Special Students & Visiting Fellows

Special Students

Students who wish to take graduate level courses in a non-degree capacity are invited to apply to Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) for Special Student status. Special Students are not degree candidates. Credit for a limited number of acceptable half-courses may be transferred into a degree program if the student is later admitted to graduate study, pending approval.

Special Student status ordinarily is limited to a maximum of two terms, with extension possible only by reapplication.

Visiting Fellows

Scholars intending to do research who hold a doctorate, or have equivalent professional experience, or are advanced doctoral candidates who have completed all required coursework, may apply for Visiting Fellow status within Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Although Visiting Fellows are sometimes invited by departments or research centers to participate in seminars or other organized activities, they are expected for the most part to pursue their research independently.

Visiting Fellows are normally admitted under the auspices of an academic department within Harvard Griffin GSAS.

Visiting Fellows are registered as full-time research students in the Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and have access to most university facilities. They are also eligible to apply for membership in the Harvard Faculty Club.

To Apply

Those wishing to apply for non-degree status as a Special Student or Visiting Fellows status should click here for information and how to apply. 

Restricted Courses

Some courses are not available to Special Students, including research courses.  These include all 300-level courses in the School of Engineering, as well as 299r courses. Courses may require instructor approval before you can register. A complete list of restricted courses can be found here.