Joining Our Community

If you’re a retired or semi-retired individual who lives in the Greater Boston area, we welcome your application.

The most important criteria for admission are:

  • Intellectual curiosity

  • A breadth of interests (career, volunteer experiences, avocations)

  • The capacity to participate actively and collegially in our community

A previous connection to Harvard University is not necessary.

To apply, simply complete our online application form.

The application period for  Fall 2020 is now closed.  Applications filed now will be considered for Spring 2021, with application reviews beginning in mid-September, 2020.

Admission season

Application deadline

Notification of decision

 Spring 2021 start

 October 25, 2020

 End of November 2020

 Fall 2020 start   Was April 12, 2020  End of May 2020

Program Perks and Privileges

For a fee of $500 per semester, program participants enjoy the following:

Academic Privileges

  • Enrollment in up to three courses each semester

  • Priority access to January intersession courses, taught by external faculty,  for a nominal tuition fee

  • Eligibility to apply for an HILR scholarship for one Extension school course per academic term

Activities and Events

  • Admission to HILR events and lectures around Harvard University  

  • Access to extracurricular activities

Discounts and University Access Privileges

  • A Harvard University Libraries special borrower’s card for $5 a year

  • Free admission to the Harvard Art Museums

  • Eligibility to ride the Harvard shuttle buses

  • Discounted parking rate at Harvard’s Everett Street garage

Our Location

Our community gathers for courses and activities at our historic building at 34 Concord Avenue in Cambridge, Mass.

Situated amid a beautifully landscaped quad, the renovated building houses 10 classrooms, a computer room, a lunchroom and café, the Dunlop Library, a colloquium room with a grand piano, and common spaces for informal meeting and collaboration.

Requirements for New Program Participants

Before you apply, we ask that you consider if it’s the right time in your life to make the commitment. Once accepted into the program, you are expected to enroll the following semester.

  • In the first semester, you must enroll in classes for the full 12 weeks.

  • In the second semester, you must enroll for at least a half semester (exceptions are made for medical issues or family emergencies).

  • In the first three years, you may take up to a one-semester leave of absence. But to retain your place in the program, the full annual fee is due even when taking a nonmedical leave of absence. 

If you have questions, please contact us at +1-617-495-4072 or