Finding Courses

HDS offers a wide variety of courses designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of interests and to give students both breadth and depth of knowledge in a variety of fields, religious traditions, languages, and concepts. Lecture courses typically are an opportunity to more broadly explore, while seminars give students an in-depth look at a specific topic, idea, or concept. Students in all degree programs are strongly encouraged to venture outside their immediate areas of interest and experience. Harvard University's student information system, my.harvard, provides the definitive listing of courses at HDS and is updated regularly. To browse course listings by instructor or program requirement see Finding Courses in my.harvard (below). HDS reserves the right to withdraw or modify courses as appropriate.

Limited enrollment courses

To register for a course with limited enrollment, students must obtain the approval of the instructor during the my.harvard enrollment or cross-registration process. (See Permission Required to Enroll in my.harvard.) Instructors reserve the right to make their initial selection from among Harvard Divinity School students.

Reading and research courses

PhD, ThM, and specially qualified master of theological studies (MTS) and master of divinity (MDiv) candidates may choose to engage in independent study with a faculty member, individually or in small groups. Reading and Research courses are equivalent to a four-unit course and may be taken for a letter grade or on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. To register, students should list the course as "Reading and Research" and must obtain the faculty member's signature during the course shopping period. Only full members of the HDS Faculty may supervise a Reading and Research course. A specific title may be assigned to a reading and research course upon the student’s consultation with the faculty member.


Federal law requires Harvard to disclose certain information about the textbooks instructors have assigned for courses at Harvard Divinity School. The Harvard Coop has agreed to provide this information to students, who may access it via the my.harvard Course Search. Use the "Harvard Coop" link on each course detail page to see updated textbook information on the Coop's website.

Information on all HDS course offerings can be found in my.harvard, Harvard University's student information system.

Finding courses in my.harvard

Accessing my.harvard

If you do not have a HarvardKey login and password, go to the public Course Search using any web browser.

If you have a HarvardKey login and password:

  1. Go to the my.harvard Portal using any web browser.

  2. Click "Student, Teaching + Advising Portal"
    Student, Teaching + Advising Portal

  3. Log in with your HarvardKey login and password when prompted.

Finding courses

You can look at my.harvard courses in three ways:

Use the "Search Courses" search box.

  1. On the left side of the Search Courses search box, use the drop-down menu to change "All" to "HDS."
    Screenshot of the "Search courses" drop-down with "HDS" selected.

  2. Enter words in the search box to search for courses by topic or instructor, or * to see all courses. Then click the Search Courses button.

  3. Once the search results appear, use the filters on the left to narrow your results by semester or other criteria.
    In the my.harvard search results, expand the Term facet to filter by semester

Use the Advanced Search.

To perform a more targeted search that includes day, time, availability for cross-registration, and/or degree requirements, use the "Advanced Search" link to the right of the search box.

Advanced Search link next to search box

At the top of the Advanced Search page, use the "Find courses with" section to search by instructor, or to find courses open to students from BTI or other Harvard schools, or to choose the term or day. Be sure to choose "Divinity School" as the School to see only HDS courses.

Find Courses section of Advanced Search

Expand the "HDS-Additional Attributes" section to search for courses that satisfy Area of Focus, Art of Ministry, language, or other degree requirements.

HDS Attributes section of Advanced Search

Browse lists of courses.

Choose "Harvard Divinity School" from the Browse Courses section of the Course Search home page to see lists of all courses, courses open to BTI students, required courses, and courses by various degree requirements.

The my.harvard course search home page, with the Harvard Divinity School button selected.