Harvard University Online Degree and Campus Programs

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School Overview

At 350 years old, Harvard University is not only one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States, it is also one of the most renowned and respected. Its graduates are considered to be well-educated and highly regarded in political, business and social circles alike. Since its establishment in 1636, Harvard has maintained a tradition of rigorous and superb academia. Graduates from Harvard University are sought after by business, political, legal, non-profit and government groups in the United States, and throughout the world. An education from Harvard University will provide you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed, and a degree that will open doors.

Even though Harvard isn’t the largest university, it employs some of the most qualified and renowned professors in the world to instruct its courses and mentor its students. Both undergraduate and graduate admissions at Harvard are highly competitive. Each year Harvard enrolls about half as many undergraduates as graduate students. If you want to attend Harvard you need to have excellent grades, perform well on all aptitude tests, be involved in extracurricular activities and have demonstrated leadership capability.

At the undergraduate level, Harvard University offers bachelor’s degrees in just about every field. Harvard offers graduate degree programs in law, business, education, medicine, design, dental, architecture, biology and several other areas. Harvard is also known for its ongoing dedication to scholarly and practical research. It currently has hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to research projects through grants and privately sponsored funds and has over 100 research centers worldwide. At Harvard University, faculty, fellows, graduate students, and even undergraduate students have the opportunity to be involved in research at some level.

harvard online degree

Harvard has many outstanding academic programs that are revered worldwide, but it is best known for its business and law schools. Most major indices and ranking organizations consistently place Harvard business and law programs in the top 10 nationwide, as well as the world.

In addition to academic excellence, Harvard has a lot to offer its students. At Harvard students are able to participate in intramural athletic events, sports teams, theatre, student body leadership and a vast array of other extracurricular, social, and political activities.

Many would-be students like to dream about attending Harvard but don’t apply because they’re a little intimidated. Don’t be intimidated, and don’t get discouraged. Learn more about attending Harvard and apply today.

Harvard University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).


Harvard University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers 46 undergraduate majors, over 130 graduate degrees (master’s and PhD) and 32 professional degrees.

Undergraduate students are required to complete a core curriculum in eight general education categories: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding, Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning, Culture and Belief, Ethical Reasoning, Science of Living Systems, Societies of the World, Science of the Physical Universe, and United States in the World. Harvard offers courses in each category that students can choose from.

While Harvard offers a reputable undergraduate program, the majority of its students are enrolled in one of Harvard’s 132 graduate programs. You can review a complete list of graduate degrees offered in the “All Majors and Programs” table toward the middle of this page. In addition to master’s degrees, Harvard offers an extensive selection of PhD programs in several subject areas including Architecture, Ethnic Studies, Biology, Business, Computer Science, Engineering, English, Foreign Languages, Health Services, Medicine, History, Human Services, Liberal Arts, Mathematics and Statistics, Physical Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences and Performing Arts.

All of the university’s programs begin and end according to a traditional semester calendar with courses starting in September and ending in May. Students have the option of pursuing a basic academic track or an honors-eligible track that enables them to graduate with honors. The honors programs requires advanced course work and that students prepare a senior thesis.

Top degrees at Harvard are awarded at three different levels. Students who graduate in the top 4 to 5% of their class are awarded degrees summa cum laude. The next 15% are awarded degrees magna cum laude. The next 30% will graduate cum laude. Students can also receive awards from one of several academic honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa as well as from various departments.

Online Degrees and Courses Through Harvard Extension

Through its Harvard Extension School, Harvard University offers students, as well as the public, the opportunity to earn a certificate or take courses online. While most non-degree courses do not require admission to Harvard University, in order to take courses that count toward a degree, individuals must first be accepted to Harvard University. Harvard currently offers over 200 online courses covering 60 fields of study. Courses that qualify for degree credit are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many of Harvard’s 600 campus-based courses have components that can be completed online, however, most degree programs still require physical classroom attendance and participation.


