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Harvard University vs University of Cambridge

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Both Harvard University and the University of Cambridge are academic titans in global education. Harvard, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution in the United States. On the other hand, the University of Cambridge, founded in 1209, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities worldwide. Choosing between these epitomes of brilliance for your study plans can be daunting. In this blog, we shall compare the legacies of excellence of both these universities so you make the right choice. Read through.

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Table of Contents

Harvard University vs University of Cambridge: Overview

The following overview highlights the differences between Harvard University and the University of Cambridge regarding their overall rankings, subject-wise rankings, programs, acceptance rates, exam scores, and application requirements:

  • Harvard University is renowned for its excellence in a wide array of fields. It excels in engineering, arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and management, medicine, and law.

  • Its prestigious reputation and ground-breaking research, along with its influential alums, contribute to its status as a global leader in higher education, shaping the future of academia, business, and society.

  • The University of Cambridge is celebrated for its exceptional academic contributions to various disciplines. It stands out notably in natural sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences and management, medicine, and law. 

 

Harvard University

University of Cambridge

Founded 

1636

1209

Overall Ranking 

  • #3 US News 2024
  • #4 Times Higher Education 2024
  • #4 QS World University 2025
  • #5 Times Higher Education 2024
  • #5 QS World University 2025

Subject Strength

  • #1 for Engineering by Times Higher Education 2024
  • #1 for Arts & Humanities by QS World University 2024
  • #1 for Natural Sciences by QS World University 2024
  • #1 for Social Sciences & Management by QS World University 2024
  • #1 for Medicine by US News 2024
  • #1 for Law by QS University Rankings 2024
  • #5 for Data Science and Analytics by QS World University 2024
  • #4 for Engineering by QS World University 2024
  • #2 for Arts & Humanities by QS World University 2024
  • #4 for Natural Sciences by QS World University 2024
  • #5 for Social Sciences & Management by QS World University 2024
  • #5 for Medicine by QS World University 2024
  • #3 for Law by Times Higher Education 2024

Programs 

  • UG Programs - 40
  • PG Programs - 60
  • Doctorate Programs - 8
  • UG Programs - 27
  • PG Programs - 113
  • Doctorate Programs - 91

Acceptance Rate

3.59 % 

18%

Exam Scores

  • GRE - 326
  • GMAT - 620
  • IELTS - 6.5
  • SAT - 1460
  • TOEFL - 90
  • GMAT - 690
  • IELTS - 7.5
  • SAT - 990
  • TOEFL - 110

Application Requirements

  • Academic Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Proof of English language proficiency - IELTS/TOEFL
  • Teacher Evaluation forms (as additional LORs)
  • Sample of academic work, portfolio, music recordings, artwork, etc  (supplementary documents) 
  • Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (for UG applicants)
  • Standardized test scores (GRE, etc.)
  • Proof of English language proficiency - IELTS/TOEFL
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Interviews
  • subject-specific written admission assessment
  • 1-2 References
  • Personal Statement

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Location

Harvard University

Harvard University is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Its main campus spans over 200 acres along the Charles River. The university’s location offers easy access to nearby Boston's vibrant cultural and intellectual scene. The students have opportunities for exploration, collaboration, and engagement with diverse communities. 

University of Cambridge

Cambridge is located in Cambridgeshire, England. It is situated 50 miles north of London. Cambridgeshire boasts a rich cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, and iconic architecture. The University dominates the city space with its majestic colleges. The river Cam meanders through the heart of the city, adding to the city’s charm and allure.

Suggested: Harvard Executive MBA: Cost & Is it Worth it? 

Academics

Harvard University

Harvard University offers a wide range of subjects in various fields, including but not limited to: 

  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Business

Some unique and famous subjects at Harvard University include:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • African and African American Studies
  • Environmental Science and Public Policy
  • Visual and Environmental Studies

Harvard University provides a comprehensive and rigorous academic experience across various disciplines. They prepare students to become better field leaders and make meaningful societal contributions. 

