Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the most famous and oldest universities in the United States , whose graduates become representatives of the political and scientific elite of the whole world. The university is located in the scientific city called Cambridge, which is located in Massachusetts. Harvard is a member of the Ivy League , an association of 8 private universities in the United States , which is famous for its elitism and high standards of education.

Tuition fees at Harvard University

Type of training Age Continued Avg. cost/year
Undergraduate 17+ 4 years $ 49,653
Master’s degree 20+ 1-2 years $ 47,600


Doctorate 21+ 3 years $ 44,420

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES AT HARVARD COLLEGE HAVE A FIXED COST OF $ 49,653 per year. As for graduate schools , the amount can range from 29,728 to 73,440 USD per year, while individual schools set a lower cost starting from 2-3 years of study.

Despite the extremely high prices, it is worth considering that there are a large number of scholarships and grants available at Harvard, and 70% of students receive financial aid. The whole reason is the policy of the university, which does everything possible so that talented students have the opportunity to get the desired education.

Faculties at Harvard University

Harvard University is the strongest educational and research center, which excelled equally in the teaching of the humanities, sciences and technical sciences.

In total, Harvard has 11 academic divisions – 10 faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study .

The largest division is the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). This is the only faculty that offers education at two levels of training – undergraduate and graduate . Within the framework of FAS, their activities are implemented by:

  • Harvard College for Bachelors;
  • Graduate School of Sciences and Arts (GSAS) for masters and doctoral students;
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (grants degrees on behalf of the college and GSAS);
  • Department of Continuing Education (includes the Harvard Summer School and the School of Advanced Education).

The remaining faculties and their respective schools of design, pedagogy, medicine, dentistry, theology, and law teach only at the master’s and doctoral levels. The Harvard Business School is widely known , where students can earn an MBA or PhD in business. The place of honor is occupied by the School of Management. John F. Kennedy and Harvard School of Public Health. Tana H. Chan.

The most popular areas of Harvard University include medicine , economics , business , law and political science.

Arrangement of Harvard University

The main campus of Harvard University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in “Harvard Park” ( Harvard yard ). There are administrative buildings, some libraries and academic buildings, most freshman dormitories . Students in their second and subsequent years of study live in so-called “houses” ( residential houses ) nearby, each of which is more than a place of residence. There are separate master classes and seminars, various cultural and entertainment events, students have the opportunity to communicate with teachers in an informal setting, for example, at lunch in a common dining room [8] .

Harvard has unique educational resources. The Harvard Library is the largest academic library in the world with over 20 million volumes, 180,000 periodicals, 400 million manuscripts, 10 million photographs and over 5 terabytes of digitized archives. All this is within the framework of almost 80 branches of the library, which are available to every student of the university.

There are also many world-renowned museums at Harvard University , covering more than 28 million works of art, artifacts, unique specimens and materials. The Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology , the Harvard Museum of Natural History , and the Harvard Museum of Art are located here . Many collections are of key importance in the research activities of the university.

In 2008, Harvard also launched the Common Spaces Program , which aims to strengthen the bonds of the academic community. As part of this initiative, new spaces are being created and existing ones are being improved for interaction between students and teachers.

Harvard University

Admission process to Harvard University

Harvard University accepts students from the age of 17. The admissions committee necessarily pays attention to the average score of the graduate (in fact, the minimum requirement is not set, but most applicants have a GPA of more than 3.8 / 4.0). Additional benefits can be leadership qualities, social activity and participation in volunteer projects.

Stages of admission to the bachelor’s degree at Harvard – Undergraduate

At the undergraduate level, Harvard University organizes a single admission to Harvard College , without distinguishing between academic programs and without setting quotas for certain academic areas. The choice of a specialty takes place later during the study at the university.

