Academics

Location
Undergrads
7,233
Tuition
$42,292
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Junior

Academics: The government major is one of the largest offered on campus and there is a plethora of resources available and no shortage of classes. I have never not gotten into a class I have truly wanted; often begging a professor is all it takes if you miss the lottery. The work load is not too bad, as long as you accept that you will never do all the readings. And the professors do not expect you to - literally! I have had professors actually say that you should pick the more important readings and start from there. What makes this major amazing at Harvard is the availability of graduate classes to the undergrads, with access to both the law school and the Kennedy school of government.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: The classes can be small seminars or large lectures, depending on your preference, as both are offered. The professors are incredible and you rarely meet one who is not interested in actually teaching and getting to know you. Office hours are a must. The work load is generally quite manageable and rarely will you find that you actually need to do all the reading assigned; this varies major to major though.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Amazing professors, great variety of classes to take. The classes are quite hard, and despite claims that everyone here gets an A, you have to work diligently in order to do well.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: If you major in humanities you automatically get more attention because not many people major in humanities. Most departments are small and friendly.

1 person found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 4th
    Most Available Classes
  • 5th
    Best Registration Process
  • 8th
    Best Course Variety
  • 9th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 21st
    Best Technology in the Classroom

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Dominic Hood
Hometown
New Orleans, La.
Major
Psychology
View all previous student authors

"Unparalleled," "world-class," and "exciting" are just a few of the words used to described the constellation of academic stars you will find leading class discussions and lecturing on a huge breadth of topics at Harvard. The school's unmatched resources and wide array of fields of study make it the ideal place to pursue nearly any academic interest. However, some students complain that professors are too far removed from undergraduate life, and that in some cases, teaching assistants are left with too much responsibility. Most students are quick to indicate, however, that nearly everyone with any teaching duties is downright brilliant—important lecturers and overworked graduate students alike.

Despite a small number of complaints, Harvard University provides a fertile ground for intellectual growth. Renowned faculty, a treasure trove of resources, and undergraduate motivation all combine to make Harvard a terrific place for higher education. Even if some students have trouble attaining "A" grades, the University passes with flying colors.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
7:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,778
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
640
Total FT Faculty
4,001
Faculty with Terminal Degree
100%
Average Faculty Salary
$151,262
Full-Time Retention Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
97%
Programs/Majors Offered
150
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 78%
  • 20 to 49 students: 14%
  • 50 or more students: 8%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
Harvard College
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Post-master's certificate
  • Doctorate – Professional practice
  • Doctorate – Research/scholarship
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 6%
  • Foundations of Education: 4%
  • Law: 4%
  • Public Administration: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • House dining halls
  • Lamont Library
  • The myriad coffee shops around the square
Tips to Succeed
  • Actually go to class.
  • Check your final exam dates before you register for classes.
  • Get advice from upperclassmen.
  • Join study groups, if at all possible.
  • Pick classes you actually like.
  • Success at Harvard requires the same ingredients as success at any other task. Motivation, hard work, and organization will have a larger impact on success than brainpower.
Did You Know?
The Harvard University library collection contains more than 17 million volumes.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 9 responses

  • 21% Franklin D. Roosevelt - 32nd U.S. president
  • 15% Yo-Yo Ma - famous composer and musician
  • 12% Theodore Roosevelt - 26th U.S. president
  • 9% George W. Bush (MBA) - 43rd U.S. president
  • 9% Tommy Lee Jones - star of "The Fugitive"
  • 9% John Quincy Adams - 6th U.S. president
  • 6% John Roberts - chief justice of the Supreme Court
  • 6% Henry David Thoreau - famed philosopher, author
  • 6% Conan O'Brien - late-night talk show host
  • 3% Benazir Bhutto - former prime minister of Pakistan
  • 3% John F. Kennedy - 35th U.S. President
  • 3% John F. Kennedy
  • 0% Michael Crichton - author of "Jurassic Park"
  • 0% Soledad O'Brien - broadcast journalist
  • 0% Ralph Waldo Emerson - poet and author
  • 0% John F. Kennedy - 35th U.S. president
  • 0% B.J. Novak - actor, writer, producer
  • 0% Al Gore - 45th U.S. vice president
  • 0% Bill Gates - founder of Microsoft
  • 0% Lou Dobbs - news anchor and host

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 33 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 32 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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