University of Cambridge

Cambridge maintains a rich academic heritage offering a wide range of subjects across various disciplines, such as:

  • Humanities
  • Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Medicine 
  • Law

Cambridge is particularly renowned for its literature, mathematics, physics, history, and economics programs, which attract students worldwide due to its rigorous intellectual environment and school opportunities. Cambridge also offers some distinctive and prestigious programs such as:

  • Cambridge Science and Policy Exchange (CSaP)
  • Cambridge Centre for Alternaitve Finance (CCAF)
  • Cavendish Laboratory for Physics Research

Read also: How Much Does The Harvard MBA Cost In 2024?

Campuses and B-Schools

We have listed down the list of various schools that are established at these universities: 

 

Harvard University 

University of Cambridge

Campuses and B-Schools

  • Harvard College (Undergraduate school)
  • Harvard Business School
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard Law School
  • Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Harvard Divinity School
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Harvard Extension School
  • Harvard Dental School
  • Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • School of Arts and Humanities
  • School of the Biological Sciences
  • School of Clinical Medicine
  • School of the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • School of Technology

Read more: How To Get Into Cambridge University From India: 2024

Student Life

Harvard University  

Harvard has a student body of approximately 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The student organization offers many extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations catering to various interests. The Harvard Undergraduate Council (UC) represents the undergraduate students. The university has a world-class library system. One such organization is Harvard College Democrats and Republicans, where students engage in discussions, debates, and activism surrounding political issues and elections. 

University of Cambridge 

Cambridge fosters a diverse and inclusive community of 20,000, including undergraduates and postgraduates. Students are engaged in a wide range of student activities catering to various interests and passions. The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) serves as the students' central representation body. 

One such organization is the Cambridge University Science Fiction Society (CUSFS). This is a student-run organization. 

Suggested: MS in International Business in the UK

Cost of Attendance

The cost of studying at both universities has been listed below: 


 

Harvard University

University of Cambridge

Cost to Study

  • Average Tuition Fees for UG Program: USD 52700 (INR 44, 96,000)
  • Average Tuition Fees for PG Program: USD 18600 (INR 15,51,000)
  • Hostel + Meal - USD 31700 (INR 26,44,000) Per Year
  • Average Tuition Fees for PG Program: GBP  30700 (INR 32,62,000)
  • Average Tuition Fees For UG Program: GBP 44700 (INR 47,50,000)
  • Hostel + Meal - GBP 670 (71,000) Per Month

Suggested: MBA in the UK without GMAT and IELTS

Placement (Average Package)

We have listed The average placement packages for some of the professions below: 

 

Harvard University 

University of Cambridge

Placement (Average Package)

  • Other Degree: USD 200,000 (INR 1,66,82,000) 

  • Doctorate: USD 190,000 (INR 1,58,48,000)

  • Executive Masters: USD 172,000 (INR 1,43,47,000) 

  • MBA: USD 168,000 (INR 1,40,13,000) 

  • Executive MBA: USD 160,000 (INR 1,33,46,000)

  • LLM: USD 152,000 (INR 1,26,79,000) 

  • MBA: GBP 107,000 (INR 1,13,69,000) 

  • Masters of Arts: GBP 101,000 (INR 1,07,32,000)

  • Masters in Finance: GBP 100,000 (INR 1,06,25,000) 

  • LLM: GBP 95,000 (INR 1,00,94,000) 

  • Doctorate: GBP 92,000 (INR 97,75,000)

  • Executive MBA: GBP 88,000 (INR 93,50,000)

Read also: Top 15 MBA Colleges in the UK for International Students 

From the Desk of Yocket

Both Harvard and Cambridge have stood as pillars of academic excellence. They have their unique strengths and legacies. Whether it is the historic charm of Cambridge or the vibrant cultural scenes in Harvad, students have ample opportunities. They have unparalleled opportunities for academic growth, personal development, and global impact. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to individual preference. 

After you have been offered the admission letter, you will need help with your visa application, and Yocket can help you. Not only this, but our experts can help with anything and everything. Be it SOP, LOR, resume building, visa application, etc. They have helped over 10,000 premium aspirants like yourself fulfill their dreams of studying at their desired university. Book a FREE consultation right away!

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