Harvard University

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Harvard University - An overview

Harvard University is a prestigious and renowned private institution of higher education located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Established in 1636, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and holds a distinguished position as one of the world's leading academic and research universities. Harvard's rich history, commitment to excellence, and intellectual rigor have attracted exceptional students, faculty, and scholars from around the globe.

Harvard's global influence extends far beyond its campus. The university's alumni network comprises influential leaders in various fields, including business, politics, science, and the arts, making significant contributions to society and shaping the world around us. As an institution committed to fostering intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, and societal impact, Harvard University continues to be a beacon of knowledge and a symbol of educational achievement.

Harvard University Ranking

Here are some of the prominent rankings where Harvard has been highly placed:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings: In the 2021 edition, Harvard University was ranked as the third-best university in the world.
  • QS World University Rankings: In the 2022 edition, Harvard University secured the fourth position globally.
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU): In the 2021 rankings, Harvard University was ranked first globally.
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings: In the 2022 edition, Harvard University was ranked as the second-best global university.

Schools Under Harvard University

Harvard University consists of several schools and academic units, each offering a distinct range of programs and disciplines. Here are the 12 degree-granting schools that are part of Harvard University:

  • Harvard College: This is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University, offering a wide range of academic programs and majors.
  • Harvard Business School: One of the most renowned business schools in the world, Harvard Business School offers MBA, Doctoral, and Executive Education programs.
  • Harvard Law School: Known for its prestigious legal education, Harvard Law School offers Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM), and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) programs.
  • Harvard Medical School: As one of the top medical schools globally, Harvard Medical School provides education and training for medical students, as well as conducts innovative medical research.
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine: This school offers Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) programs and advanced dental education programs.
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Focused on public health research, education, and practice, this school offers various graduate programs, including Master of Public Health (MPH) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH).
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education: This school offers programs in education, including Master's, Doctoral, and Professional Education programs.
  • Harvard Kennedy School: Known for its programs in public policy and public administration, the Harvard Kennedy School offers Master's degrees, Ph.D. programs, and executive education programs.
  • Harvard Divinity School: This school provides education and training for students pursuing religious and theological studies, offering Master's and Doctoral programs.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design: Focused on architecture, urban planning, and design-related disciplines, this school offers programs such as Master in Architecture, Master in Urban Planning, and Master in Landscape Architecture.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: This school offers a range of graduate programs in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, leading to master's and doctoral degrees.
  • Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Known for its programs in engineering and applied sciences, this school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in various engineering disciplines.

In addition to these schools, Harvard University also has several affiliated institutions and research centers that contribute to its academic and research endeavors.

Some Notable faculty who had taught at Harvard University

Harvard University has a long list of notable faculty members who have taught and conducted research at the institution. Here are a few examples of prominent individuals who have been associated with Harvard:

  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Gates is an influential scholar, cultural critic, and writer known for his expertise in African-American literature and history. He has taught at Harvard since 1991 and currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor.
  • Amartya Sen: Sen is an acclaimed economist and Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences. He taught at Harvard for several decades and held various positions, including the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy.
  • Steven Pinker: Pinker is a renowned cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He taught at Harvard from 1982 to 2020 and held the position of Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology.
  • Michael Sandel: Sandel is a political philosopher and professor known for his engaging lectures on moral and political philosophy. He has been teaching at Harvard since 1980 and holds the position of Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government.
  • Martha Nussbaum: Nussbaum is a prominent philosopher, author, and public intellectual. She taught at Harvard for many years and held the position of Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the Law School and Philosophy Department.
  • Lawrence Lessig: Lessig is a legal scholar, activist, and founder of Creative Commons. He taught at Harvard Law School for over a decade and served as the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership.
  • Cornel West: West is a prominent philosopher, author, and social activist known for his work on race, justice, and democracy. He has held positions at several universities, including Harvard, where he was a Professor of African and African-American Studies.

