Study Abroad

History & Literature strongly encourages interested students to study abroad. Students considering studying abroad should first investigate possible programs at the Office of International Education (OIE), then meet with our Associate Director of Studies to talk over their plans. Students must file transfer credit applications through the OIE for study at an institution other than Harvard, and the Associate Director of Studies will sign those applications on behalf of the concentration. The deadlines for these applications are posted on the OIE's website

At the beginning of their semester abroad, students will submit information on courses they are taking through the OIE’s online system and indicate whether they are seeking concentration or elective credit for each course. History & Literature will review materials for courses proposed for concentration credit and pre-approve courses that fit the student’s interests and plan of study. Final approval will be granted with 1) the student’s submission at the semester’s end of a brief report detailing readings and assignments completed, and 2) the receipt of the student’s transcript by the OIE.

If students prefer, they may seek concentration credit for a course taken abroad after they return to campus by submitting a petition to the Committee on Instruction. Additionally, if students wish to count coursework completed abroad as part of a subfield, students should submit a subfield proposal to the Committee on Instruction after their return. In these cases, students should be sure to keep all relevant materials (syllabi, papers written, etc.) for review. Questions about obtaining concentration credit for courses taken abroad should be addressed to the Associate Director of Studies.

Students who go abroad will still be required to fulfill 56 credits, or 14 courses, in History & Literature, though up to 16 credits (4 courses) may be accepted from another university. Grades from study abroad programs are not counted in students’ grade point averages.

Students who study abroad may substitute another course for a missed sophomore, junior, or senior tutorial, but all students must complete the junior essay. Students who are abroad in the junior spring may elect to complete a new project, to extend a written assignment they completed in the fall semester, or to submit revised and expanded work from one of their abroad courses, so long as that work meets the requirements of the junior essay and is submitted by the junior essay due date in the spring. Alternately, students may submit their junior essays before they leave. Students should discuss their plans to complete their junior essays with their tutors and, as needed, with the Associate Director of Studies.