We appreciate our students' understanding and willingness to adapt to remote learning for their spring and summer courses. The decision to switch to online classes—with some limited exceptions for clinicals—and plan for a phased reopening align with our goal to reduce the number of interactions on campus, slow the rate of transmission, and protect our community. Each School will make a decision about the fall semester based on its unique considerations. We understand there are personal, logistical, and financial challenges to these extraordinary measures. University leadership and your Schools are here to support you.
The Learn Remotely website, created by the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) and Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT), contains best practices, tools, and support for learning online.
The resources and information on this page can also help you adjust to remote learning and inform you of the latest University guidance and policies for student workers, dining and housing, financial matters, health and wellbeing, and more.
Remote Class and Coursework Support
We understand the challenges of adjusting to online classes, imperfect remote learning environments, and maintaining meaningful engagement. Learn about best practices, available tools, and how to get help.
The Learn Remotely website can help you:
- Review tips to get started, including setting a schedule and advocating for yourself.
- Understand what's different about online classes and what's the same to maximize your learning.
Also see the Academic Resource Center’s detailed advice and help for learning remotely.
In addition to the specific resources listed below, there are many ways in which Harvard Library can help you learn remotely.
- Find your required and recommended course materials.
- Schedule a research consultation or appointment with a library liaison to get personalized guidance.
- Ask a librarian: get immediate help during live chat hours or submit a question during off-hours and they'll get back to you.
- Search Harvard Library's digital collections.
- Access Harvard Library subscriptions from anywhere on the web.
- Find options for accessing the internet remotely, including free and reduced-rate plans, and review network troubleshooting tips.
- Learn how to use Zoom, a web conferencing tool that integrates with Canvas, including how to sign up for your Harvard Zoom account, increasing Zoom privacy, and reviewing Zoom troubleshooting tips.
- Check HUIT's service status dashboard to see if there are any outages reported and sign up for alerts.
- For support with these technologies or to learn what other tools are available, contact the HUIT Service Desk, your School's local academic support staff, or your School's local IT services.
The Harvard International Office (HIO) received U.S. government guidance that they intend to be flexible with temporary adaptations to classes. Provided you continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations, your legal immigration status should not be affected. Contact your HIO advisor with any questions or concerns.
Dining and Housing
We recognize there are difficult and extenuating circumstances for students who cannot leave campus or do not have another place to go. Harvard will provide you the help you need to stay safe and secure and to continue with your academic work.
If you remain on campus, your instruction will also be remote. Students must work with their Schools to make appropriate on-campus accommodations, which may include relocating to a different room or unit to ensure a one-to-one bedroom to bathroom ratio for residence halls. Current Harvard University Housing (HUH) residents should contact the HUH leasing team at email@example.com with questions.
Select Harvard University Dining Services' (HUDS) and School-specific dining halls and cafes will be open for students who remain on campus. Beginning March 17 and effective until further notice, however, students can only take food to go. This policy is in accordance with social distancing protocols and local legislation announced by Governor Baker and the Department of Public Health. Note that hours will be reduced and access will be limited to individuals with an approved dining plan or School-specific Harvard ID
- HUDS undergraduate dining hall hours and openings/closings
- HUDS retail cafe hours and openings/closing
- Check School-specific cafe websites for more information.
We understand the importance of maintaining a sense of community and social connections during these difficult times, even if conducted remotely. Students who remain on campus must continue practicing universal social distancing measures. In-person activities and social interactions will be severely limited in order to protect the entire community of students and staff who remain on campus.
- We strongly discourage any in-person non-essential meetings or events of 10 people or more.
- Many in-person events and activities have been cancelled or moved online, if possible.
- Check with your School for details on remote programming and activities.
We know there are financial hardships due to the transition to remote learning. Just as we seek to protect the most vulnerable populations from coronavirus, we seek to protect those most financially vulnerable from these extraordinary shifts to online learning.
- Our goal is to ensure that instruction continues throughout the spring semester. In that case, as long as instruction continues, tuition will not be refunded.
- Room and board costs will be pro-rated for the remainder of the academic year 2019-20 for all students leaving campus and completely vacating their housing.
- For HUH residents who wish to terminate their current lease or housing contract, rent will be pro-rated if you vacate the apartment and leave campus.
- Activity and student fees will be reviewed on a school-by-school basis.
If you find that you need additional emergency financial assistance, contact your School's financial aid office.
We are always open to discussing changes in student circumstances and needs they may have. Consistent with prior years, you should contact your local financial aid office to discuss any material changes to your individual or family financial status given the emerging economic changes.
If you can continue to perform your job in a remote setting, you will continue to be paid without changes or interruptions. Talk with your supervisor about the tasks that you can continue to do safely from a distance, and be clear about how to report your time.
If you held a position that you are unable to continue in a remote setting, we encourage you to visit the Harvard College Student Employment Office website and review other opportunities for the remainder of the term. Consult with the Student Employment Office about how to apply for and be hired into a new job.
As indicated in the Harvard College Dean of Students Office Coronavirus FAQs, all undergraduate students who had a term-time work expectation as part of their financial aid packages for this semester will have one half of that expectation removed from their financial aid packages. For example, a spring term-time work expectation of $1,750 will be reduced to $875 and the corresponding amount replaced with additional Harvard scholarship. Undergraduate students will see this as an increase of Harvard scholarship aid on their student account.
The University continues to evaluate the shifting administrative landscape during the coronavirus pandemic. Graduate student work, as part of that landscape, is an essential driver of the University’s mission. Where possible, the University expectation is that the work that graduate students are compensated for should continue. If work assignments are not possible to complete using online or distance learning technologies, supervisors are encouraged to find other opportunities for graduate student workers to complete their work commitments, including shifting jobs and job descriptions to alternate assignments in order to fulfill their employment obligations. If this is not possible, graduate student workers who are unable to work due to the pandemic will still be compensated to the end of work expectation within the spring 2020 semester.
Health and Wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of our students is of utmost priority. We recognize the abrupt transition to remote learning has been difficult and that universal social distancing measures have drastically altered our social lives. Visit the Health and Wellbeing page for information on preventative measures, resources on managing stress, anxiety, and fear; and more.
Although we are all practicing universal social distancing, we can still laugh, play, learn, and grow closer outside of class and work. Explore the many free virtual events and resources on our Socialize Remotely page—including arts and culture, exercise and games, movies and music, and mindfulness and spirituality.
School- and Department-Specific Resources
In addition to the University-wide advice and resources above, see the following School and Department student-specific FAQs for more information: