|Type||Private nonprofit college|
Harvard College is the undergraduate college of Harvard University, an Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636, Harvard College is the original school of Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United Statesand among the most prestigious in the world.
Part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard College is Harvard University's traditional undergraduate program, offering AB and SB degrees. It is highly selective, with fewer than five percent of applicants being offered admission in recent years.Harvard College students participate in more than 450 extracurricular organizations and nearly all live on campus—first-year students in or near Harvard Yard, and upperclass students in community-oriented "houses."
The college has produced many distinguished alumni, including high-ranking politicians, renowned scholars, and business leaders.
The school came into existence in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony—though without a single building, instructor, or student. In 1638, the college became home for North America's first known printing press, carried by the ship John of London.Three years later, the college was renamed in honor of deceased Charlestown minister John Harvard (1607–1638) who had bequeathed to the school his entire library and half of his monetary estate.
Harvard's first instructor was schoolmaster Nathaniel Eaton (1610–1674); in 1639, he also became its first instructor to be dismissed, for overstrict discipline.The school's first students were graduated in 1642. In 1665, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck (c. 1643–1666) "from the Wampanoag … did graduate from Harvard, the first Indian to do so in the colonial period."
The colleges of England's Oxford and Cambridge Universities are communities within the larger university, each an association of scholars sharing room and board. Harvard's founders may have envisioned it as the first in a series of sibling colleges on the English model which would eventually constitute a university—though no further colleges materialized in colonial times. The Indian College was active from 1640 to no later than 1693, but it was a minor addition not operated in federation with Harvard according to the English model. Harvard began granting higher degrees in the late eighteenth century, and it was increasingly styled Harvard University, even as Harvard College was increasingly thought of as the university's undergraduate division in particular.[ citations needed throughout ]
Currently, Harvard College is responsible for undergraduate admissions, advising, housing, student life, and athletics—generally all undergraduate matters except instruction, which is the purview of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The body known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College retains its traditional name despite having governance of the entire University. Radcliffe College, established in 1879, originally paid Harvard faculty to repeat their lectures for women.Since the 1970s, Harvard has been responsible for undergraduate matters for women, though women's Harvard diplomas were countersigned by the President of Radcliffe until a final merger in 1999.
Harvard's undergraduate admissions process is characterized by the Carnegie Foundation as "more selective, lower transfer-in."Admission is based on academic prowess, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. For the undergraduate class of 2023, Harvard had 43,330 applicants, accepting 2,009 (4.6%) and enrolling 1,649. The middle 50% range of SAT scores of enrolled freshmen was 710–770 for reading and writing and 750–800 for math, while the middle 50% range of the ACT composite score was 33–35. The average high school grade point average (GPA) was 4.18.
Harvard College ended its early admissions program in 2007, but for the class of 2016 and beyond, an early action program was reintroduced.The freshman class that entered in the fall of 2017 was the first to be predominantly (50.8%) nonwhite.
A federal lawsuit alleges that Harvard's admissions policies discriminate against Asian Americans, who tend to be overrepresented among students with high academic achievement.A 2019 district court decision in the case (which has since been appealed) found no evidence of explicit racial bias but did not rule out a small amount of implicit bias. Harvard has implemented more implicit bias training for its admissions staff in accordance with the court's recommendations. In addition, Harvard's admissions preference for children of alumni, employees, and donors has been criticized as favoring white and wealthy candidates.
As of the 2019–2020 academic year, Harvard College tuition was about $48,000, contributing to about $70,000 in billed costs.Harvard's extensive fundraising allows it to offer one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, with need-blind admission and 100% of demonstrated financial need met for both domestic and international students. Families with incomes below $65,000 pay nothing for their children to attend, while families earning between $65,000 and $150,000 pay no more than 10% of their annual incomes. Financial aid is solely based on need; no merit or athletic scholarships are offered.
The four-year, full-time undergraduate program has a liberal arts and sciences focus.To graduate in the usual four years, undergraduates normally take four courses per semester.
Midway through the second year, most undergraduates join one of fifty academic majors); many also declare a "minor". Joint concentrations (combining the requirements of two concentrations) and special concentrations (of the student's own design) are also possible.Most concentrations lead to the Artium Baccalaureus (AB). some award the Scientiae Baccalaureus (SB). There are also dual degree programs permitting students to earn both a Harvard AB and a Master of Music (MM) from either the New England Conservatory of Music or the Berklee College of Music over five years. In most majors, an honors degree requires advanced coursework and a senior thesis.
Undergraduates must also take courses in four fields (Aesthetics and Culture; Ethics and Civics; Histories, Societies, Individuals; Science and Technology in Society)and fulfill foreign language, expository writing, quantitative reasoning, and other distribution requirements. Exposure to a range of intellectual areas in parallel with pursuit of a chosen major in depth, fulfills the injunction of Harvard past-president Abbott Lawrence Lowell that liberal education should produce "men who know a little of everything and something well."
While some introductory courses have large enrollments, most courses are small: the median class size is just 12 students.Funding and faculty mentorship is available in almost all disciplines for undergraduates at all levels.
For the 2019–2020 academic year, tuition was about $48,000, contributing to about $70,000 in billed costs.Harvard offers one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, with need-blind admission and 100% of demonstrated financial need met for both domestic and international students. Families with incomes below $65,000 pay nothing for their children to attend, and families earning between $65,000 and $150,000 pay no more than 10% of their annual incomes. Financial aid is solely based on need; no merit or athletic scholarships are offered. As of 2020, more than half of Harvard College students receive loan-free scholarship aid from the university.
Hundreds of named prizes are awarded annually.[ clarification needed ] Along with other universities, Harvard has been accused of grade inflation, although others say that this can be explained by an increase in the quality of its student body.
Nearly all undergraduates live on campus, for the first year in dormitories in or near Harvard Yard and later in the upperclass houses—administrative subdivisions of the college as well as living quarters, providing a sense of community in what might otherwise be a socially incohesive and administratively daunting university environment. Each house is presided over by two faculty deans, while its Allston Burr Resident Dean—usually a junior faculty member—supervises undergraduates' day-to-day academic and disciplinary well-being.
The faculty deans and resident dean are assisted by other members of the Senior Common Room—select graduate students (tutors), faculty, and university officials brought into voluntary association with each house. The faculty deans and resident dean reside in the house, as do resident tutors. Terms like tutor, Senior Common Room, and Junior Common Room reflect a debt to the residential college systems at Oxford and Cambridge from which Harvard's system took inspiration.
The houses were created by President Lowell in the 1930s to combat what he saw as pernicious social stratification engendered by the private, off-campus living arrangements of many undergraduates at that time. Lowell's solution was to provide every man—Harvard was male-only at the time—with on-campus accommodations throughout his time at the college; Lowell also saw great benefits in other features of the house system, such as the relaxed discussions—academic or otherwise—which he hoped would take place among undergraduates and members of the Senior Common Room over meals in each house's dining hall.
How students come to live in particular houses has changed greatly over time. Under the original "draft" system, masters (now faculty deans) negotiated privately over the assignment of students.[ citation needed ] From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, each student ranked the houses according to personal preference, with a lottery resolving the oversubscription of more popular houses. Today, groups of one to eight freshmen form a block which is then assigned, essentially at random, to an upperclass house.
A total of nine "River Houses" are located south of Harvard Yard, near the Charles River: Adams, Dunster, Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, Lowell, Mather, Quincy, and Winthrop. Their construction was financed largely by a 1928 gift from Yale alumnus Edward Harkness, who, frustrated in his attempts to initiate a similar project at his alma mater, eventually offered $11 million to Harvard. Two of the houses, Dunster and Lowell, were completed in 1930.
Construction of the first houses began in 1929,but the land on which they were built had been assembled decades before. After graduating from Harvard in 1895, Edward W. Forbes found himself inspired by the Oxford and Cambridge systems during two years of study in England; on returning to the United States he set out to acquire the land between Harvard Yard and the Charles River that was not already owned by Harvard or an associated entity. By 1918, that ambition had been largely fulfilled and the assembled land transferred to Harvard.
The three "Quad Houses" enjoy a residential setting half a mile northwest of Harvard Yard. These were built by Radcliffe College and housed Radcliffe College students until the Harvard and Radcliffe residential systems merged in 1977.They are Cabot, Currier, and Pforzheimer House. A thirteenth house, Dudley House, is nonresidential but fulfills, for some graduate students and the (very few) undergraduates living off campus, the administrative and social functions provided to on-campus residents by the other twelve houses. Harvard's residential houses are paired with Yale's residential colleges in sister relationships.
The Harvard Undergraduate Council (UC) is the 51-member student government of Harvard College. The student body at large elects the UC's president and vice president, while the twelve upperclass houses and four freshman neighborhoods each sends three representatives. (The Dudley Cooperative sends one representative.) The UC operates several committees on issues pertaining to undergraduates and allocates resources to student organizations.
The Harvard Crimson fields 42 intercollegiate sports teams in the NCAA Division I Ivy League, more than any other NCAA Division I college in the country.Every two years, the Harvard and Yale track and field teams come together to compete against a combined Oxford and Cambridge team in the oldest continuous international amateur competition in the world. As with other Ivy League universities, Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships.
