Harvard University Acceptance Rate – What Does it Take to be Accepted?

Now, who does not want to attend Harvard University? Probably no one. In order to attend, however, you need to get accepted. One of the most important statistics that you need to be aware of is the acceptance rate. We will talk about this later in the article and will discuss the background information first, so that you have a better idea what Harvard University can offer to you as a student.

Harvard University is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636, the university is the oldest institute of higher education in the United States and its name has since become synonymous with one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The university is named after its first and primary benefactor, John Harvard, who bequeathed his estate properties and library to the institute after his death. Since its inception, Harvard has continued to produce elite alumni who have progressed to successful positions in their field while contributing to the development of society as a whole.

Harvard has a student enrolment of around 22,000, comprising of around 6700 undergraduate and 15,000 postgraduate students. Approximately 11% of the undergraduate and 27% of the postgraduate students are international students hailing from over 150 different countries in the world. In terms of admissions, the university has been considered to be highly selective with a low acceptance rate.

Academically, the university is structured and divided into ten academic faculties which include the Harvard College (for Liberal Arts majors), Schools of Medicine, Law, Divinity, Business, Education, the T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the John F. Kennedy Government School and several more. In addition to this, the university also has the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Collectively, the university offers 46 undergraduate majors, 134 postgraduate degrees and several more professional certificates and diplomas.

The university operates across several campuses. The main campus is located in Cambridge, centered around Harvard Yard and houses the administrative offices, numerous academic buildings, the main library system, Memorial Church and several of the freshman dormitories. The Allston campus is home to Harvard Business School and most of the university’s sports facilities such as the Harvard Stadium. Harvard’s Medical School, School of Dental Medicine and the School of Public Health are located in the Longwood campus. The university also has several off-campus sites such as the Harvard Forest in Petersham, the Villa I Tatti research center in Florence (Italy) and the Harvard Shanghai Center in China.

Harvard is famous for having the world’s largest academic library which houses a collection of over 20 million printed volumes and other items. Furthermore, Athletics plays a critical role in Harvard. The teams, who are known as the Harvard Crimson, span across 42 sports clubs and are part of the NCAA Division I Ivy League. The university has athletic rivalry with several other sports teams, including that of Yale University (which results in the annual football game).

With its high standards of academic excellence and international prestige, Harvard University has produced countless graduates with a current network of over 320,000 living alumni living across the globe. The university’s alumni include several Presidents of the United States, Foreign Heads of State, several Nobel Laureates, Academy Award winners and so on. Alumni with notable names include T. S. Elliot (Nobel Laureate and author), Al Gore (Nobel Laureate and VP of the United States), Henry Kissinger (Political Scientist), Barack Obama (former President of the United States), Michelle Obama (former First Lady of the United States), Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), Ban-Ki Moon (Former Secretary-General of the UN), Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), Helen Keller (author and activist) and Matt Damon (actor).


Harvard University Acceptance Rate

I hope that you are now familiar with the background of Harvard University. Now, let’s take a look at the acceptance rate. According to the Harvard Common Data Set,  Harvard University accepted 2,037 students out of 39,506 students that applied in 2018. This means that Harvard University acceptance rate was 5.16% total. This is a very low acceptance rate as you can see. Roughly 1 out of every 20 applicants got in.


I hope that this article was helpful to you. If you are applying to Harvard University, I highly recommend applying to their scholarships. They offer a lot of scholarships per year. You can check the details at Harvard University Scholarships Page. If you want to see the admission statistics at other universities, visit acceptance rate category.

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