The elective coursework component of your degree gives you total freedom to explore Harvard’s course offerings. 

In your first three terms, one thing you should think about doing is exploring different concentrations through elective courses, for instance, Freshman Seminars

As you progress in your studies, you may discover that your elective interests are leaning strongly in a particular direction.  If so, you may decide to pursue a Secondary Field or a Language Citation.

On the other hand, you may prefer to simply follow your interests where they lead you.  (Interests you are not able to pursue in existing classes, you may be able to pursue through Independent Study.)

There is no preferred way to structure your elective choices.  Graduate and professional schools and future employers are not expecting you to pursue secondary fields or language citations.  They are expecting you to show evidence that the curricular choices you made in college were ones that deeply engaged you.  You are equally encouraged to study seek depth or breadth or even complete randomness in your elective choices.  Your best chance of exceling in college is to choose courses – and courses of study – that most excite you.

Freshman Seminars

Freshman seminars are small hands-on classes that offer superb shared learning experiences to first-year students only. Read more...

Secondary Fields

Secondary Fields offer students the optional opportunity of pursuing a structured course of study – in addition to the concentration – of another (closely related, distantly related, or completely unrelated) field.  Read more...

Independent Study

Independent Study is a way for students to pursue (for credit) field research, academic study not available in regular course work, or practice or performance in the arts.  Read more...

Language Citation

The are many benefits – intellectual, social, personal, even professional – in pursuing language study beyond the introductory level.  College affords a rare opportunity to truly master another language. Students who pursue advanced study of a foreign language may be eligible to earn a foreign language citation on their transcript.  Read more…