Alumni of Harvard University

Harvard University boasts a vast and accomplished alumni network that includes influential figures from various fields. Here are some notable Harvard alumni:

  • Barack Obama: The 44th President of the United States, Obama graduated from Harvard Law School, where he also served as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.
  • Mark Zuckerberg: The co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg attended Harvard College before dropping out to focus on his entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Natalie Portman: An Academy Award-winning actress, Portman graduated from Harvard College with a degree in psychology.
  • Bill Gates: Co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, Gates attended Harvard University but dropped out to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions.
  • Matt Damon: An Academy Award-winning actor and screenwriter, Damon attended Harvard College but left before graduating to pursue his acting career.
  • Michelle Obama: Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law School.
  • Conan O'Brien: A renowned television host and comedian, O'Brien earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College.
  • Benazir Bhutto: The late Benazir Bhutto served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and was the first woman to lead a Muslim-majority country. She studied at Harvard University.
  • Yo-Yo Ma: An internationally acclaimed cellist, Ma graduated from Harvard College with a degree in anthropology.
  • Sylvia Plath: A celebrated poet and writer, Plath attended Smith College before pursuing her graduate studies at Harvard University.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: The 32nd President of the United States, Roosevelt attended Harvard College and later studied law at Columbia University.
  • Helen Keller: Keller, a renowned author, activist, and lecturer who overcame deafness and blindness, attended Radcliffe College, which merged with Harvard University.

The graduation rate at Harvard University is 98%.

Acceptance Rate at Harvard University

Harvard is one of the premier Ivy League colleges. The acceptance rate at Harvard University has significantly decreased over time, indicating a more demanding admissions procedure. The rate of admission for the Class of 2027, for example, was 3.41%; this represents a slight rise over the 3.19% for the Class of 2022, but it is still far lower than the 4.92% for the Class of 2020. The declining acceptance percentages, which were 5.90% for the Class of 2014 and have been even lower in subsequent years, demonstrate the increasing difficulties that candidates are facing.

This competitive environment is further shown by the historical trajectory, which shows that admission rates declined from 5.4% in the 2016–2017 school year to a projected 4.5% in the 2024–2025 school year. These numbers highlight how competitive it is to get into Harvard and emphasize how important it is for applicants to set themselves apart through their personal narratives, extracurricular activities, and academic accomplishments.​

Statistics for admission to Harvard University in 2023-24 are: 

  • Applications - 56,937
  • Accepted- 1,966
  • Admitted from the waiting list - 27
  • Overall acceptance rate - 4%
  • Acceptance rate for the Early Action round - 13.4%
  • Acceptance rate for the Regular Decision round - 2.8%

The number of students enrolled at Harvard University for the year 2022 is outlined as follows:

  • Harvard College - 7,178
  • Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - 4,681
  • Harvard Business School - 2,020
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine - 252
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design - 952
  • Harvard Divinity School - 336
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education - 800
  • Harvard Kennedy School -1,153
  • Harvard Law School - 1,998
  • Harvard Medical School - 1,344
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - 1,068
  • Extension - 3,895

Graduate Acceptance Rate at Harvard University

Composition of Undergraduate Students

5.01% Acceptance Rate
40248 Students Applied
2015 Students got Accepted

An acceptance rate of 5.01% makes it highly competitive to get admission.

Composition of Graduate Students

21864 Students Enrolled (On-campus & Online)
19410 Students enrolled exclusively in distance education
1646 Students enrolled in at least one distance education course
2 Students enrolled in top 8 Masters degree program
175 Total Graduate Programs Specialization
What is the admission policy at Harvard University?

Harvard University has an open admission policy. It will accept any student who applies.


Harvard University has been ranked 3


Acceptance Rate: 5.01%


Tuition for Graduate Programs: $50,654

Under Graduate Program Tuition: $53,968

Financial Aid

Average Amount of Financial Aid Awarded: $52,257

Average Amount of Institutional Aid Awarded: $55,389

Harvard University most popular Master's Degree programs with respect to student count are

  • Business Administration and Management -MBA : 1057
  • Education : 596
  • Law : 570
  • Public Administration : 287
  • Public Health : 287

Harvard University most popular under graduate programs with respect to student count are

  • Econometrics and Quantitative Economics : 215
  • Social Sciences : 157
  • Political Science and Government : 95
  • English Language and Literature : 54
  • History : 45