Harvard University

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university. Named after John Harvard, its first benefactor, it has been viewed as one of the most prestigious universities in the US as well as in the world. With more than 20,000 students in its Main, Medical and Allston campuses, it is the first corporation that was chartered in US.

Founded in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature, Harvard University is the oldest higher education institution in the US. Established and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it has its main campus on Harvard Yard in Cambridge, which extends to the Harvard Square. Besides, it has other campuses around the Cambridge campus, including the ones in Allston, the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, Radcliffe Yard, etc.

Harvard University offers degrees in bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate’s programs. Two thirds of the students in the university are postgraduates, and there are about 79.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. On average, the freshman retention rate in the university is around 97.2 percent.

The mission of Harvard University is:

Harvard strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities. To these ends, the College encourages students to respect ideas and their free expression, and to rejoice in discovery and in critical thought; to pursue excellence in a spirit of productive cooperation; and to assume responsibility for the consequences of personal actions.


Harvard University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Besides, many schools and programs in Harvard are also accredited by other accrediting organizations.


Harvard University comprises fifteen schools:

  • Law School
  • Medical School
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • School of Public Health
  • Business School
  • Dental School
  • Design School
  • Divinity School
  • Kennedy School of Government
  • Divinity School
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard College
  • Continuing Education
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The most popular majors and course of study for students are as follows:

  1. Economics
  2. Political Science and Government
  3. History
  4. Political Science and Government
  5. Sociology

According to the QS World University Rankings and the World’s Best Universities by US News & World Report, Harvard University ranks No.2 in the world in 2011.

For general education, the core curriculum required in Harvard include humanities, sciences, mathematics, history, English, social science, and foreign languages.


For applicants, high school diploma or equivalent is not required, which suggests the university admits the early admission of high school students. Either SAT or ACT required, and ACT with writing test is required for the applicants. The SAT Subject Test scores must be received by Feb 23, and the SAT or ACT scores by Mar 6.


The tuitions and fees for year 2011-2012 is USD 39,849. Students pay USD 12,801 or more for room and board.

With a range of financial aids or scholarship options provided, around 61.5 percent of the full-time undergraduates in Harvard University receive certain kind of scholarship or financial aid if they need. The scholarships vary in types, including Federal PELL, State scholarships or grants, Federal SEOG, private scholarships, college or university gift aid from institutional funds, and some other non-need-based scholarships or grants. At the same time, students can also choose to get self-help aid award, as 50 percent undergraduates and 38 percent freshmen can get work-study jobs on campus.

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