Our Mission and Culture

For many people, the most compelling aspect of working at Harvard is the sense of mission and community that permeates every school, department, program, and organization on campus. It’s a vibrant crucible of intellectual activity, research, knowledge creation, learning, and teaching. Here, results matter and creativity flourishes. We’re united by a culture that strives for excellence, but also supports us in our work.

As America’s oldest and most venerable institution of higher learning, Harvard’s mission is to advance new ideas and promote enduring knowledge. Since our founding in 1636, Harvard has grown to include 11 degree-awarding schools along with our allied institutions, including the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

Our faculties are unified by common goals of education and research, but each develops leaders and positively impacts the world in its own way. 

  • Harvard Kennedy School improves public policy and public leadership so that people can lead safer, freer and more prosperous lives.
  • Harvard Law School advances the cause of justice all over the world through excellence and leadership in legal education and scholarship.
  • Harvard Medical School creates and nurtures a diverse, inclusive community dedicated to alleviating human suffering and improving health and well-being for all.
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health advances the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication.

"As the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning, Harvard has a special responsibility to champion intellectual traditions that have defined educated men and women since the dawn of civilization. We do more than deliver a body of knowledge to our students — we expand their humanity. By teaching young people to appreciate what is beautiful in art, society, and nature, we help them to discover what makes life truly worth living."

Lawrence S. Bacow
President of Harvard University