Harvard at a Glance


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.


About 2,400 faculty members and more than 10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals


  • Harvard College: About 6,700
  • Graduate and professional students: About 14,500
  • Total: About 21,000

School Color

Crimson PMS 187U
PMS 1807C
C= 7
M= 94
Y= 65
K= 25
R= 165
G= 28
B= 48


More than 323,000 living alumni, over 271,000 in the U.S., nearly 52,000 in some 201 other countries.


47 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners


Veritas (Latin for “truth”)

Real Estate Holdings

5,083 acres

Library Collection

The Harvard Library—the largest academic library in the world—includes 20.4 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 124 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts. Access to this rich collection is provided by nearly 800 library staff members who operate more than 70 separate library units.

Faculties, Schools, and an Institute

Harvard University is made up of 11 principal academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The ten faculties oversee schools and divisions that offer courses and award academic degrees.

Undergraduate Cost And Financial Aid

Families with students on scholarship pay an average of $11,500 annually toward the cost of a Harvard education. More than 65 percent of Harvard College students receive scholarship aid, and the average grant this year is $46,000.  

Since 2007, Harvard’s investment in financial aid has climbed by more than 70 percent, from $96.6 million to $166 million per year.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, students from families with incomes below $65,000, and with assets typical for that income level, will generally pay nothing toward the cost of attending Harvard College.  Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0 to 10 percent of income, depending on individual circumstances.  Significant financial aid also is available for families above those income ranges.

Harvard College launched a net price calculator into which applicants and their families can enter their financial data to estimate the net price they will be expected to pay for a year at Harvard.  Please use the calculator to estimate the net cost of attendance.

The total 2015-2016 cost of attending Harvard College without financial aid is $45,278 for tuition and $60,659 for tuition, room, board and fees combined.

University Professors

The title of University Professor was created in 1935 to honor individuals whose groundbreaking work crosses the boundaries of multiple disciplines, allowing them to pursue research at any of Harvard’s Schools. View the list of University Professors.

Harvard University President

Drew Gilpin Faust is the 28th president of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust

This photograph is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license by Harvard University.

University Income (Fiscal Year 2015)

$4.5 billion

University Expenses (Fiscal Year 2015)

$4.5 billion

Endowment (Fiscal Year 2015)

$37.6 billion

Harvard University Shields

Harvard Shield
Harvard Shield Wreath


The name Harvard comes from the college’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown. Upon his death in 1638, he left his library and half his estate to the institution established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Mission Statement

Harvard University (comprising the undergraduate college, the graduate schools, other academic bodies, research centers and affiliated institutions) does not have a formal mission statement.

The mission of Harvard College is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We do this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education.

Harvard Campaign

The Harvard Campaign is designed to embrace the future and to ensure Harvard’s leadership as it approaches its fifth century of education and inquiry in the pursuit of enduring truth.


HarvardX is a University-wide strategic initiative, overseen by the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL), to enable faculty to build and create open online learning experiences (free, low-touch, high-touch) for residential and online use, and to enable groundbreaking research in online pedagogies. To date, HarvardX has engaged more than 90 faculty across 10 schools, producing more than 60 open online courses with 3 million global registrants. On-campus, HarvardX has supported nearly 20 blended courses, convened 225 individuals (faculty, undergraduates, graduates, technologies) in developing content, teaching, and conducting research, and built new educational tools and technologies. A leader in advancing the science of learning, HarvardX has produced more than 95 related research publications and produced two major benchmark reports on MOOC learner demographics and behavior.

More Information

These numbers come from many sources, including the Harvard University Fact Book and the Annual Financial Report to the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. Sign up for the Daily Gazette to receive highlights about faculty news, research projects, staff developments, student life, and daily events in your inbox.