The admission process includes the following steps:

  1. Passing the SAT / ACT exams (required) and TOEFL (optional);
  2. Preparation of documents , including a motivation letter ;
  3. Payment of the registration fee (75 USD ) or a request for exemption from it ( a fee waiver request );
  4. Applying for the Common Application , Coalition Application , or Universal College Application ;
  5. Tracking the application and uploading the missing documents on the Applicant Portal website up to one of two deadlines (early applications – Early Action , in general – Regular Decision );
  6. Passing an interview (the availability of this stage depends on the location of the candidate: often there may be no Harvard representative in the country/region, but this should not affect the final decision in any way [9] );
  7. Obtaining a decision of the commission along with information about financial assistance;
  8. Confirmation of intention to study at Harvard;
  9. Submission of the final report with a transcript of grades;
  10. Applying for a student visa.

Harvard University Undergraduate Admissions Calendar

Submission of applications is carried out in 2 visits, but only once a year. Deadlines don’t change for a long time.

Stage Early applications In general order
Passing exams (one year before the start of studies) March – September March – November
Deadline Nov. 1 1st of January
Commission decision mid December the end of March
Student decision until May 1 until May 1
Final report from school before July 1 before July 1
Start of classes September September

* Actual dates must be checked on the website of the university

Harvard College Admission Statistics

Total number of applicants 43330
Accepted (received an invitation) 2009 (4.6%)
Enrolled (accepted the invitation) 1650 (3.8%)
of which foreigners 13%
Accepted from the waiting list 65
Receive financial assistance 55%
Intended area of ​​specialization Percentage of enrolled students
Social sciencies 24.5%
Biological Sciences 18.4%
Humanitarian sciences 15.7%
Engineering Sciences 12.3%
Informatics 8.3%
physical sciences 7.4%
Mathematical Sciences 7.1%
Undecided 5.4%

Master’s and PhD programs at Harvard – Graduate programs

Unlike undergraduate studies, the admission process for graduate and doctoral programs at Harvard is quite fragmented. Key steps include:

  1. Choosing a suitable program on the university website ;
  2. Passing standardized tests and a language exam ;
  3. Preparation of documents : collection of letters of recommendation , writing a motivation letter , etc.;
  4. Filling out an online application (the form is individual for each school and is posted on the corresponding website );
  5. Payment of the registration fee (80-105 USD depending on the school);
  6. Passing an interview and sometimes sending a written reflection report on its results within 24 hours;
  7. Obtaining a decision of the commission along with information about financial assistance;
  8. Confirmation of intention to study at Harvard;
  9. Applying for a student visa.

Harvard Graduate/Doctoral Admissions Calendar

Each school independently determines the application deadlines for their programs. As a rule, applications are accepted from September to December. Most deadlines are in early December – mid-January. However, some schools additionally set earlier or later deadlines. For example, Harvard Business School also accepts applications until September (a year before the start of training) and until April (a few months before the start of training) [10] . Exact dates must be checked on the websites of schools .

Minimum English Language Scores for Admission to Harvard Masters

Harvard University School Min. TOEFL iBT Min. IELTS Other
School of Arts and Sciences 80 6.5
Harvard Business School 109 7.5 PTE 75
dental school 95
School of Design 92
John Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 80 6.5
Harvard Divinity School 100-105 7.5-8
School of Educational Sciences 104 7.5 TWE 5.0, TOEFL PBT 613
Harvard Law School 100
School of Extended Education 100 7.0 PTEA 70
Harvard Kennedy School 100-103 7.0 TOEFL PBT 600
T. H. Chan School of Public Health 100 7.0 TOEFL PBT 600

Features of admission to Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) imposes a number of requirements on applicants that leave few chances for admission to foreign applicants. First of all, you need to master a number of required courses ( prerequisite courses ) and already have a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, and also complete at least a year of study in English in Canada or the USA. Then a prerequisite is the passing of the international medical exam – MCAT. However, even this does not guarantee successful selection, since Harvard does not recognize all foreign qualifications. Students who have received a degree from accredited higher educational institutions in the United States and Canada have a priority right for enrollment here, including because a quality medical education is impossible without a high level of English proficiency.

