Harvard University vs MIT

Another factor to consider is your academic interests and what you want to major in. Although both Harvard and MIT offer 50+ majors in different fields, MIT is more geared toward science, math, and technology, while Harvard embraces a broader range of fields, especially liberal arts and humanities majors.
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MIT and Harvard are two of the most prestigious universities in the world, both located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Despite being in the same city and sharing certain similarities, they differ greatly in their history, location, undergraduate admissions, popular majors, and many more. It is also about ivy league vs non-ivy league as MIT is not an ivy league school. This blog will give insights on MIT and Harvard on these factors. 


Harvard University Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Collegedunia Score 10 Out of 10 9 Out of 10
Ranking (Overall) # 1 US News 2023
# 2 Times Higher Education 2023
# 5 QS World University 2023
# 1 QS World University 2023
# 2 US News 2023
# 5 Times Higher Education 2023
Subject Strength # 1 for Management by QS World University 2023
# 1 for Social Studies by QS World University 2023
# 1 for Medicine by QS World University 2023
# 1 for Technology by QS World University 2023
# 1 for Engineering by QS World University 2023
# 1 for Computer Science by US News 2023
Programs UG Programs -40
PG Programs -58
Doctorate Programs -8
UG Programs -48
PG Programs -41
Doctorate Programs -30
Acceptance Rate 5.6 % 8.5 %
Exam Score GMAT – 620
GRE – 326
IELTS – 6.5
SAT – 1460
TOEFL – 90
GRE – 310
PTE – 65
SAT – 1510
TOEFL – 90
Cost To Study Average Tuition Fees   52659
[For UG Program]
Average Tuition Fees   18600
[For PG Program]
Hostel + Meal – 31689 Per Year
Average Tuition Fees   57590
[For UG Program]
Average Tuition Fees   57590
[For PG Program]
Hostel + Meal – 24390 Per Year
Placement (Average Package)

Harvard University is one of the top private universities in Cambridge, United States. It is ranked #5 in QS World University Rankings 2023 and ranked #1 in US UNI.

  • Other Degree: $200,000
  • Doctorate: $190,000
  • Executive Masters: $172,000
  • MBA: $168,000
  • Executive MBA: $160,000
  • LLM: $152,000
Average Salaries Of Degree:

  • Executive MBA : $192,000
  • Masters in Management : $178,000
  • MBA : $175,000
  • Doctorate : $170,000
  • PhD : $169,000
  • Masters in Science : $140,000
Application Requirements Teacher Evaluation forms (as additional LORs); Sample of academic work, potfolio, music recordings, art work, etc  (supplementary documents); IELTS/TOEFL; Standardized test scores Letter of recommendations (two, preferrably from teachers of subjects maths and science or humanities)
Student profile
Creative portfolio
Campuses And B Schools Harvard Law School
Harvard Extension School
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Business School
MIT Sloan School of Management


Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, founded in 1636, just a few decades after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

It was originally intended to train Puritan ministers, but it has evolved into a comprehensive research university with a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

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It was named for the college’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard, who was a puritan minister and, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half his estate to the institution.

Over, the centuries, Harvard has produced numerous US presidents, foreign leaders, and Nobel laureates.

