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Harvard University

86 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 2138, USA

Harvard University award
Harvard University award
US ranking
position: 4
Tuition & fees per year: $57,261
Acceptance rate: 4.00%
Median alumni salary: $86,549
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1530 SAT, 35 ACT
Entrance difficulty: Very hard

What is the history of Harvard University?

Harvard University, established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, holds the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Initially named "New College," it was founded as an undergraduate school for training clergymen, reflecting the Puritan population of Massachusetts at the time. The Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to create the school, which received the only printing press in North America in 1638. This press remained the sole source of printing until the university acquired a second one in 1659.

In 1639, the college was renamed Harvard College in honor of John Harvard, a clergyman who bequeathed half of his estate and his library, consisting of 400 books, to the institution. A statue of John Harvard can be found in Harvard Yard, a well-known landmark on campus. The first president of the college, Puritan clergyman Henry Dunster, was appointed in 1640 and for a period, he served not only as the president but also as the entire faculty.

Throughout the 18th century, Harvard University became a hub for the training of American ministers and was the first American university to award a doctorate degree in 1773. Despite facing financial difficulties and a decline in student enrollment during the American Revolution, the university recovered in the 19th century and emerged as a major center of higher education in the United States.

The governance of the college evolved over its first two centuries, gradually gaining independence from clerical and political control. In 1865, university alumni began electing members of the governing board. Under the leadership of Charles W. Eliot, who served as Harvard's president from 1869 to 1909, the university became an institution with national influence.

Significant changes took place at Harvard College in the late 19th century, including the establishment of graduate schools and the admission of women. The first women were admitted to the Harvard Annex in 1872, which later became Radcliffe College. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1894, followed by the Graduate School of Education in 1920 and the Harvard Business School in 1908.

The 20th century saw further expansion of Harvard University, with the establishment of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1936 and the Harvard Medical School in 1782. The university also played a significant role in World War II, as many of its faculty and students served in the military or contributed to the war effort in other ways.

Harvard University has educated seven U.S. presidents, numerous justices, cabinet officers, and congressional leaders, as well as literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and T.S. Eliot. The university boasts a distinguished list of alumni, including 158 Nobel laureates and 14 Turing Award winners, and its faculty has featured renowned scholars like W.E.B. Du Bois, T.S.

What are the faculties and departments at Harvard University?

Harvard University, a prestigious institution with a presence in sixteen countries, offers a wide array of faculties and departments for students to pursue their academic interests. The university's main campuses are located in the greater Boston area, and it comprises eleven schools and multiple allied institutions.

The largest division of Harvard University is the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which is responsible for both undergraduate and graduate education. This faculty encompasses four schools: Harvard College, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard Extension School. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is supported by various academic departments, centers, museums, and libraries, fostering a community of academic excellence across a diverse range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines.

In addition to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University houses several other schools and centers, such as the Harvard Business School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Law School, the Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, prospective students can choose from a multitude of departments and programs. These include Anthropology, Astronomy, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Economics, English, Environmental Science and Engineering, Folklore and Mythology, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Government, History, History of Art and Architecture, History of Science, Human Evolutionary Biology, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, Linguistics, Mathematics, Medieval Studies, Microbial Sciences Initiative, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Physics, Psychology, Romance Languages and Literatures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, South Asian Studies, Statistics, and Visual and Environmental Studies.

What is the location of Harvard University?

Harvard University is situated in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the Northeast region of the United States. The institution's address is 86 Brattle Street, with a ZIP code of 02138. Cambridge is approximately 3 miles west-northwest of downtown Boston, making it easily accessible for students. The nearest airport to the university is Logan International, which is convenient for those traveling from afar.

The main campus of Harvard University spans 209 acres and is centered around Harvard Yard, which houses administrative offices, libraries, and Memorial Church. The Yard and its surrounding areas contain the primary academic buildings of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including the college itself.

What is the mission and vision of Harvard University?

Harvard University's primary mission is to educate citizens and citizen-leaders through a liberal arts and sciences education. The institution aims to transform students both intellectually and socially by exposing them to new ideas, diverse ways of understanding, and varied living environments. Harvard College sets a high standard for residential liberal arts and sciences education, striving to create conditions that allow students to experience an unparalleled educational journey that is intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.

The faculties at Harvard University share common goals of education and research, but each contributes to developing leaders and making a positive impact on the world in its own unique way. The university's vision is to advance new ideas and promote enduring knowledge while striving for excellence and supporting its community in their work. Among the values upheld by Harvard University are affirming and defending health as a human right, respecting the dignity and worth of every individual, promoting diversity, inclusivity, and access, and championing equity.

Furthermore, Harvard University emphasizes the importance of listening to and learning from the communities it serves, collaborating thoughtfully and respectfully, upholding the highest standards of scientific, academic, and personal integrity, and working towards building a world where every human being can thrive. The institution also holds a special responsibility to champion intellectual traditions that have defined educated men and women since the dawn of civilization. This includes expanding students' humanity by teaching them to appreciate the beauty in art, society, and nature, and helping them discover what makes life truly worth living.

What is the accreditation of Harvard University?

Harvard University holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), an organization recognized by the Department of Education. This accreditation is crucial for students, as it ensures the quality of education and facilitates credit transfer and post-graduate program admissions. The university's most recent comprehensive evaluation occurred in Fall 2017, with NECHE continuing its accreditation on April 19, 2018.

In addition to regional accreditation, Harvard University also possesses specialized accreditations for specific programs, including law, medicine, public health, psychology, and dental medicine. These accreditations are granted by various agencies, further emphasizing the university's commitment to providing high-quality education across multiple disciplines.

The Office of Institutional Research and Analytics (OIRA) serves as the primary contact and coordinator for Harvard University's accreditation process, ensuring that the institution maintains its accredited status and continues to meet the necessary standards. Prospective students can be confident in the quality of education offered at Harvard University, thanks to its regional and specialized accreditations. Awards

Harvard University Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

Harvard University

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type

Four-year college

Setting type

City: Midsize

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

20,000 and above

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

Harvard University Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconAssociate's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for Harvard University Degrees


Avg. salary

Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services


English Language and Literature/Letters




Mathematics and Statistics




Social Sciences