Student Records and Privacy

What's on this page?

Who is this for?

Everyone

About your student record

All students have access to their own education records. You may contribute to your student record if you feel there is need for clarification. To be useful, your student record must be accurate and complete.

The officials who maintain your student record are in charge of the functions reflected in the records and the offices where the records are kept. In FAS these officials include:

  • FAS Registrar's Office
  • Officers of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard College, and Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

Update your personal information

The my.harvard student information system contains directory information for each student such as your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Emergency contact
  • Missing person contact

You can update this information at any time via my.harvard via the Personal Information tab. We highly recommend reviewing your personal information every 3 months. 

Learn how to update your personal information


Access your student record

 

In-person requests: Due to COVID-19, we will not accept in-person student record requests until further notice.

If you would like to view your student record (education records), complete the appropriate step below based on your school or alumni status. You must indicate which records you would like to view in order for your form to be processed.

Harvard College students

  1. Complete the Undergraduate Student Record Request form
  2. Send your completed form to fileviewing@fas.harvard.edu from your Harvard-issued (@college.harvard.edu) email address
  3. Once we receive your request, we will gather the appropriate records and give you access within 45 days of receiving your request

GSAS students

For access to your GSAS student record, please contact GSAS Student Affairs at studaff@fas.harvard.edu

Alumni

  1. Complete the Alumni Student Record Request form
  2. Send your completed form to fileviewing@fas.harvard.edu from an email address on file with Harvard Alumni Affairs
  3. Once we receive your request, we will gather the appropriate records and give you access within 45 days of receiving your request

Guidelines for viewing your student record

  • When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to them.
  • You are not permitted to view letters and statements of recommendation to which you waived your right of access, or that were placed in your file before January 1, 1975. 

You should direct any questions you have about the accuracy of your education records to the person in charge of the office that maintains the records. If you still have questions, please contact Cassie Redfield, Associate Registrar for Operations, at credfield@fas.harvard.edu. If you are unable to resolve issues through informal communications, you may need to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of records during a hearing. 

Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA) is a federal law that gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. 

Education Records

We routinely maintain records that describe and document your work and progress as a student in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Your education records generally include information such as:

  • Permanent and local addresses
  • Admissions records
  • Enrollment status
  • Course grades
  • Reports and evaluations
  • Completion of requirements and progress toward the degree
  • Records of disciplinary actions
  • Letters of recommendation

Directory Information

Directory information is information that under FERPA can be made available to the general public.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Directory Information

All FAS students have the following directory information in their record:

  • Full name
  • Reported date of birth
  • Dates of attendance
  • Concentration
  • Class year
  • Digitized image (please note that while Harvard classifies photos and images as directory information, these are rarely released to parties outside the University without your permission)
  • Local or campus residence address and telephone number
  • University email address
  • Secondary school (for College students)
  • Undergraduate college (for GSAS students)
  • Hometown or city at the time you applied for admission
  • Original class at time of matriculation
  • Degree candidate status
  • Date of graduation (actual or expected)
  • Degree(s) received with field of concentration and level of honors granted (if any)
  • Department of study
  • University prizes, fellowships, and similar honors awarded
  • In certain cases, your and your parents' or guardians' home addresses and telephone numbers

Harvard College students may have additional directory information in their record including:

  • House affiliation
  • Height and weight (members of athletic teams only)

Student employees, in certain circumstances, may have additional directory information in their record including:

  • Job title
  • Teaching appointment (if applicable)
  • Employing department and dates of employment

Harvard University Directory Information

Please note that Harvard University's definition of directory information may include additional components and that University-level directory information requests may therefore include additional pieces of information. 

FERPA blocks

You may prevent FAS from disclosing your directory information—this is called a FERPA block. If you would like to enable a FERPA block, you must inform the FAS Registrar's Office, ordinarily in person (view business hours).

Possible consequences of enabling a FERPA block include:

  • Missed mailings, messages, and announcements
  • Not being able to verify your enrollment or degree status
  • Not being included in the Harvard Commencement program

If you have previously chosen to enable a FERPA block, you can reverse your decision by emailing the Registrar's Office at registrar@fas.harvard.edu

Other disclosures permitted under FERPA

In addition to permitting the disclosure of directory information, FERPA allows FAS to disclose education records without your knowledge or consent under certain circumstances. For example, disclosure is permitted to Harvard officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records. This means that the person needs your information in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities including: including instructional, supervisory, advisory, administrative, academic or research, staff support or other duties.

Harvard officials include: 

  • Faculty
  • Administrators
  • Clerical employees
  • Professional employees
  • Harvard University Health Services staff members
  • Harvard University Police Department officers
  • Agents of the University, such as independent contractors or vendors performing functions on behalf of FAS or the University
  • Members of Harvard's governing boards
  • Students serving on an official FAS, College, GSAS or University committee, or assisting other Harvard officials in performing their tasks

Your education record also may be shared with parties outside the University under certain conditions, including, for example, in situations involving a health and safety emergency. Additionally, the FAS Registrar's Office will forward your education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested your records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to your enrollment or a transfer to another institution. 

If either Harvard College or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences finds that you have committed a disciplinary violation involving a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, then FAS also may, if legally permitted and appropriate in the judgment of Harvard College or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, disclose certain information about the disciplinary case.

The disclosure may include:

  • Your name
  • Violation committed
  • Sanction imposed

Student rights under FERPA 

Under both Harvard policy and FERPA, as a student or former student you may inspect and review certain components of your education records maintained by Harvard. You may:

  • Exercise limited control over other people's access to your education records
  • Seek to correct your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of your FERPA rights
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if you believe Harvard has not complied with the requirements of FERPA
  • Be fully informed of your rights under FERPA

Complaints regarding alleged violation of rights of students under FERPA may be submitted in writing within 180 days to the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5920. 

Related Forms

All student record forms

Need Assistance?

Student Data and Privacy Support

Email: registrar@fas.harvard.edu

  • with student record or FERPA questions

Email: fileviewing@fas.harvard.edu