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 undergraduate 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 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.
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 in 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 percent 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.
General Admission Office|
86 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: (617) 495-8821
Contact: William Fitzsimmons
86 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Total undergrads: 2,142
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 562
Degree-seeking undergrads: 6,024
Graduate enrollment: 9,789
Professional Students: 10,200
Tuition & Fees
|Estimated Annual Expenses||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|Tuition and fees||$34,998||$36,173||$37,012||$38,415||+3.79%|
|Books and Supplies||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||0.00%|
|Living Arrangement – On Campus|
|Room and Board||$10,622||$11,042||$11,856||$12,308||+3.81%|
|Living Arrangement – Off Campus|
|Room and Board||$0||$0||$0||$0||0.00%|
|Total Expenses||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|In-state On Campus||$48,550||$50,250||$52,000||$53,950||+3.75%|
|In-state Off Campus||$35,998||$37,173||$38,012||$39,415||+3.69%|
|In-state with Family||$35,998||$37,173||$38,012||$39,415||+3.69%|
|Average Graduate Student Tuition & Fees|
|Tuition for In-state Students||$34,976|
|In-state Student Fees||$1,166|
|Tuition for Out-of-state Students||$34,976|
|Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students|
|Type of Aid||Students||Percent||Amount||Average Per Student|
|All students financial aid 1||1,345||81%|
|Grant or scholarship aid||1,105||66%||$37,674,051||$34,094|
|• Federal grants||398||24%||$1,890,492||$4,750|
|• Pell grants||212||13%||$740,732||$3,494|
|• Other federal grants||352||21%||$1,149,760||$3,266|
|State/local government grant or scholarships||72||4%||$178,597||$2,481|
|Institutional grants or scholarships||1,038||62%||$35,604,962||$34,302|
|Student loan aid||164||10%||$763,575||$4,656|
|• Federal student loans||45||3%||$188,510||$4,189|
|• Other student loans||134||8%||$575,065||$4,292|
All Degrees and Programs
|Total of All Education Programs||1811||3844||1387||6||257|
|Architecture and Related Services||–||232||10||–||–|
|City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning||–||60||1||–||–|
|Area, Gender, Cultural, Ethnic, and Group Studies||42||65||26||–||–|
|Area Studies, Other||–||10||–||–||–|
|East Asian Studies||18||33||6||–||–|
|Near and Middle Eastern Studies||6||18||15||–||–|
|Ural-Altaic and Central Asian Studies||–||1||3||–||–|
|Biology and Biomedical Sciences||214||60||121||–||–|
|Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||22||–||–||–||–|
|Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other||–||27||–||–||–|
|Biology and Biological Sciences, General||3||–||–||–||–|
|Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology||62||2||13||–||–|
|Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology||–||–||13||–||–|
|Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology||–||1||10||–||–|
|Neurobiology and Anatomy||55||1||16||–||–|
|Systematic Biology/Biological Systematics||–||2||2||–||–|
|Business, Administration, Management, Marketing, etc.||–||915||13||–||21|
|Business Administration and Management||–||–||–||–||21|
|Organizational Behavior Studies||–||–||1||–||–|
|Communication and Journalism Programs||–||–||–||–||7|
|Communication and Media Studies, Other||–||–||–||–||7|
|Computing and Information Sciences||40||15||10||–||11|
|Computer and Information Sciences||–||–||–||–||11|
|Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other||–||–||1||–||–|
|Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education||–||–||–||–||1|
|English Language, Composition and Literature/Letters||96||10||10||–||–|
|English Language and Literature||85||10||10||–||–|
|English Language and Literature/Letters, Other||11||–||–||–||–|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||53||23||22||–||–|
|Celtic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||–||3||1||–||–|
|Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||14||–||2||–||–|
