Course Registration and Requirements | Harvard Extension School (2024)

Prepare for Fall 2024 Course Registration

Registration Opens July 22

Pre-registration and carts will open July 9. Check out the guidelines below to prepare.

Upcoming Webinars

Sign up for our fall webinar series to learn more about new offerings and explore programs.

Before You Register

To prepare for registration, use the following guide to create your account, learn about enrollment requirements, review deadlines, and browse the catalog. We recommend completing these steps before you plan to register.

Create Your Account

You can create or access your MyDCE account at any time.

New to DCE? Create your MyDCE student account. You’ll be prompted to create a DCEKey login credential before logging in to create your student account.

Returning? Log in to your MyDCE student portal using your DCEKey or HarvardKey.

Learn more about Student ID and Login Information.

Meet Enrollment Requirements

Many Harvard Extension courses are open enrollment, but students must fulfill certain requirements, such as placement tests, in order to register. Please review the following information to ensure you’re ready to register.

  • English Proficiency
  • Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills (CRWS)
  • Math Placement Test
  • Immunizations

Complete Pre-Registration in MyDCE

The pre-registration process is required to confirm your biographical and contact information before the start of each term. You can access pre-registration by clicking on the pre-registration link on your MyDCE dashboard. You won’t be able to register for any courses until you’ve completed this process.

Review Enrollment Policies and the Academic Calendar

Familiarize yourself with the Enrollment Policies that may affect your registration. There are age policies, enrollment limits, and prerequisites that may apply to you. Review the Academic Calendar for important dates and deadlines regarding registration.

How To Register

When registration is open and you’ve completed the steps above, use this guide for step-by-step instructions on registration in the .

Browse Courses

There are multiple ways to browse courses in the tool, depending on what type of student you are.

Students pursuing a degree or certificate must use the Degree & Certificate Search:

  • Enter your criteria in the basic search and select “Browse by Degree, Certificate, or Premedical Program.”
  • Select your program and click on the “Explore Program” button. A new panel will appear with the option to explore courses that meet the applicable requirements.
  • Select a program requirement to fulfill and use the check boxes on the right to further narrow your search by requirement.

General course takers should use the Basic and Advanced Search.

Basic search:

  • Keyword box: enter any text that may appear in your results such as; course title, subject, course number, instructor, etc. Please see Degree & Certificate Search to browse by program.
  • Term: Select the desired term (fall, January & spring, or summer)
  • Part of Term: select the desired part of term (full term, January, etc.)
  • Click “Search.” Results will appear to the right.

Advanced Search:

  • Use the advanced search to search for courses with more detailed filters such as; subject, format, participation option, etc.
  • Enter your criteria in the basic search and select “Advanced Search.”
  • Use any of the provided filters to select subject, participation option, etc.
  • Click “Search.” Results will appear to the right.

Add or Remove Courses from Your Cart

To add a course to your cart:

  • Select a course.
  • Click the “Add to Cart” button from the course details panel.
  • A pop-up will appear asking you to select the cart to which you wish to add your course. Select the desired cart and click “OK.”
    • The primary cart will be the default option. You get only one primary cart per term. Only the Primary Cart can be used for registration.
    • You also have the option to create and name additional carts. These cannot be used for registration.
  • The registration options panel will appear. Select your desired credit status, and click “Save Changes.”
  • The cart contents panel will appear. The added course will appear with a blue shopping cart icon to signal it was successfully added to your cart. You have not yet registered for this course. See “Register for Courses” below.

To remove a course from your cart:

  • Click the “Primary Cart” from the search panel.
    • You may select another cart from the drop-down menu located below the primary cart button if you have created one and proceed with the steps below.
  • The cart contents panel will appear. Select the course you want to remove from your cart.
  • The course details panel will appear. Click the “Remove From Cart” button located at the bottom of the panel.
  • If you are registered for a course in your cart, you will not see an option to remove the course from your cart. Please see “Drop/Withdraw from Courses” below.
  • A message will pop up stating that the course you selected will be removed from your cart. Click “OK” to process the request.

Choose Credit Status

Courses are offered at one or more credit levels: undergraduate, graduate, or noncredit, as noted in course descriptions. It’s important to select the status that is best for your current and future goals. For more information, please review Choosing a Credit Status.

Register for Courses

To register for a course:

  • After adding courses to your primary cart, the cart contents panel will appear. Click “Submit Schedule” at the bottom of this panel.
  • The registration panel will appear showing the courses you would like to submit for registration and any related messaging.
  • Click “Submit Registration” to confirm and finish your course enrollment.
  • After submitting your registration, the registration results panel will appear confirming whether your transaction was successful or not.

You may confirm your course registration by logging into MyDCE and clicking on “My Courses” on the left side of the page. This will display your entire registration history for the current term. Look under the “Registration Status” column to see your currently registered or waitlisted courses.

See “Make Payment” below for information on your tuition payment.

