Harvard University - Overview & Background

Founded in 1636, Harvard University is a private research university that is considered amongst the IVY universities of the country. Without an iota of doubt, this is one of the most esteemed universities in the world. The University offers 46 undergraduate majors, 134 graduate degree programs, and 32 professional degree programs.

Its engineering school, The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, offers students the chance to study in any of four areas.

These areas are :

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Applied Physics
  • Engineering Sciences

Students at the Engineering School can pursue a master’s degree in science or engineering, or they can also work towards a Ph.D.

They can also cross-register at other Harvard schools, such as :

  • The Medical School
  • Business School
  • Law School


Former Names

Harvard College




Massachusetts General Court

University Type

Private Research University

University Motto


University City

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Acceptance Rate


Faculty to Student Ratio



$53.2 billion

Campus Size

209 acres

Graduation Rate


Employment Rate


Official Website Link

Harvard University, United States

Contact Details

+1 617-495-1000


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Harvard University Virtual Tour


Harvard University ranking is #5 in the QS Global World Ranking 2023. Times Higher Education's World University Rankings has placed the university at 2rd rank in the World University Rankings 2022.

View More Harvard University Rankings

Acceptance Rate

Harvard University is among the most prestigious universities in the world and the aspirations to study here are always very high among the students around the world. The effect of the same is reflected in its acceptance rate as well. Harvard University acceptance rate is around 4.7% overall. Its acceptance rate for Indian students has been around 11% historically.


The University is located in Cambridge and the campus is spread across 209 acres. The University campus is home to Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, five museums, and two theaters. The University’s library system is said to be the largest library system in the world and has 18 million volumes along with millions of manuscripts, serial titles, and photographs.

The University offers every conceivable state-of-the-art facilities to students.

Residing Options

Harvard University offers on-campus accommodation to students and has multiple dormitories for this purpose. The on-campus residence is a vital part of student life at the university and we recommend you to choose it. Those who wish to stay off-campus can get administrative assistance too.

Faculty and Pedagogy

No amount of praise will be enough for the faculty of Harvard! At The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which has 86 full-time faculty on staff, there are no specific academic departments. Hence, professors research and teach across several disciplines.

Financial Aid

Though the cost of attendance is high, the University offers large endowments and financial aids. Almost 60% of students get some sort of financial aid at the University. The average need-based scholarship or grant award at the University is $53,604.

Jobs and Placements

Harvard University stands out because of the diversity it offers to its students. For example, an engineering student is encouraged to take a course in the liberal arts, say Greek mythology. Unlike the graduates from other pure technical colleges, a Harvard engineering student is well-rounded not only in technological disciplines but also has an understanding of humanities disciplines. It is no wonder that a degree from Harvard opens doors to multiple career options.

Harvard is without question the favorite among the most prestigious blue-chip corporations and the no. 1 choice for recruiters.

Some of the major companies which recruit from Harvard include :

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Intel
  • Exxon Mobil
  • GM

The Alumni network of Harvard is huge with over 2.7 lakh members in the US and more than 50,000 spread across the world. The Harvard Key is given to you when you join Harvard. This is a key for lifelogging in gets you to access to the most complete and comprehensive database of Harvard alumni, the new Alumni Directory allows you to connect with other alumni and build your career network by reaching out to alumni by industry, specialty, or company.

Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from Harvard University include:

  • Gregg L. Semenza, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine winner (2019)
  • Ralph M. Steinman, Immunology; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine winner (2011)
  • Roger Y. Tsien, Biochemist; Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner (2008)
  • Leonard Blavatnik, Founder of Access Industries
  • Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-founder of Airbnb
  • Doug Carlston, Co-founder of Brøderbund Software
  • Howard L. Clark Sr., Former CEO of American Express (1960–1977)
  • John Bartlett, Minister, founder of Massachusetts General Hospital

Some famous Indian alumni from Harvard University are: 

  • Rahul Bajaj, Bajaj Group
  • Ratan Tata, Ex-Chairman of Tata Sons 
  • Kapil SIbal, Congress Government
  • Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group
  • P. Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister of India
  • Subramanyam Swamy, Former Union Minister
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Is there anything more to say? Harvard University is right there at the top. Admissions are highly selective and only students with an excellent profile should apply here.

Harvard University Location

Harvard University is easily the most prestigious, richest, and toughest university in the world to get into. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a beautiful little town situated just across the Charles River in Boston. Cambridge has the distinction of housing two of the best universities, the equally prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) being the other one. Ever since it was founded in 1630 as a Puritan settlement known as Newstone, the settlement has grown to be one of the most intellectual neighborhoods in the world.  It is said that Cambridge has more book shops per capita than any other place in the world. However, it has extreme weather conditions with very cold winters and pretty humid summers.

The total area of Harvard University is approx. 5038 acres spread across the city of Boston. For example, to give a view of the magnitude, the famous Harvard Business school is located in a town called Allston, while the Harvard Medical school is in Boston proper.

As it is located close to one of the larger cities in the US, it is served by excellent public transportation – the Massachusetts Bus and Transportation Authority (MBTA) which will pretty much get you anywhere on campus. Walking through is the preferred activity of commute, and most people in Cambridge walk to work or to college. 

Boston has one of the busiest airports in the US and is connected to most major world cities. 

Harvard University Map Location

Address: Cambridge, MA, United States

Frequently Asked Questions about Harvard University

Why is Harvard so famous?

The first higher education facility to be founded in the new world was Harvard University. It had a reputation as the sole institution where one could obtain a degree because it was the nation's first university. At that time, only the wealthiest members of society could afford to enroll in college.

What GPA do you need to go to Harvard?

Requirements for Harvard's current students’ admission are determined by the average GPA score. You'll need to have at least a 4.2 to be taken seriously because the majority of students admitted to Harvard have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or higher.

Is it hard to get into Harvard?

Harvard is currently the hardest institution to get into, with a record-low acceptance rate of just 3.19% for the class of 2026. This rate represents acceptance into Harvard College, the undergraduate program at an Ivy League university. Harvard evaluates each applicant as a whole person, taking into account both intellectual potential and character.

How to get admission in Harvard University?

There is no secret to getting into Harvard. The Admissions Committee takes into account a variety of factors in addition to high school grades, including leadership and distinction in extracurricular activities, community involvement, and personal qualities and character.

Is Harvard expensive?

For the 2019–2020 academic year, Harvard's website lists tuition charges of $47,730, fees of $4,195, and housing and board expenses of $17,682 for a totaling of invoiced costs of $69,607. According to Harvard, annual tuition will now cost between $73,800 and $78200, up from between $71,650 and $76650 the year before.

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