General Facts Harvard University Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Type Of University University University
Established 1636 1861
Student:Faculty Ratio 7:1 3:1
Male:Female 52% Male, 48% Female 54% Male, 46% Female
Location Facts Harvard Yard: Campus’s historic hub, Harvard Square: Campus’s personal hagout destination with restaurants, cafe, bookstores, theater, shops. Well connected to the local neighborhood of Boston by public transport, the campus traverses the Charles River to near by Allston. Lying between central and kendall squares across Charles River from Boston’s Back bay. Small instituition with close knit student body postioned to collaborate and contribute to neighbors
Library Largest academic library in the world. 20.4 million volumes, 400 million manuscript items, 180,000 serial titles. The library offers various grants and fellowships for both students and faculty. More than 5 million items, with over 21,000 MIT theses
478 online database
17,000 journals
55,000 electronic journals
Campus Life Students from over 50 states and 80 countries are offered assistance by over 400 official student organization. The campus has its own museum, radio station, magazine and newspaper. Along with student clubs for Aikikai, archery, dance, theatre/drama, music, etc, campus also offers cultural & racial initiatives, asian student centric-projects, etc. Varsity sports, crimson pride and various atheletic teams. Over 450 co-curricular organizations, Society for Women Engineers, LGTQ+ community, Black stuents union, 33 varsity sports, The Tech (student newspaper), The Byte (graduate student publication), religious organizations, around 43 sororities, fraternities and independent living groups.
Hostel #Medium Single – $10404
#Large Single – $13248
#Standard Single – $8037
#Rooms – $10430
#Rooms – $8000
Famous Alumni Eight US Presidents, 62 living billionaires, 242 Marshall Scholars, 359 Rhodes scholars. Barak Obama (ex-president of USA), Michelle Obama (Former First Lady of USA), Mark Zuckerberg, Natalie Portman (Actress), Bill Gates, Conan O’ Brien (comedian writer), Al Gore (Winner-Peace Prize), Matt Damon (Actor), Helen Keller, Subramaniam Swami (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha) 85 Nobel laureates, 58 National Medal of Science Winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Winners
Kofi Annan (Former secretary general of UN), Buzz Aldrin (former Apolo 11 astronaut & fighter pilot), Benjamin Netanyahu (Iraesli Prime Minister), Amar Gopal Bose (Owner of Bose), etc
City Life Cambridge- city in Massachusetts; home to a huge student community; city offers a great nightlife with gastropubs, live music, and cocktail bars. Boston’s cosmopolitan excitement is bus-ride away. Average salaries offered within the state are up to 97,5000 USD; Famous tourist attractions: Charles River, Harvard Square, Mount Auburn Cemetery, MIT Museum, CambrdgeSide, John Harvard Statue, Sanders Theatre; Unemployment rate- 3.2% Cambridge- city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts; City is part of the Boston metropolitan area; home to a huge student community; Average salaries offered within the state are up to 97,5000 USD; Famous tourist attractions: Charles River, Harvard Square, Mount Auburn Cemetery, MIT Museum, CambrdgeSide, John Harvard Statue, Sanders Theatre; Unemployment rate- 2.1% (Dec 2019)
Comparison Notes

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Choosing between these two education brands depends highly on the choice of program of the student.

  • MIT can be an obvious choice for an IT aspirant as university ranks better for its Engineering programs.
  • Harvard ranks better Medicine and Psychology programs.
  • Scores for standardized exams to study in USA for both the universities are equally competitive.
  • Harvard relatively has a lower tuition fee (3700 USD less).
  • Harvard offers a bigger library collection.
  • MIT ranks better globally across three ranking agencies- QS, THE and USNews
  • MIT has a higher acceptance rate.
  • Placement package offered is slightly better at MIT.

Where an engineering aspirant should preferably opt for MIT for an outstanding reputation of its engineering programs, aspirants of biomedical, medicine, accounting & finance, and psychology fields must choose Harvard.

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MIT, on the other hand, is a much younger institution, founded in 1861 in response to the Industrial Revolution. Its mission was to train engineers and scientists to help drive American innovation and competitiveness. The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts signed a charter to incorporate William Barton Rogers’ proposed “Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Society of Natural History,” a new form of higher education designed to address the challenges posed by the rapid advancement of science and technology in the mid-19th century that classic institutions were ill-prepared for. MIT’s contributions to science and engineering have been enormous, including pioneering work in fields such as nuclear physics, computer science, and artificial intelligence.

Popular Majors

Harvard and MIT offer different programs of study, reflecting their different missions and histories. Some of the most popular majors at each institution include:


·        Economics

·        Computer Science

·        Molecular and Cell Biology

·        Psychology

·        History


·        Computer Science

·        Mechanical Engineering

·        Electrical Engineering

·        Physics

·        Mathematics

While there is some overlap in the majors offered, the differences reflect the institutions’ distinct strengths and priorities.

