew I finally belonged. Harvard is possible.”
The Extension School may provide access to quality, but prestige is a different story. Prestige is a nebulous concept that is closely related to exclusivity, which is not the mission of the Extension Schools.
“Just about anybody who has the money to spare can buy entry into the Extension School,” noted a Harvard alum, “but the undergrad and grad schools at Harvard are highly selective, which is entirely the point of an Ivy League name.”
On a podcast, Huntington Lambert offered his own unique summation. Lambert was dean of the Extension School until 2019, and his mother attended Extension classes when he was a child.
Most people who know our students and alumni are aware that they took courses that were equally challenging as those at Harvard, according to Lambert. They simply lack the time or resources to take advantage of a full-time residential experience. Thus, although the degree is not equivalent to those from Harvard College, Harvard Law School, or Harvard Business School, it is still from Harvard. “.
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How ANYONE can get a Harvard Education for FREE | Online Certificates for International Students
Are Harvard online courses accredited?
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accreditor, has granted Harvard’s online program accreditation. Students can enroll in a degree or certificate program or take individual Harvard online courses.
Is Harvard online the same as Harvard?
In the same way that a degree from the Harvard Divinity School is a Harvard degree, Harvard Extension School is a fully accredited Harvard institution. Your degree will say Harvard Extension School on it.
Is Harvard online certificate worth it?
If you want to obtain a respectable certificate from a renowned Ivy League university, then Harvard’s online courses are indeed worthwhile. Numerous courses in data science, computer science, education, and business are available at Harvard University, and obtaining an additional certification is beneficial for your career.
Is Harvard Online Still Harvard?
Therefore, it begs the question of whether you can obtain a Harvard degree online. Right now, the response is that you cannot earn a degree solely through online study. However, you might be able to earn a degree by combining in-person and online educational opportunities.