About Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. 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 the Boston elite.
The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses and the world's largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items