Harvard's athletic rivalry with Yale is intense in every sport in which they meet, coming to a climax each fall in the annual football meeting, which dates back to 1875 and is usually called simply "The Game." While Harvard's football team is no longer one of the best as it was a century ago during football's early days (it won the Rose Bowl in 1920), both Harvard and Yale have influenced the way the game is played. In 1903, Harvard Stadium introduced a new era into football with the first permanent reinforced concrete stadium of its kind in the country. The stadium's structure played a role in the evolution of the college game. Seeking to reduce the alarming number of deaths and serious injuries, Walter Camp, former captain of the Yale football team, suggested widening the field to open up the game. But the stadium was too narrow to accommodate a wider playing surface, so other steps had to be taken. Camp would instead support revolutionary new rules for the 1906 season. These included legalizing the forward pass, perhaps the most significant rule change in the sport's history.
Even older than Harvard–Yale football rivalry, the Harvard–Yale Regatta is held each June on the Thames River in eastern Connecticut. The Harvard crew is typically considered to be one of the top teams in the country in rowing. Other sports in which Harvard teams are particularly strong are men's ice hockey, squash, and men's and women's fencing. Harvard's men's ice hockey team won the school's first NCAA Championship in any team sport in 1989, and Harvard also won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Championships in 2003. Harvard was the first Ivy League school to win an NCAA Championship in a women's sport when its women's lacrosse team won in 1990.
The school color is crimson, which is also the name of Harvard's sports teams and the student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson . The color was unofficially adopted (in preference to magenta) by an 1875 vote of the student body, although the association with some form of red can be traced back to 1858, when Charles William Eliot, a young graduate student who would later become Harvard's 21st and longest-serving president (1869–1909), bought red bandanas for his crew so they could more easily be distinguished by spectators at a regatta.
Harvard has several fight songs, the most played of which, especially at football, are "Ten Thousand Men of Harvard" and "Harvardiana." While "Fair Harvard" is actually the alma mater, "Ten Thousand Men" is better known outside the university. The Harvard University Band performs these fight songs and other cheers at football and hockey games. These were parodied by Harvard alumnus Tom Lehrer in his song "Fight Fiercely, Harvard," which he composed while an undergraduate.
By the late 19th century, critics of intercollegiate athletics, including Harvard president Charles William Eliot, believed that sports had become over-commercialized and took students away from their studies. They called for limitations on all sports. This opposition prompted Harvard's athletic committee to target "minor" sports—basketball and hockey—for reform in order to deflect attention from the major sports: football, baseball, track, and crew. The committee made it difficult for the basketball team to operate by denying financial assistance and limiting the number of overnight away games in which the team could participate.
Harvard has more than 450 undergraduate student organizations.The Phillips Brooks House Association acts as an umbrella service organization.
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The Ivy League is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private universities in the Northeastern United States. The term Ivy League is typically used beyond the sports context to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism. Its members in alphabetical order are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
Yale College is the undergraduate college of Yale University. Founded in 1701, it is the original school of the university. Although other Yale schools were founded as early as 1810, all of Yale was officially known as Yale College until 1887, when its schools were confederated and the institution was renamed Yale University. It is one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States.
Radcliffe College was a women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and functioned as the female coordinate institution for the all-male Harvard College. It was one of the Seven Sisters colleges and held the popular reputation of having a particularly intellectual, literary, and independent-minded female student body. Radcliffe conferred Radcliffe College diplomas to undergraduates and graduate students for approximately the first 70 years of its history and then joint Harvard-Radcliffe diplomas to undergraduates beginning in 1963. A formal "non-merger merger" agreement with Harvard was signed in 1977, with full integration with Harvard completed in 1999. Today, within Harvard University, Radcliffe's former administrative campus is home to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and former Radcliffe housing at the Radcliffe Quadrangle has been incorporated into the Harvard College house system. Under the terms of the 1999 consolidation, the Radcliffe Yard and the Radcliffe Quadrangle retain the "Radcliffe" designation in perpetuity.
The Harvard Crimson, is the daily student newspaper of Harvard University, and was founded in 1873. It is the only daily newspaper in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is run entirely by Harvard College undergraduates. The newspaper is operated by The Trustees of The Harvard Crimson, a nonprofit organization.
Abbott Lawrence Lowell was a U.S. educator and legal scholar. He was President of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933.
The Signet Society of Harvard University was founded in 1870 by members of the class of 1871. The first president was Charles Joseph Bonaparte. It was, at first, dedicated to the production of literary work only, going so far as to exclude debate and even theatrical productions. According to The Harvard book
It seemed to the founders that there was room in the College world for another association that should devote itself more exclusively to literary work than is possible with large numbers. Accordingly, they confined the membership to a few, and required that new members shall be, so far as possible, "representative men," and that at least five should be in the first half of their class.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is the largest of the twelve faculties that constitute Harvard University.
