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.
AT A GLANCE
Type of SCHOOL: Harvard College is the undergraduate program of Harvard University. It is a private, coeducational, four-year liberal arts program leading to a bachelor’s degree.
Size of Campus: 216 acres in Cambridge; 5,457 acres including all facilities
Number of Students: 6,700 undergraduates (about 12.4% international); 21,000 including the graduate programs
Number of Faculty: 964 in Arts and Sciences; 2,060 in the University (excluding Medical School faculty)
Colleges, Programs, and Degrees: Harvard College offers 50 fields of specialization leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a 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 100 countries.
International Student Services: International Office, academic and financial advisors, housing, and student cultural organizations
International Student Budget: (2018–2019)
Tuition and Fees: $50,420
Room and Board: $17,160
Personal Expenses: $4,070
Travel Expenses: $0–$5,000
Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid is available for international students.
Test Score Requirements: SAT or ACT (with or without writing) 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
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 50 fields to specialize in, 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 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 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, personal essays and recommendations in an application are weighed equally with grades and test scores.
Personal qualities—integrity, maturity, strength of character, and concern for others—will also play an important part in our evaluations.
The SAT or ACT with or without Writing is required of all applicants, and two SAT Subject 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 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.
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. About 70% of our students receive some form of aid, with over 50% receiving need-based scholarships.
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.