Harvard UniversityLogo Harvard UniversityLogo

International Profile

Harvard College is the coeducational undergraduate program of Harvard University. If you enroll, you will become part of one of the most interesting and diverse American college communities. Our students come from all 50 states and more than 80 countries, every ethnic and religious background, and across the economic spectrum. They bring a remarkable diversity of interests to share with each other. Harvard is committed to making educational opportunity accessible to all. Admission is based on achievement and promise without regard to financial need. Nearly 70% of undergraduates receive some form of aid, which is available to non-citizens and citizens on exactly the same basis.

A world-renowned liberal arts education
Students enrolled at Harvard are broadly educated in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities, as well as trained in a particular academic specialty. There are more than 49 fields in which to specialize, including engineering and applied sciences, and more than 3,500 classes in our course catalog. Each student’s program is individualized, guided by a freshman advisor in the first year and by departmental advisors for the next three years. Though classroom styles vary, the median class size is 12 students. Professors are readily available during office hours each week, and many teach individual, one-on-one tutorials. Ample opportunity is available for undergraduates to participate in research.

A residential community
Harvard guarantees housing to every student for four years, and nearly all students choose to live on campus. The combination of a special residential plan for first-year students and three years in the comprehensive House system for upperclassmen provides students more than simply a place to live.

Residential life that brings students and faculty together is essential to the Harvard experience. Living together in Harvard’s freshman dorms and upperclassman houses enriches the residential experience. Considering the diversity of their backgrounds and interests, students learn a great deal from one another.

Opportunities beyond the classroom
Opportunities abound in non-academic activities such as dance, drama, music, media, journalism, community service, and athletics. Extracurriculars can educate as well as entertain. Whether singing in a Bach Mass, volunteering in the Cambridge or Boston community, or writing for The Harvard Crimson (the daily student newspaper), students learn about the world and its challenges.

Facilities and location
Superb facilities reinforce educational opportunities. Harvard offers students the largest university library system in the world (nearly 17 million volumes) as well as excellent museums, labs, computer resources, performance spaces, and recreational athletic facilities.

Boston and Cambridge combine New England charm and history with all the energy of a modern urban setting. Boston offers theater, music, sports, and shopping—much of it oriented toward students with limited budgets—and the subway provides an inexpensive and easy way to get around.

There is no set formula for being accepted to Harvard. Grades and standardized test scores are important, but other criteria—such as community involvement, extracurricular activities, and other non-academic experiences—are also considered. As a result, the personal essays and recommendations in an application are weighed equally with grades and test scores.

Personal qualities also matter. We seek candidates who show honesty, leadership, and initiative, the kinds of qualities that will enable them to make a difference in college and in their lives after graduation.

The SAT or the ACT with Writing are required for all applicants, and two SAT Subect Tests are normally required, even for those students who will have the results of their own national or international examinations, such as the A-levels or the International Baccalaureate. Students who are enrolled in programs such as these are advised to complete the curriculum before applying to Harvard. A strong knowledge of English, including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly, is essential for successful study at Harvard.

Admission to Harvard is extremely competitive. Students who are admitted are usually among the top students in their countries or have a highly developed non-academic talent along with superior academic ability.

Financial aid
We are committed to admitting the most able and interesting students,  regardless of their financial circumstances or citizenship. The Admissions Committee admits the best candidates, whether or not they are aid applicants. More than two-thirds of Harvard students receive some form of financial aid.

Scholarships offered to international and American students alike are based on family financial circumstances; we offer no merit, academic, or other non-need scholarships. Fee waivers are available if the application fee presents a hardship.



Cambridge, Massachusetts, combines the attractions of a cosmopolitan city with the charm and history of a New England town. Organized around traditional town greens, tree-lined squares, cobblestone streets, colonial church spires, and the grassy banks of the Charles River, Cambridge is also one of metropolitan Boston’s vital urban centers. Both cities are served by Logan International Airport, a subway system linking them, and major highway access to the mountains and seashores of New England.


Type of College: Harvard College is the undergraduate program of Harvard University. It is a private, coeducational, four-year liberal arts program leading to the bachelor’s degree.

Size of Campus: 216 acres in Cambridge; 4,947 acres including all facilities

Number of Students: 6,600 undergraduates (about 11% international); 21,000 including the graduate programs

Number of Faculty: 1,043 in Arts and Sciences; 2,107 in the University (excluding Medical School faculty)

Colleges, Programs, and Degrees: Harvard College offers more than 49 fields of specialization leading to the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Ten graduate and professional schools offer master’s degrees and a variety of doctoral and professional degrees.

Geographic Diversity: Undergraduate students represent all 50 states and more than 80 countries.

International Student Services: International Office, academic and financial advisors, housing, and student cultural organizations

International Student Budget: (2015–2016)
Tuition and Fees     $45,278
Room and Board    $15,381
Personal Expenses    $3,741
Travel Expenses    $0–$5,200
Total    $64,400–$69,600

Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid available for international students

Test Score Requirements: SAT or ACT with Writing component and two SAT Subject Tests (normally required)

Application Deadlines and Fees:
All Early Action materials due November 1
All Regular Decision materials due January 1
$75 application fee
Fee waivers available