|German Language and Literature||4||4||2||–||–|
|Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||9||5||6||–||–|
|Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||1||–||2||–||–|
|Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||1||2||2||–||–|
|Health Services and Allied Health Sciences||–||438||268||–||43|
|Advanced General Dentistry||–||13||–||–||15|
|Advanced/Graduate Dentistry and Oral Sciences, Other||–||–||7||–||–|
|Oral Biology and Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology||–||–||1||–||–|
|Public Health, Other||–||157||70||–||–|
|American History (United States)||–||3||3||–||–|
|History and Philosophy of Science and Technology||36||–||8||–||–|
|Public Policy Analysis||–||210||7||–||–|
|Legal and Law Studies||–||–||600||–||161|
|Advanced Legal Research/Studies||–||–||11||–||161|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities||138||523||–||6||–|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other||127||523||–||6||–|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies||11||–||–||–||–|
|Mathematics and Statistics||96||40||16||–||–|
|Natural Resources and Conservation||14||–||–||–||7|
|Natural Resources Management and Policy||–||–||–||–||7|
|Geology and Earth Science||11||10||9||–||–|
|Political Science and Government||140||18||19||–||–|
|Theology and Religious Vocations||–||150||5||–||–|
|Theology and Religious Vocations, Other||–||–||5||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||78||11||25||–||–|
|Art History, Criticism and Conservation||18||–||–||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||42||–||–||–||–|
College has an application fee: Yes
Regular application fee: $30
Online application fee: $30
Percent applicants admitted: 42%
Secondary school GPA: Recommended
Secondary school rank: Recommended
Secondary school record: Required
Completion of college-prep program: Recommended
Admission test scores (SAT/ACT): Required
Undergraduate Admissions Fall 2011
Test Scores: Fall 2011|
SAT Critical Reading
Undergraduate Attendance Status||
Undergraduate Student Gender|
Undergraduate Student Age||
Undergraduate Student Residence|
Graduate Attendance Status
Retention and Graduation Rates
Retention Rates for First-Time Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees||
Overall Graduation and Transfer-Out Rates for Students|
Graduation Rates for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
6-Year Graduation Rate by Gender for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
6-Year Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
Arts, Visual & Performing|
Fine/Studio Arts B
Music – General B
Music – General Performance B
Music ministry B
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Business, Management, & Marketing
Communications & Journalism
Computer & Information Sciences
English Language & Literature
Health Professions & Clinical Sciences
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Theological Studies & Religious Vocations
Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:|
A = Associate degree
B = Bachelor’s degree
C = Certificate or diploma
Program Acceptance Rates
English (PhD) – 2%|
Clinical Psychology (PhD) – 2%
Medical School (MD) – 4.7%
Kennedy School (PhD) – 4.7%
Psychology (PhD, General)- 5%
Sociology (PhD) – 5%
Linguistics (PhD) – 5%
Philosophy (PhD) – 5%
Economics (PhD) – 5.7%
Business School (DBA, PhD) – 6.5%
College (AB, SB) – 7.1%
History (PhD) – 7.5%
Public Health (DSc) – 8%
Education School (EdD) – 8.9%
Political Science (PhD) – 9.2%
Divinity School (ThD) – 9.5%
Statistics (PhD) – 10%
Law School (JD) – 13%
Physics (PhD) – 13%
Business School (MBA) – 13.5%|
Near Eastern Studies (PhD) – 15%
East Asian Studies (PhD) – 15%
Statistics (AM) – 25%
Divinity School (MDiv, MTS) – 27%
Kennedy School (MPP/MPA, etc.) – 35%
Kennedy School (MCMPA) – 50%
Education School (EdM) – 55%
East Asian Studies (AM) – 60%
Law School (SJD) – N/A (chosen from LLM)
Architecture (MArch) – N/A
Architecture (DDes) – N/A
Computer Science (PhD) – N/A
Russian Literature (PhD) – N/A
Biology (PhD) – N/A
Chemistry (PhD) – N/A
Mathematics (PhD) – N/A
Dental School (DMD) – N/A
*We do 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.