Make Course Changes

Students who wish to make changes to their course schedule must drop the course they no longer wish to take before adding a new course to avoid being charged for an additional course.

See After Registration for information on dropping a course and changing your credit status.

All course and credit-status changes and withdrawals must be made within the deadlines indicated on the calendar. Please see Course Changes and Withdrawals for applicable policy information.


Your registration may be prevented in certain situations. If you have not met the enrollment requirements or completed Pre-Registration in MyDCE your registration will not be successful. We encourage you to follow these troubleshooting tips when encountering a registration issue:

  • Review your primary cart for warning messages. Warning messages may appear at the top of your cart or next to specific courses and provide a brief description of the problem.
  • Review Enrollment Policies to make sure your course selections comply with maximum enrollment and time conflict policies. If the number of courses in your cart exceeds the maximum enrollment limit, even if you do not plan to register for all of them, your registration will fail.Please reduce your course load by removing one or more courses from your cart and try to register again.
  • Check the prerequisites listed in the course description to determine if you are eligible to enroll.
  • Be sure to select the correct term in the search panel. Check the Academic Calendar to to determine if registration or course changes are permitted.

After You Register

You’ve completed your registration, and it’s time to prepare for class. To remain enrolled, make sure to complete payment and meet the immunization requirements. Claim your HarvardKey to gain access to your course and the many resources Harvard has to offer.

Make Payment

You must pay your balance in full by the payment deadline. To make payments, log into MyDCE and select “Financial Services” to enter the Student Finance Portal.

If you do not pay your balance in full by the payment deadline, you risk being dropped from all courses and waitlists. If you are dropped for non-payment, you still remain eligible to register for courses until registration ends. However, there is no guarantee space will still be available in the courses or on the waitlists from which you were dropped.

If you register for courses after the payment deadline listed in the calendar, you must pay in full immediately. Otherwise, you risk being dropped from all courses and waitlists.

Learn more about payment and financial aid.

Claim Your HarvardKey

Your HarvardKey is your login and password for most Harvard University web applications, services, and e-resources. You will receive an email about 48 hours after registration with instructions on how to claim your HarvardKey. You will need your Harvard University ID, which can be found in your MyDCE dashboard. See Student ID and Login Information for more details.

Meet Immunization Requirements

All registered students who will have a presence on campus must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations requiring proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases. Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization requirements are strict and may differ significantly from other states and countries. These requirements do not apply to students only in online courses.

More information, including FAQs, can be found underMassachusetts and Harvard University Immunization Regulations.

Change Your Credit Status

You may change your credit status in registered courses through the credit status change deadline. If you are currently waitlisted, you must wait to change your credit status until you are moved off the waitlist. See Course Changes and Withdrawals for details on how to change your credit status.

  • Log into the DCE Course Search and Registration tool.
  • Select the desired course from your primary cart.
  • Click the “Edit Registration Options” button in the registration notes.
  • Update your desired credit status if available, and click “Save Changes.”
  • Click “Submit Schedule” then “Submit Registration” to complete your credit status change.
  • Return to your primary cart and select your course again. Your new credit status will appear in the registration notes. You may also review your course schedule in MyDCE to confirm your credit status change.

Drop/Withdraw From Courses

To drop or withdraw from a course:

  • Log into the DCE Course Search and Registration tool.
  • From the search panel, select the appropriate term and click the “Primary Cart” button.
  • The cart contents panel will appear. Select the course you want to drop or withdraw from.
  • The course details panel will appear. Click the “Drop/Withdraw” button located under the “Registration Notes” section.
  • The cart contents panel will appear, and you’ll see a red dash next to the course you want to drop. Click “Submit Schedule.”
  • The registration panel will appear. Click “Submit Registration” to finalize your drop.
  • Pay close attention to deadlines to determine if you are dropping or withdrawing from your course.
  • The registration results panel will appear confirming whether your transaction was successful or not.
  • Note: Dropped courses automatically disappear from your cart.

Review Registration Resources and Student Services

We offer tips for Limited Enrollment Courses and Waitlists and information on Course Changes and Withdrawal policies that may be relevant to you after registration

We encourage you to take advantage of the many Support and Services for our students, from library access to parking on campus. Browse our website to learn about the tools you have available as a registered Harvard Extension School student.

Access Your Course Website

Course websites at Harvard Extension School are hosted on Canvas. Canvas can be accessed directly at or by logging into MyDCE and clicking the link to Canvas from your Dashboard. To log in to your course website, you must use your HarvardKey.

Please note, course websites are not published to Canvas until close to the start of the term. You may confirm your course registration by logging into MyDCE and clicking on “My Courses” on the left side of the page. This will display your entire registration history for the current term. Look under the “Registration Status” column to see your currently registered or waitlisted courses.

Need help?

Have a question? Not sure who to contact? Our experienced and talented Enrollment Services team can help. They know the answers to most questions, or they can refer you to the perfect person. Call us at 617-495-4024 or email

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Course Registration and Requirements | Harvard Extension School (2024)
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