  MIT Harvard
Location Cambridge, US Cambridge, US
Acceptance Rate for Class of 2026 3.96% 3.9%
Undergraduate Enrolment 4300 approx 7500 approx
Average SAT Score 1520 – 1580 1480-1580
Average ACT Score 35 – 36 33 – 36
 U.S. News Ranking 2 3
Scholarship Need-blind Need-blind



Both MIT and Harvard are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a city just across the Charles River from Boston. However, their campuses are located in different parts of the city, and they have different relationships with their surroundings.

Harvard’s main campus is situated in Harvard Square, a bustling commercial and cultural center of Cambridge. Harvard Square is known for its historic architecture, lively street performers, and diverse restaurants and shops.

MIT, on the other hand, is located a bit further west, near the banks of the Charles River. The campus is adjacent to the vibrant tech hub of Kendall Square, which is home to numerous high-tech companies and startups.

As both Harvard and MIT are located in New England, you can expect all four seasons, from summers averaging 25° Celsius to winters as cold as 0° Celsius.

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What is MIT?

One of the most esteemed private universities in the United States, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT was founded in 1861 to promote research, discovery, and innovation in science, engineering, and technology.

MIT comprises six schools and colleges: School of Architecture and Planning, School of Engineering, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Sloan School of Management, School of Science, and MIT Schwarzman College of Computing.

What Is Harvard?

Harvard University is a private Ivy League school that is known all over the world. It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where MIT is located. It also has campuses in Allston, a part of Boston, and Longwood.

It was founded in 1636 and is the oldest university in the United States. Its goal is to give citizens and future leaders the best liberal arts and sciences education.

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What are some crucial facts about MIT?

MIT is the United States’ leading private institution that is recognized all over the globe. A few important points to note:

● It is strongly inclined towards research in technological as well as scientific advancements.

●       It offers programs for undergraduates, graduates, and post-doctoral degrees, spread among 30 departments.

The table below will throw light on some important points about Harvard and MIT,

Criteria Harvard  MIT
2022 Ranking for QS World University 5 1
Acceptance Rate: Class of 2025 3.43% 4%
Tuition Fee $51,904 USD $55,510 USD
GPA (Average) 3.7-4.0 3.7-4.0
ACT/SAT Scores (Average) SAT: 1460-1580ACT: 32-35 SAT: 1520-1580ACT: 34-36
Graduate’s Starting Salary (Median) $69,000 USD $95,000 USD

Academics: Harvard v/s MIT

The below table provides a list of subjects for major courses at Harvard as well as MIT,

Subjects at Harvard Subjects at MIT
History Mathematics
Cellular And Molecular Biology Electrical Engineering
Psychology Computer Science
Computer Science Mechanical Engineering
Mathematics Physics

Student Body: Harvard v/s MIT

Before attending a university, one should be aware of every aspect; one of which is the student influx. Here are some numbers.

Criteria Harvard MIT
Class Size (Average) 12 <20
Student Population (Total) 23,731 11,934
Student Population (Undergraduate) 5,222 4,638
Student Size (International) 12% 10%
Ratio of Students to Faculty 7:1 3:1

Tuition: Harvard v/s MIT

The table below talks about tuition fees and other significant expenses for Harvard and MIT.

Criteria Harvard MIT
Fee (Tuition) $51,904 $55,510
Meal and Housing Plan $21,130 $18,100
Cost of Attendance (Total cost estimated) $85,060 $77,020

Final note: How to Make Your Choice Between Harvard vs. MIT

Both MIT and Harvard share many characteristics; for example, they are highly competitive educational institutions that provide various prestigious degree options. Both of their homes are located in Cambridge. Thus they are physically close to one another.

Most MIT students are drawn to study in one of the school’s sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) departments, particularly those focusing on technology and engineering. During this time, students attend Harvard to study various courses. In addition, Harvard has more than 2,000 more undergraduate students than MIT, making it a somewhat larger institution.

If you’re interested in participating in athletics, Harvard is most likely the preferable school for you to attend. At the same time, the Engineers at MIT compete in Division III of the NCAA. Keep in mind that regardless of which school you choose to attend, you will still be able to take classes at the other school and several other institutions in the area.


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