Program Requirements

Classes are held three days a week for a minimum of nine hours of instruction per week. Please note that certain courses, like Classical Arabic or Christian Latin, require additional, mandatory weekly meeting sessions with the teaching fellow. Other classes will offer additional times with the teaching fellows on a voluntary basis. Regular attendance of all class meetings is expected.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the SLP as a means of preparing to meet language requirements without the pressures of other simultaneous coursework. It should be noted, however, that many students have found the amount of work required by SLP to prohibit full-time employment during the summer, and working full-time while taking the SLP is not recommended. Good judgment is advised.

Absence Policy

The Summer Language Program at the Harvard Divinity School is an intensive eight-week language program that covers the instructional material of two academic regular-year semesters. Therefore, each day of instruction in the SLP corresponds to a whole week of the regular-year instruction. We also want to be mindful for those students who take the SLP for credit that the spirit of the language requirement needs to be honored and not “shortened” by many absences from classes.

Due to the accelerated nature of the Summer Language Program, it is of paramount importance that students are present (and on time) for each day of instruction. Students are expected not to plan extended travel or other activities that would prevent them from attending class on a regular basis. More than two or three days of absence during the SLP may endanger the success of the student in the program. If an absence is absolutely unavoidable, students are expected to always communicate with the professor for their language course, preferably before the absence will occur.

If your summer plans require multiple, pre-planned absences during the Summer Language Program, it will be necessary to postpone your participation to the regular academic year, or to the following summer.

SLP and Field Education

Due to the demands of each program, students are not permitted to enroll in field education during the same summer they enroll in the SLP. Additionally, students are not permitted to audit a class in the SLP while registered for field education. (See the HDS Handbook for Students.)