Across Harvard's Schools, Summer Programs Face Cancellations, Move Online


Many Harvard schools have cancelled or adapted their regular summer programming due to the uncertainties and risks presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On April 13, Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana announced the College’s 2020 summer programming will be held entirely online. A number of pre-approved courses, however, can be taken online for credit. Offices and College-sponsored programs that provide summer funding for students have also amended their funding rules.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Public Health, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, and Harvard Graduate School for Education have also either cancelled or moved their regular summer programming online.

GSAS will conduct its summer outreach programs remotely, according to spokesperson Ann Hall. The school also cancelled its annual professional communication program for international students planned for August.


The Business School has cancelled the in-person version of its Summer Venture in Management Program and Peak Weekend for college-age prospective students. According to a statement posted to the school’s admissions blog, the programs are designed to help students learn more about the Business School, and the decision to cancel was not “made lightly.”

“Our faculty, staff, and students love hosting SVMP and Peek and enjoy meeting the prospective students through the programs," the announcement reads. “We know that this is disappointing news for many, and we are sad too.”

Instead of their usual in-person events, the programs will host virtual programming for participants in mid-June. There is no cost to participate.

The Law School, meanwhile, will not run its annual executive education program, a summer initiative focused on leadership development for lawyers and legal organizations, per Law School Spokesperson Jeff A. Neal.

At the School of Public Health, Dean for Academic Affairs Jane J. Kim, Executive Dean for Administration Katherine A. Hope, and Dean for Education Erin Driver-Linn announced in an email that summer educational programming will be delivered remotely.

“We still have many details to figure out about how we will transition our summer programs online,” they wrote. “The intensive efforts to transition to remote learning this spring underscored that the experience of learning remotely is not the same as in-person.”

The email noted, however, that the decision to cancel summer programming should not be taken to reflect any plans for the School of Public Health’s fall semester.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies cancelled its summer fellowship program and moved to virtual programming “for the foreseeable future,” according to Radcliffe spokesperson Jane F. Huber.

The nearby Graduate School of Education, though, is still assessing how to deliver their summer programing, according to spokesperson Bari E. Walsh, who wrote in an emailed statement that planning is unfolding on a “case-by-case basis.”

“Across the school, we are consistently and carefully evaluating the best way to deliver our programming, with student, faculty, and staff safety as our primary consideration at this time,” Walsh wrote in a statement.

—Staff writer Michelle G. Kurilla can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MichelleKurilla.

—Staff writer Ruoqi Zhang can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RuoqiZhang3.