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: 6,699
- Graduate and professional students: 13,120
- Harvard Extension School: 16,193
- Total: 36,012 students
These numbers reflect student enrollment for the 2017–18 academic year.
More than 371,000 living alumni, over 279,000 in the U.S., and over 59,000 in some 202 other countries.
Veritas (Latin for “truth”)
Real Estate Holdings
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.
Harvard’s museums are stewards of more than 28 million works of art, artifacts, specimens, materials, and instruments. With deep roots in scholarship and teaching, these internationally renowned collections are fundamental to the development and continuation of many disciplines. These unparalleled institutions rank alongside some of the greatest museums in the world and they are open to the public. They welcome more than 650,000 local, national, and international visitors each year.
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 $12,000 annually toward the cost of a Harvard education. Fifty-five percent of Harvard College students receive need-based scholarship aid, and the average grant this year is more than $53,000.
The Harvard College financial aid program requires no contribution from Harvard families with annual incomes below $65,000; asks from 0 to 10% of income for those with incomes up to $150,000; and expects proportionally more from families with incomes above $150,000.
Harvard College offers an easy-to-use 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. Use the calculator to get an estimate the net cost of attendance in less than 5 minutes.
The total 2020-2021 cost of attending Harvard College without financial aid is $49,653 for tuition and $72,391 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.
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
Lawrence S. Bacow is the 29th President of Harvard University.
This photograph is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license by Harvard University.
University Income (Fiscal Year 2018)
University Expenses (Fiscal Year 2018)
Endowment (Fiscal Year 2018)
Harvard University Shields
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.
Harvard and the Military
Members of Harvard University’s “Long Crimson Line” have served in the United States Armed Forces since before the nation’s independence. Harvard counts among its graduates 18 Medal of Honor recipients, more than any other institution of higher education except the United States Military and Naval Academies. Buildings and sites around campus are daily reminders of Harvard’s deep military history. General George Washington kept headquarters at Wadsworth House before taking command of the revolutionary troops in 1775, Massachusetts Hall and Harvard Hall were used as barracks, and building materials were repurposed to make musket balls during the War of Independence. Memorial Hall and Memorial Church honor the sacrifice of Harvard men and women who “freely gave their lives and fondest hopes for us and our allies that we might learn from them courage in peace to spend our lives making a better world for others.” In 2011, Harvard welcomed the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program back to campus, followed thereafter by the full complement of Army and Air Force regiments.
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.
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), enabling faculty to create open, online courses for on campus and global learners and advancing research in the learning sciences. To date, HarvardX has engaged more than 170 faculty across 10 schools, producing more than 100 open online courses with more than three million unique course participants. On campus, HarvardX has enabled hybrid learning in more than 40 residential courses and convened more than 600 individuals (faculty, undergraduates, graduates, technologists) in developing content, conducting research, or blending courses. A leader in advancing the science of learning, HarvardX and VPAL Research have produced more than 70 research publications and two major benchmark reports on MOOC learner demographics and behavior.
These numbers come from many sources, including the Harvard University Fact Book, the Annual Financial Report to the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, and Harvard Public Affairs and Communications Reports and Publications.