Winter Session Policy


In general, full-time MPH students are expected to participate in Winter Session activities that will enhance their academic experience. All MPH students must adhere to the MPH program’s Winter Session guidelines; departmental guidelines cannot be substituted.

Possible Winter Session Activities

Because the nature of these experiences is broad, these are some of the activities that would be considered appropriate:

  • Courses on campus (these may be for-credit or non-credit courses at the Harvard Chan School, other Harvard Graduate Schools, or MIT)
  • Independent study course (for-credit)
  • Harvard Chan international or domestic field trip course (for-credit)
  • Practicum-related activities (for MPH-45 students only)
  • Non-credit independent research/international field study/domestic field study (Note: Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval may be needed; verify with advisor)
  • Site visits relevant to career opportunities
  • Volunteer work

General Guidelines

  1. Full-time MPH students will be required to submit a form describing the nature of their Winter Session activities.
  2. Any Winter Session courses taken for credit will count towards the student’s spring semester credit totals.
  3. Part-time MPH students are not required to participate in Winter Session activities.
  4. Summer-only MPH students are permitted to enroll in Winter Session courses at the Harvard Chan School.
  5. Students who will be traveling abroad should register their trip with Harvard Global Support Services. Registration is required for all students traveling on trips funded or arranged by Harvard University, for students traveling as part of their required practicum, and strongly recommended for everyone. To register your travel itinerary, visit