Harvard University : Rankings, Fees & Courses Details | Top Universities
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Harvard University

Location Harvard University, Cambridge United States
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Ranking

# 5

QS World University Rankings
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1

Undergraduate programs
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24

Postgraduate programs

COVID-19 Information:

International students that have been invited to study at Harvard University are advised to contact their academic department for more information. While the admissions office is closed, staff can be contacted by email and telephone. No information sessions or tours will be cancelled.

Visitas - Harvard’s weekend for admitted students - is now being held virtually.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the United States, and is widely regarded in terms of its influence, reputation, and academic pedigree as a leading university in not just the US but also the world. 

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, three miles north-west of Boston, Harvard’s 209-acre campus houses 10 degree-granting schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, two theaters, and five museums. It is also home to the largest academic library system in the world, with 18 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items and 10 million photographs. 

Like most of the United States’ pre-Civil War colleges, Harvard was founded to train clergy, but Harvard’s curriculum and student body quickly secularized, and in the 20th century admissions policy was opened up to bring in a more diverse pool of applicants. 

Now, a total of 21,000 students attend the university, each of whom at some point can be seen bustling past the famous statue of John Harvard, the university’s first benefactor and founder, which looks on benignly in the center of the campus. The bronze statue’s gleaming foot is due to almost incessant rubbing by tourists and students, who believe the act brings good luck. 

Only the academic elite can claim a place at Harvard, and the nominal cost of attendance is high – though the university’s hefty endowment is such that it can offer generous financial aid packages, which around 60 per cent of students take advantage of. 

As freshmen, students live in one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, a prime location, and eat in the historic and picturesque Annenberg dining hall. Harvard students are active around and beyond campus, with over 400 official student societies including extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic opportunities. Whether playing on the field in Harvard Stadium, fostering entrepreneurial activities at the Harvard innovation lab or writing and editing at the daily newspaper the Harvard Crimson, student life is a rich and rewarding experience. 

Harvard\'s alumni include eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. Whether it be Pulitzer Prizes, Nobel Prizes, or Academy Awards, Harvard graduates have won them. Students and alumni have also won 108 Olympic medals between them. The university is regularly ranked number one in the world, and the consistency of its chart-topping performances shows that success is yet to breed complacency. 


COVID-19 Information:

International students that have been invited to study at Harvard University are advised to contact their academic department for more information. While the admissions office is closed, staff can be contacted by email and telephone. No information sessions or tours will be cancelled.

Visitas - Harvard’s weekend for admitted students - is now being held virtually.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the United States, and is widely regarded in terms of its influence, reputation, and academic pedigree as a leading university in not just the US but also the world. 

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, three miles north-west of Boston, Harvard’s 209-acre campus houses 10 degree-granting schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, two theaters, and five museums. It is also home to the largest academic library system in the world, with 18 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items and 10 million photographs. 

Like most of the United States’ pre-Civil War colleges, Harvard was founded to train clergy, but Harvard’s curriculum and student body quickly secularized, and in the 20th century admissions policy was opened up to bring in a more diverse pool of applicants. 

Now, a total of 21,000 students attend the university, each of whom at some point can be seen bustling past the famous statue of John Harvard, the university’s first benefactor and founder, which looks on benignly in the center of the campus. The bronze statue’s gleaming foot is due to almost incessant rubbing by tourists and students, who believe the act brings good luck. 

Only the academic elite can claim a place at Harvard, and the nominal cost of attendance is high – though the university’s hefty endowment is such that it can offer generous financial aid packages, which around 60 per cent of students take advantage of. 

As freshmen, students live in one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, a prime location, and eat in the historic and picturesque Annenberg dining hall. Harvard students are active around and beyond campus, with over 400 official student societies including extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic opportunities. Whether playing on the field in Harvard Stadium, fostering entrepreneurial activities at the Harvard innovation lab or writing and editing at the daily newspaper the Harvard Crimson, student life is a rich and rewarding experience. 

Harvard\'s alumni include eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. Whether it be Pulitzer Prizes, Nobel Prizes, or Academy Awards, Harvard graduates have won them. Students and alumni have also won 108 Olympic medals between them. The university is regularly ranked number one in the world, and the consistency of its chart-topping performances shows that success is yet to breed complacency. 


