Harvard College VS Harvard University: What’s The Difference

scholarship programme
scholarship programme

It is time to clear the air of confusion that sets in whenever we hear people talk about Harvard College vs Harvard University.

Invariably, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and of course, among the most renowned in the world.

In this article, we will take some time to look into some of the similarities and differences between the Harvard College and Harvard University.

Below is the table of contents to provide you an overview of what to expect in this article.


Harvard College VS Harvard University: An Overview

Harvard College is the undergraduate college of Harvard University, an Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Established in 1636, It was the original school of Harvard University which is now on the list of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

Currently, Harvard College handles all undergraduate matters regarding Harvard University and with the increasing demand for higher degrees, Harvard University came into existence.

Harvard University gained its popularity on the premise that it was the first university in America where one can get a degree in times when only the rich could afford it.


What is the Difference Between Harvard College and Harvard University?

Harvard College is basically one of the many schools that make up Harvard University and offers a four-year undergraduate and liberal program for students who seek their first degree with over 6,600 students there.

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In addition to the college, Harvard University holds 10 graduate and professional schools with programs to suit students who already have acquired their first degrees and think it wise to advance in their career through graduate programs.

These graduate schools at Harvard University all have their administrator offices and run independently of Harvard College. Hence, the research faculties, teaching and admission processes are different.

The President and Fellows of Harvard College of Harvard Corporation oversee the Harvard College while the Board of overseers governs Harvard University.

On the contrary, Harvard University is vast with over 14,00 students and has strong connections to other research institutions.

Similarities Between Harvard College and Harvard University


Both schools have a highly selective admission rate although there may be a slight difference in the different programs they offer.

Also, there is no particular workings to how you can gain admission into the Harvard extensions. However, a high school accomplishment is paramount.

Other criteria such as community involvement, leadership and outstanding extracurricular activities may be considered by the Admissions Committee.


Academics at any of the Harvard extensions provides the students with limitless possibilities to take you as far you are ready to go in your career.

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Right from your first day in Harvard yard through your graduate-level year, you will experience a world full of rich and enviable traditions in America’s college town.


Whatever your research interests are at either Harvard College or Harvard University, you will find proper funding to help you pull through with the research project.


How They Work

Cost of Tuition

Studying at Harvard College for the undergraduate programs have a fixed cost of $49,653 annually but the cost of tuition for Harvard University’s graduate program ranges between $29,728 to $73,440 annually.

It is however in the records that regardless of the exorbitant prices, Harvard University offers a great number of scholarships and grants to the students.


There are about 11 schools that make up Harvard University and they are;

  • The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard Business School
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • Graduate School of Design
  • John Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • School of Divinity
  • Law School
  • Kennedy School
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study
  • T.H Chan School of Public Health

The graduate programs have different structure in the following categories

  • Master’s program lasts for 1-2 years and involves the acquisition of both theoretical and practical knowledge in a specific profession.
  • Doctoral studies go on for 5-6 years while the practice-oriented doctoral programs last for 3-4 years.
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Harvard College offers over 3,700 courses in 50 fields of study which are basically interdisciplinary.

Below are the available concentrations.


Engineering and Applied Sciences
Social Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to go to Harvard?

The annual tuition you must pay to attend Harvard College is $49,653 while the cost of tuition to attend Harvard University is between $29,728 and $73,440.

Is Harvard College the same as Harvard University?

Harvard College is the undergraduate school of Harvard University in Massachusetts.

What is the acceptance rate at Harvard?

The acceptance rate at any of the harvard schools is highly competitive and they accept only about 4.6% of the total number of applicants.


It is worth remembering that Harvard College is an arm of Harvard University and has very selective acceptance rate. Both institutions share the same goals to offer the students a world-class research experience but their programs differ.

Read this article to see the similarities and how they function.



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