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Harvard Extension School vs Harvard: Difference?

I've been looking into both the Harvard Extension School and Harvard University but I'm not sure what the differences are. How do the academic programs, degrees, and admissions processes compare between these two schools? Is one more prestigious than the other?

6 months ago

The main differences between Harvard Extension School (HES) and Harvard University lie in their admissions processes, structure, and target audience. I'll break down each of these differences for you.

1. Admissions: Harvard University, specifically Harvard College for undergraduate studies, is one of the most prestigious and selective institutions in the world, with an acceptance rate usually under 5%. Admissions is highly competitive, and students need to put together a strong application highlighting their academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities. On the other hand, Harvard Extension School has a more accessible and flexible admissions process, allowing students to enroll in courses without a formal application. To be admitted as an HES degree candidate, students typically need to complete a certain number of courses with a minimum GPA to prove their capability.

2. Academic programs and degrees: Harvard College offers a traditional undergraduate education with a wide range of majors called "concentrations." There are also graduate programs across various professional schools within Harvard University, such as law, business, and medicine. Degrees are conferred as a Bachelor of Arts (AB) or Bachelor of Science (SB) for undergraduates and appropriate graduate degrees for each school. On the other hand, HES offers a variety of degree and certificate programs designed primarily for adult and non-traditional learners. These programs include bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as many professional development certificates. The degrees granted by HES include the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) and the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in various fields of study.

3. Prestige and target audience: Harvard University is widely known for its prestige, attracting top students from across the globe. Students at Harvard College are typically recent high school graduates, while graduate schools draw in professionals seeking advanced degrees. Harvard Extension School's primary audience consists of adult learners, working professionals, and non-traditional students who are looking to advance in their careers, switch fields, or continue their education without attending a full-time program. While HES is part of Harvard, its degrees might not carry the same weight as those from Harvard College or other graduate schools within the university. However, HES courses are still taught by Harvard faculty and experienced professionals, ensuring a high-quality educational experience.

In summary, the primary differences between Harvard Extension School and Harvard University are in admissions, academic programs and degrees, and target audience. Harvard College and other Harvard graduate schools are more selective and prestigious, catering to traditional students, whereas HES offers accessible and flexible programs for non-traditional and adult learners.

6 months ago

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