- Harvard University
Harvard University is a private institution that was founded in 1636.
Tuition fees in Harvard University are $46,000 (Aprox.).
Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Harvard’s extensive library system houses the oldest collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world. There is more to the school than endless stacks, though: Harvard’s athletic teams compete in the Ivy League, and every football season ends with “The Game,” an annual matchup between storied rivals Harvard and Yale. At Harvard, on-campus residential housing is an integral part of student life. Freshmen live around the Harvard Yard at the center of campus, after which they are placed in one of 12 undergraduate houses for their remaining three years. Although they are no longer recognized by the university as official student groups, the eight all-male “final clubs” serve as social organizations for some undergraduate students; Harvard also has five female clubs.
In addition to the College, Harvard is made up of 13 other schools and institutes, including the top-ranked Business School and Medical School and the highly ranked Graduate Education School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School and John F. Kennedy School of Government. Eight U.S. presidents graduated from Harvard College, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Other notable alumni include Henry David Thoreau, Helen Keller, Yo-Yo Ma and Tommy Lee Jones. In 1977, Harvard signed an agreement with sister institute Radcliffe College, uniting them in an educational partnership serving male and female students, although they did not officially merge until 1999. Harvard also has the largest endowment of any school in the world.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.
Harvard is known for global leadership in education, and the Harvard faculty is composed of men and women who are world-class scholars. Faculty members are passionate and curious individuals who continue their own research while teaching at Harvard. They come from across the country and all over the world, bringing with them a diverse wealth of knowledge.
Almost all Harvard College courses are designed, taught and overseen by Harvard faculty, and virtually all FAS faculty are required to teach as part of their duties. The faculty is highly accessible, and Harvard College class sizes are on average below 40, with over half the courses being offered each semester enrolling 10 or fewer students. This allows for a closer student-professor relationship and contributes to the sense of community on campus. Professors also make themselves available to students outside of the classroom, even beyond office hours, such as meeting in the dining hall or before or after class. The faculty at Harvard make a point of connecting with their students to create a fulfilling academic experience. Learn more about the University’s commitment to Faculty Development and Diversity.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.
Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.
The Harvard University Archives are maintained by the Harvard University Library system and are a great resource to access Harvard’s historical records.
On Sept. 8, 1836, at Harvard’s Bicentennial celebration, it was announced that President Josiah Quincy had found the first rough sketch of the College arms – a shield with the Latin motto “VERITAS” (“Verity” or “Truth”) on three books – while researching his History of Harvard University in the College Archives. During the Bicentennial, a white banner atop a large tent in the Yard publicly displayed this design for the first time.
Until Quincy’s discovery, the hand-drawn sketch (from records of an Overseers meeting on Jan. 6, 1644) had been filed away and forgotten. It became the basis of the seal officially adopted by the Corporation in 1843 and still informs the version used today.
Crimson was officially designated as Harvard’s color by a vote of the Harvard Corporation in 1910. But why crimson? A pair of rowers, Charles W. Eliot, Class of 1853, and Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Class of 1858, provided crimson scarves to their teammates so that spectators could differentiate Harvard’s crew team from other teams during a regatta in 1858. Eliot became Harvard’s 21st president in 1869 and served until 1909; the Corporation vote to make the color of Eliot’s bandannas the official color came soon after he stepped down.
But before the official vote by the Harvard Corporation, students’ color of choice had at one point wavered between crimson and magenta – probably because the idea of using colors to represent universities was still new in the latter part of the 19th century. Pushed by popular debate to decide, Harvard undergraduates held a plebiscite on May 6, 1875, on the University’s color, and crimson won by a wide margin. The student newspaper – which had been called The Magenta – changed its name with the very next issue.
After George Washington’s Continental Army forced the British to leave Boston in March 1776, the Harvard Corporation and Overseers voted on April 3, 1776, to confer an honorary degree upon the general, who accepted it that very day (probably at his Cambridge headquarters in Craigie House). Washington next visited Harvard in 1789, as the first U.S. president.
Other U.S. presidents to receive an honorary degree include:
- 1781 John Adams
- 1787 Thomas Jefferson
- 1822 John Quincy Adams
- 1833 Andrew Jackson
- 1872 Ulysses S. Grant
- 1905 William Howard Taft
- 1907 Woodrow Wilson
- 1917 Herbert Hoover
- 1919 Theodore Roosevelt
- 1929 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- 1946 Dwight Eisenhower
- 1956 John F. Kennedy
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