According to the 2011 Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings and U.S. News & World Report rankings of best universities, Harvard is ranked second in the world, surpassed only by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Between 2004 and 2009 Harvard was ranked first internationally. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of best universities in the world, Harvard is tied for second place with Stanford University. In individual subject areas Harvard is ranked number one in life and agricultural sciences, mathematics, pharmacy, clinical medicine, physics, economics, business, and social sciences, and second in chemistry (Academic Ranking of World Universities in Natural Sciences and Mathematics – 2010″). However, it is ranked 42nd in computer sciences and engineering/technology.

According to the Architectural Record, between 2006 and 2013, Harvard University had the No1. ranked graduate architecture school in the nation (with exception of 2011 when it was surpassed by Columbia University). Harvard offers one of the top Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) programs of any graduate school in the nation. The Master of Architecture program is a NAAB-accredited professional degree designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than design or architecture. It is a comprehensive and rigorous program that can prepare students for various career opportunities as practicing architects. Upon graduation, students should be ready to complete a mandatory internship at a practicing firm for state licensing exam preparation.

Library System

With 80 stand-alone libraries and over 15 million individual volumes, Harvard is unquestionably the largest academic library system in the United States and one of the largest public libraries in the world. The center of Harvard Library is located at Widener Library in Harvard Yard.

Among its 80 individual libraries, Lamont Library, Widener Library and Cabot Science Library are the most popular among undergraduate students due to their central locations and accessibility. Harvard library system is also home to thousands of rare manuscripts, materials, written collections and books, most of which are found in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, the Harvard University and the Houghton Library. Other libraries, such as the Pusey Library, contain the oldest collection of American maps, atlases and gazetteers. Harvard-Yenching Library, one of Harvard’s larger individual libraries, is well-known for holding the largest collection of East-Asian literary works and language materials (outside of East Asia).


Over the last decade the student population at Harvard has fluctuated between 17,000 and 21,000 – including undergraduate students (6,600), graduate students (3,700) and students in professional programs (10,700). The overall population is just about evenly split between men and women.

Admissions for first-year freshmen is competitive. The Harvard admissions process is characterized by “more selective, lower transfer-in”, a characterization provided by the Harvard Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching on August 28, 2010. Of the 27,000 applications that were submitted to Harvard in 2013, about 2100 were admitted. 95% of all first-year students admitted to Harvard are in the top 10% of their high school graduating class and their average SAT score is typically between 2080 and 2370. In 2013, Harvard admitted nearly 270 National Merit Scholars, more than any other university in the United States. Almost 90% of Harvard graduates will complete their bachelor’s degree within 4 years and the remainder will finish within 6 years.

In 2014, Harvard only accepted about 6% of freshman applicants, the lowest percentage in the school’s history. This, in anticipation of increased application rates due to more favorable financial aid policies that the university has implemented in the recent past. In an attempt to not discriminate against lower-income and under-represented minority applicants, Harvard ended its early admissions program in 2007. Historically, the university’s admissions staff has provided preferential treatment to the children of alumni, however, this policy has become the subject of much debate in recent years as opponents claim it unfairly aids wealthy whites.


While the athletic rivalry between Harvard and Yale is almost always intense, nothing compares to the tension and atmosphere surrounding their annual football match-up, which takes place each fall. “The Game”, as it is called by everyone familiar with the event, dates back over a hundred years to 1875. While Harvard’s football team is no longer ranked among the top college teams in the nation, it once was. Harvard was instrumental in shaping the future of college football during the early part of the 19th century. With construction of the reinforced, concrete Harvard Stadium in 1903, Harvard was the first university in the United States to build a permanent football stadium. The Harvard Stadium played a pivotal role in the evolution of the game and spawned a new era of college football. In an effort to decrease football-related injuries and fatalities, it was suggested that football fields should be widened to allow for greater playing surface but since the Harvard Stadium could not accommodate a wider field the suggestion was rejected. In response, several of the game’s rules were changed to make the sport safer. The most significant rule change was the legalization of the forward pass in 1906.

