Harvard University


Harvard University is a private, Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 1636, whose history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Research comprises "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications."

Massachusetts mass-ə-CHOO-sits; officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.

The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States.

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Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and the Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation.

The President and Fellows of Harvard College is the smaller of Harvard University's two governing boards, the other being its Board of Overseers.

A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law.

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Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy.


Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites.


Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot's long tenure transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard was a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

The Association of American Universities is an international organization of leading research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education.

Charles William Eliot was an American academic who was selected as Harvard's president in 1869.

The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States fought from 1861 to 1865.


James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war.

James Bryant Conant was an American chemist, a transformative President of Harvard University, and the first U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier.

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s.


The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College.

Radcliffe College was a women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and functioned as a female coordinate institution for the all-male Harvard College.


The University is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge, approximately 3 miles northwest of Boston; the business school and athletics facilities, including Harvard Stadium, are located across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and the medical, dental, and public health schools are in the Longwood Medical Area.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now a division of Harvard University, carries on many of the research and professional development programs that Radcliffe College pioneered and has introduced other programs to the worldwide community of scholars.

Harvard Yard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a grassy area of 22.4 acres enclosed by fences with twenty-seven gates.

Harvard Stadium is a U-shaped football stadium in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, in the United States.


Harvard's $37.6 billion financial endowment is the largest of any academic institution.


Harvard is a large, highly residential research university.


The nominal cost of attendance is high, but the University's large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages.


It operates several arts, cultural, and scientific museums, alongside the Harvard Library, which is the world's largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries with over 18 million volumes.

The Harvard Library system comprises about 73 libraries, with more than 18 million volumes.


Harvard's alumni include eight U.S. presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 335 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars.

A billionaire, in countries that use the short scale number naming system, is a person with a net worth of at least one billion units of a given currency, usually major currencies such as the United States dollar, the euro, or the pound sterling.

The Rhodes Scholarship, named for the British mining magnate and South African politician Cecil John Rhodes, is an international postgraduate award for non-British students to study at the University of Oxford.


To date, some 150 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists and 13 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or staff.

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