Undergraduate studies: types and structure of courses, exams

The main feature of the bachelor’s degree at Harvard is that students choose their future specialization only in the second year of study. For the first two and a half semesters, the college gives young people the opportunity to adapt to a new environment by taking any of the 3,700 possible courses. Then students are invited to choose one of 50 areas of knowledge ( concentrations ) or build a unique specialization ( special concentration ), compiling their own interdisciplinary curriculum [11] .

Within the specialization, Harvard students also define the learning path: non-honours or honors . The latter involves the passage of more courses and the mandatory writing of a thesis ( thesis ) for a degree (AB – Bachelor of Arts or SB – Bachelor of Science ).

Thus, in addition to specialized disciplines, the curriculum at Harvard includes several general mandatory elements ( Harvard College requirements ):

  • General Education (one course each from four subject groups: Aesthetics & Culture ; Ethics & Civics ; Histories, Societies, Individuals and Science & Technology in Society );
  • Distribution (one course for each of the three areas of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS): Arts and Humanities ; Social Sciences and Engineering, and Applied Sciences );
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Data (course-familiarization with mathematical, statistical and computer methods of data processing);
  • Expository Writing (a semester course in academic writing in the first year of study);
  • Language (one-year foreign language course).

Additionally, students can choose electives as part of their secondary specialization – secondary field (in American universities the name minor is more common ), study additional foreign languages, independently conduct research or a project, master courses at Harvard schools and other universities in Boston.

During the academic year, students traditionally attend lectures, seminars and practical classes, pass intermediate control ( Hour and Midterm Examinations ) and at the end of each semester pass an examination session ( Final Examination Period ).

Starting from the 1st year and throughout the entire period of study, students are accompanied by mentors from among teachers, doctoral students, undergraduates and activists who can help with the choice of specialization, curriculum adjustment and immersion in the social life of the university [12] .

In some areas, students have the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree already in the fourth year of undergraduate studies. The program is implemented within the framework of the Higher School of Arts and Sciences and is called the Fourth Year Master’s Degree .

Graduate schools: features and structure of courses, exams

Graduate programs at Harvard have a different structure, depending on the school and the actual specialization of education. Master’s degree lasts 1-2 (rarely 3) years and involves the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge in a particular profession. Doctoral studies are mainly research-based (5-6 years), but there are also practice-oriented doctoral programs (3-4 years) that include internships in partner organizations (for example, EdLD . EdLD . EdLD – EdLD – EdLD – EdLD . EdLD). Before entering, students can familiarize themselves with the curricula of all programs that are publicly available on the schools’ websites – sections Academics , Program Overview , Curriculum .

MBA programs at Harvard

Harvard Business School consistently ranks among the top 10 best business schools in the world . A distinctive feature of the educational institution is the orientation towards practice and interaction between students. Getting into Harvard Business School is quite difficult, since excellent grades are not a decisive factor in enrollment. The admission committee pays attention to the success of the applicant, work experience in the field of business, participation in charity events and other achievements.

Harvard Business School offers a two-year MBA program (50% of students receive financial assistance [13] ), several doctoral programs (100% funding over 5 years [14] ), and also provides the opportunity to obtain two degrees simultaneously through cooperation with other schools ( Joint Degree Programs ), such as an MBA and Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Management. Joint programs are also being implemented with law, medical and dental schools.

Here, at Harvard Business School , there are courses in marketing, leadership, finance and entrepreneurship.

Scholarships and grants at Harvard

It is believed that education at Harvard University is affordable only for the elite, but this is not true: 20% of families pay absolutely nothing, and 55% of students receive material support [17] . The university takes into account the financial capabilities of each student, regardless of whether he is a citizen of the United States or another country, and, if necessary, is ready to partially or fully cover the costs of student education and living. The scheme is simple: if a student has successfully passed the competition for admission, but cannot afford to cover all the costs of education, then the university gives a 100% guarantee of material assistance.

