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 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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

"If Harvard is first of all defined not by buildings or endowments or traditions but by people, we have an overriding interest in attracting to our community the most talented people we can find – as students, as faculty, as staff."

Drew Gilpin Faust
President of Harvard University
Lincoln Professor of History