Rankings & ratings

QS World University Rankings

  • 2012
    #3
  • 2014
    #2
  • 2015
    #4
  • 2016
    #2
  • 2017
    #3
  • 2018
    #3
  • 2019
    #3
  • 2020
    #3
  • 2021
    #3
  • 2022
    #5

Ranking criteria

98
Overall
100
Academic Reputation
100
Employer Reputation
99.1
Faculty Student Ratio
100
Citations per Faculty
84.2
International Faculty Ratio
70.1
International Students Ratio

Available programs

The four-year, full-time undergraduate program at Harvard actually makes up a minority of enrolments at the university.  Since 2008, undergraduates have completed courses in eight general categories outside their chosen concentration or major. These eight categories are: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding, Culture and Belief, Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning, Ethical Reasoning, Science of Living Systems, Science of the Physical Universe, Societies of the World, and United States in the World. Harvard offers 49 concentrations, many of which are interdisciplinary, and there is no predetermined curriculum: students have the flexibility to craft their own in order to meet their own academic goals. 

If this sounds like an appealing study environment, be warned that applying to Harvard University is like climbing Everest. Only the strongest succeed. Harvard’s acceptance rate of around 5 percent is the lowest in the United States, a testament to the high caliber of candidates applying to the university. Although Harvard has made significant efforts to be meritocratic in its admissions process, like other Ivy League institutions it offers legacy preferences to children of alumni, a policy which has been criticized for favoring wealthy white applicants. An early admission program is also operated by Harvard, having been reintroduced in 2011.

Applications can be submitted through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application. No one method of application is given preference by the university. The application includes the form and essay question answers; two teacher evaluations; a secondary school report including transcripts and a mid-year school report; as well as two SAT subject tests and an ACT test or writing component. The application fee is a standard US$75. 

Around 12 percent of the latest undergraduate intake were from international backgrounds, and international students go through exactly the same admissions process as American students. English language proficiency test marks can be submitted but are not obligatory. International candidates are, however, strongly encouraged to attend an interview. 

The annual cost of an undergraduate education at Harvard is US$73,600, inclusive of tuition, fees, room, board, personal expenses, and travel costs. It’s no small outlay, but Harvard University does offer need-based finance planning for families at all income levels, something which is taken up by 70 percent of its students. This can include scholarship funds, jobs on campus or student loans. As a result, 100 percent of students are able to graduate from Harvard debt-free, and 20 percent of students’ families pay nothing.


Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) was formed in 1872 and is responsible for the majority of Harvard's post-baccalaureate degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. It offers Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in around 56 disciplines. 

GSAS is renowned throughout the United States and the world. In addition to scholars and scientists, GSAS graduates have become prominent US politicians, Supreme Court judges, foreign heads of state and heads of government. 

There are approximately 4,250 students enrolled in Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with around 200 taking master's programs, and the rest pursuing PhDs. 

As of 2016, 46 percent of GSAS students were women, 30 percent were international students, and 12 percent were underrepresented minorities.

Around a fifth of GSAS students pursue degrees in humanities, while a quarter opt for social sciences, and over half of graduate students study natural sciences. Students pursuing doctoral studies can take graduate courses in a secondary field, and GSAS also enables PhD candidates to coordinate their studies for an additional advanced degree. 

The application process is relatively simple, though may vary according to subject. Generally, candidates complete an online application form and pay a fee of $105. 

Documents to upload in support of an application include university transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE test scores. International students whose first language isn’t English may have to demonstrate their language proficiency by taking a test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. 

All GSAS students are charged tuition in a tiered structure that reduces as they progress. Full tuition, required for the first two years of study, costs $44,816 per year, then for the third and fourth years it’s $11,654 a year. In addition, a ten-month living expense budget works out at around $41,000. 

However, PhD candidates needn’t reach for their calculators, as Harvard guarantees them full financial support for a minimum of five years, with a funding package that includes tuition grants, stipends, traineeships, teaching fellowships, research assistantships, and other academic appointments. 

Master’s programs are not fully funded, and students should expect to contribute significantly, although there is a limited amount of grant support and research funding available. 

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