In addition to the Harvard Stadium, the university has several superb athletic facilities including the popular Lavietes Pavilion, where the Harvard basketball team practices and a variety of sporting events are held. Another noteworthy facility, the Malkin Athletic Center, locally referred to as “MAC”, is the university’s primary recreation center and home to several varsity sports. The “MAC” is a spacious five story building that includes an Olympic-size pool, several cardio rooms, a smaller swimming pool for various water activities, a cycling room, weight room, several basketball courts and a mezzanine where athletic and sports classes are held year round. The MAC center is also the permanent home to Harvard’s fencing, wrestling and volleyball teams.

Two athletic facilities, Newell Boathouse and Weld Boathouse, are dedicated to the men’s and women’s rowing teams, respectfully. In addition to the Newell Boathouse, the men’s rowing team also makes use of the Red Top complex for their training camp in preparation for their annual rowing competition with Yale University known as the Harvard-Yale Regatta. Long before football, the Harvard-Yale Regatta, held each year on the Thames River was the original source of rivalry between these two ivy league schools.

Other college athletic facilities include the Bright Hockey Center, which hosts the Harvard hockey team and the Murr Center which is used by both the squash and tennis teams.

Harvard University Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (617) 495-1000
Website: www.harvard.edu
Type of School: 4-year, Private non-profit
Apply Online: college.harvard.edu/admissions/application-process/application-requirements
Address: Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138
Setting: City: Midsize
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 31,655
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 96%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
Distance Learning Programs: Yes
Distance Learning Students*: 25,840 (82% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Associates, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $51,925
Out-of-state Tuition: $51,925
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 73%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $55,455

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Harvard University Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at Harvard University.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Architecture and Related Services 53
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 1177
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 81722
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 183
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 1
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 131
Education 31136
Engineering 1452
Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related Fields 1
English Language and Literature/Letters 121
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 11
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 281310
Health Professions and Related Programs 121179
History 434
Legal Professions and Studies 21
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 1221
Mathematics and Statistics 343
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 373
Natural Resources and Conservation 211
Philosophy and Religious Studies 322
Physical Sciences 896
Psychology 344
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 44
Social Sciences 786
Theology and Religious Vocations 121
Visual and Performing Arts 1683
Grand total 21296148102

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at Harvard University and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $51,925
Out-of-state $51,925
Books and supplies $1,000

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $49,214
Out-of-state $49,214

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 1,202 73%
Grant or scholarship aid 949 57% $55,455
Student loan aid 109 7% $5,770

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 4,363 44% $49,372
Federal student loans 156 2% $5,978

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for Harvard University. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled Harvard University students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 43,330 21,730 21,600
Percent admitted 100% 5% 5%
Percent admitted who enrolled 4% 4% 4%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

Harvard University Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 31,655
Undergraduate enrollment 10,063
Graduate enrollment 21,592

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Harvard University Accreditation

This institution is accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education

Specialized institution accreditations:

  • American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
    • Law (LAW) - Professional schools
  • American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation
    • Predoctoral
    • Post Doctoral - Advanced dental education programs (advanced education in general dentistry and general practice residency)
    • Dental Public Health
    • Endodontics
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology- (OMP)
    • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
    • Periodontics
    • Prosthodontics (including maxillofacial prosthetics and combined prosthodontics/maxillofacial prosthetics)
    • Oral Medicine
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
    • Clinical Psychology (CLPSY) - PhD Doctoral programs
    • Professional Psychology (IPSY) - Predoctoral internship programs
    • Professional Psychology (IPSY) - Predoctoral internship programs
    • Professional Psychology (IPSY) - Predoctoral internship programs
  • Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
    • Theology (THEOL) - Freestanding schools, as well as programs affiliated with larger institutions, offering graduate professional education for ministry and graduate study of theology
  • Council on Education for Public Health
    • Public Health (PHG) - Graduate level school of public health
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
    • Medicine (MED) - Programs leading to the M.D. degree

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. CollegeAtlas.org does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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