The amount of assistance at the undergraduate level is determined as follows: the student’s parents (or himself) must contribute a certain amount of tuition fees (depending on the total family income), to which the student’s personal contributions (for example, from part-time work) are added, as well as assistance from third-party funds (if any). After calculating the total amount, the university decides on the appointment of material assistance to the student. To receive full funding, it is enough to provide documents confirming that the annual income of the parents is less than 65,000 USD per year.

Annual family income Parental payments Student side job Scholarship
<65 000USD 0USD _ 3 500 USD $ 73,891
150 000 USD 15 000USD 3 500 USD $ 58,891
200 000 USD 38 000USD 3 500 USD $ 35,891

The amount of assistance for master’s and doctoral studies, in turn, is also calculated depending on the student’s income over the past three years. An additional factor is the school itself and the sources of its funding. The scholarship offered does not always fully cover all expenses. Details should be clarified on the websites of schools in the Financial Aid section .

Prospects after graduating from Harvard University

Like any other top university, Harvard University helps its students in choosing suitable vacancies. On the campus of the university there is the Career Center ( the Office of Career Services ), which organizes various events for students and announces them on its website . University staff are engaged in the selection of paid internships, the search for interesting vacancies, the organization of courses and trainings, as well as events where students can meet potential employers from the very first year [18]. As a rule, graduates of Harvard University have no problems finding a job. According to statistics, more than 60% of students find work during their studies (mainly on internships). In the international QS 2020 ranking, Harvard ranks 5th, while having 100% reputation among employers and graduate performance [19] .

Scientific achievements of Harvard University

Today Harvard University is one of the most elite and reputable universities in the world. The university is famous for its business school and developments in various fields of science, most of which are funded by the government.

  • In 2017, a group of Harvard scientists was able to turn hydrogen into metal for the first time in history – its use in rocket science will open up new frontiers in space exploration.
  • Harvard bioengineers invented in 2017 a plastic robot that can prevent heart attacks and automatically keep the heart pumping.
  • In 2014, Harvard researchers found support for the cosmic inflation theory that describes the Big Bang process.
  • The university is working on the creation of an “elixir of youth”, the first results of testing the elixir were successful.
  • In 2014, Harvard scientists created an inexpensive detector to monitor diabetes and other diseases. The detector costs about 25 USD and weighs 2 ounces and will be used in the poorest regions of the planet.
  • Harvard scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , have invented a method for storing solar energy in molecules, which will later allow the use of environmentally friendly energy for domestic purposes (cooking, heating water, heating private houses and apartments).
  • A team of researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working together to reprogram cells in living organisms to create an effective cell therapy that will allow tissues to regenerate faster after serious damage, which may be the solution to the problem of thyroid disease or diabetes.

Interesting facts about Harvard University

  • Every year at Harvard University, a prize is awarded for the most dubious or witty scientific achievements of the last year – the Ig Nobel Prize . The word “dubious” refers to studies like “why drunk people consider themselves attractive” or “how mice with a transplanted heart listen to opera”, etc.
  • The territory of Harvard University has become a film set for movies and TV shows dozens of times. Films such as The Social Network , Spartan , Angels & Demons and Good Will Hunting were filmed here .
  • The educational institution is the scene of action of literary works. The university is described in William Faulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury .
  • At the entrance to Harvard Yard stands a monument that reads “John Harvard. Founder. 1638”. Students refer to it as the “Statue of the Three Lies”. The fact is that Harvard was a patron of the university, but not the founder. It is generally accepted that the history of the educational institution dates back to 1636, and not from 1638. In addition, this is not Harvard at all, but only its image, written off from an ordinary student. History has not preserved portraits or references to what the famous philanthropist John Harvard looked like, whose name is known to the whole world today.