LeBaron Russell Briggs was an American educator. He was appointed the first Dean of Men at Harvard College, where he also served as dean of the faculty. He was also president of Radcliffe College and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, among other offices.
Harvard Extension School (HES) is the extension school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Under the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, it offers liberal arts and professional courses, academic certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a pre-medical program. Founded in 1910 to extend Harvard's resources to the Greater Boston community, the school primarily caters to adult learners with professional experience.
Mather House is one of twelve undergraduate residential Houses at Harvard University. Opened in 1970, it is named after Increase Mather, a Puritan in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who served as President of Harvard University from 1685 to 1692. Mather's Faculty Deans are Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Amala Mahadevan.
Leverett House is one of twelve undergraduate residential Houses at Harvard University. It is situated along the north bank of the Charles River in Cambridge and consists of McKinlock Hall, constructed in 1925; two 12-story towers completed in 1960; and two floors of 20 DeWolfe Street, a building Leverett shares with two other houses at Harvard. It has the largest student population within the Harvard house system.
Cabot House is one of twelve undergraduate residential Houses at Harvard University. Cabot House derives from the merger in 1970 of Radcliffe College's South and East House, which took the name South House, until the name was changed and the House reincorporated in 1984 to honor Harvard benefactors Thomas Cabot and Virginia Cabot. The house is composed of six buildings surrounding Radcliffe Quadrangle; in order of construction, they are Bertram Hall (1901), Eliot Hall (1906), Whitman Hall (1911), Barnard Hall (1912), Briggs Hall (1923), and Cabot Hall (1937). All six of these structures were originally women-only Radcliffe College dormitories until they were integrated in 1970. Along with Currier House and Pforzheimer House, Cabot is part of the Radcliffe Quad.
Lowell House is one of twelve undergraduate residential Houses at Harvard University, located at 10 Holyoke Place facing Mount Auburn Street between Harvard Yard and the Charles River. Officially, it is named for the Lowell family, but an ornate ALL woven into the ironwork above the main gate discreetly alludes to Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Harvard's president at the time of construction. Its majestic neo-Georgian design, centered on two landscaped courtyards, received the 1938 Harleston Parker Medal and might be considered the model for later Harvard houses nearby. Lowell House is simultaneously close to the Yard, Harvard Square, and other Harvard "River" houses, and its blue-capped bell tower, visible for many miles, is a local landmark.
Harvard College, around which Harvard University eventually grew, was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust is an American historian and was the 28th President of Harvard University, the first woman to serve in that role. Faust is the former dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; she was Harvard's first president since 1672 without an undergraduate or graduate degree from Harvard and the first to have been raised in the South.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.
The Harvard Undergraduate Council, Inc., colloquially known as "the UC," is the representative student government of Harvard College. The Council was established in 1982 by a vote of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences and student referendum. The Council is responsible for the administration of student services, campus-wide events, and student advocacy at Harvard. There are 51 undergraduate students at any given time serving on the Council: a president, vice president, 3 from each of the 12 residential houses and 4 freshman districts. Students from the Dudley Cooperative also have a representative on the Council. The UC also collaborates with the Harvard Graduate Council, the representative student government for the twelve graduate and professional schools of Harvard University.
Dudley Community is an alternative to Harvard College's 12 Houses. The Dudley Community serves nonresident undergraduate students, visiting undergraduate students, and undergraduates living in the Dudley Co-op. In 2019, the Dudley Community was formed, reflecting the administrative split between the undergraduate and graduate programs that were under Dudley House since 1991. The student center for the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Science is based in Lehman Hall; the building houses a dining hall, library, game room, computer lab, coffee shop, lockers, and common rooms. Affiliated undergraduates have access to Dudley House advisers, programs, intramural athletics, and organized social events.
This outline is provided as an overview of, and topical guide to Harvard University:
Harvard's professional schools... won world prestige of a sort rarely seen among social institutions. [...] Harvard's age, wealth, quality, and prestige may well shield it from any conceivable vicissitudes.
... [Harvard's] tremendous institutional power and prestige [...] Within the nation's (arguably) most prestigious institution of higher learning ...
Harvard University, one of the world's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, was founded in Massachusetts in 1636.
The most prestigious college in the world, of course, is Harvard, and the gap between it and every other university is often underestimated.
Americans tend to think of colleges as falling somewhere on a vast hierarchy based largely on their status and brand recognition. At the top are the Harvards and the Stanfords, with their celebrated faculty, groundbreaking research, and perfectly manicured quads.
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