Harvard is more than a university
– it's a tradition. No other American institution of
higher learning has such a prominent place in the
nation's history or imagination.
Harvard, founded in
1636, is the oldest university in the United States (and
the oldest corporation in the Americas). It is perhaps
the U.S. university that is both closest to the British
model of university education, yet distinctly American
in identity and outlook.
Harvard was founded as a small
institution with the mission of educating Protestant
clergy. It grew as the United States did, expanding in
size and scope, and diversifying its student and
teaching communities. Today a Harvard degree commands
respect not only in the United States, but around the
world – Harvard counts seven U.S. presidents among its
alumni, and over 40 Nobel laureates among its current
and former faculty.
Harvard is located in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, on a campus just across the Charles River
from Boston. This is a highly urban setting that joins
colonial-era buildings and landmarks with Massachusetts'
burgeoning hi-tech industry. Harvard is a large
university, with high-profile graduate and professional
programs. Almost two-thirds of its approximately 19,500
students are enrolled in its professional and graduate
schools (which include the world-renowned Medical
School, the Business School,
the Law School, the John F. Kennedy School of
Government, the Divinity School, the School of Public
Health, and the Graduate School of Education).
the university's size, the Harvard educational
experience is usually an intense and companionable one,
with students benefiting from low student-to-faculty
ratios and opportunities to get involved with the local
community. Connections made at Harvard often last a
lifetime, with graduates becoming part of a vigorous
network of over 270,000 alumni.