School officials said some students may have plagiarized; sharing answers was also suspected.
The possible cheating was detected in about half of submitted take-home final exams. Harvard did not name the class or the students. The exam was for undergraduates. The number of students being investigated was not revealed. The class had a minimum of 250 students.
A teaching assistant noticed some possible problems on the tests, including evidence that students collaborated on answers or used the same long, identical strings of words. The exam had clear instructions that no collaboration was allowed.
The assistant notified the professor, who referred the case in May to the administrative board. After interviewing some students, the board found what Harris characterized as "cause for concern."
Each accused student will appear before a subcommittee of the Harvard College Administrative Board, which reviews issues of academic integrity.
If guilty, students face a range of punishments including an admonition all the way to forced withdrawal from the university for a year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.