Tulane University vs Harvard: Which School is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman smiling at the camera.

Tulane University vs Harvard: Which School is Right for You?

Deciding which university to attend is a major decision that can have a significant impact on your future. When comparing Tulane University and Harvard, there are several factors to consider. Each school offers unique experiences and opportunities, as well as different requirements and expectations. This article will explore all the key factors to help you make an informed decision between Tulane University vs Harvard is the right fit for you.

Introduction: Choosing the Right University

Choosing the right university is a critical step towards achieving your academic and career goals. As you consider Tulane University and Harvard, you should take several factors into account, including geographic location, history and prestige, academic programs, faculty, student life, and more. Each of these factors plays a significant role in your university experience, and we will explore them in-depth below.

Harvard University historic building in Cambridge at Massachusetts USA

One important factor to consider when choosing a university is the availability of research opportunities. Research experience can be invaluable for students pursuing careers in fields such as science, engineering, and medicine. Tulane University and Harvard both offer extensive research opportunities, with state-of-the-art facilities and renowned faculty members leading cutting-edge research projects.

Another factor to consider is the availability of financial aid and scholarships. Pursuing higher education can be expensive, and it’s important to consider the financial resources available to you. Both Tulane University and Harvard offer a range of financial aid options, including need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, and work-study programs. It’s important to research and compare the financial aid options available at each university to determine which one is the best fit for your financial situation.

Location and Campus

Tulane University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, while Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston. Both cities are rich in history, culture, and entertainment options. Tulane’s campus is situated in the historic Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans and encompasses 110 acres of lush greenery. Harvard’s campus, on the other hand, is 209 acres and is nestled along the banks of the Charles River. Both campuses offer extensive amenities and resources, ranging from libraries and research labs to sports complexes and arts centers.

One notable difference between the two campuses is their architectural style. Tulane’s campus features a mix of traditional and modern buildings, with many structures dating back to the early 20th century. Harvard’s campus, on the other hand, is known for its iconic red-brick buildings, many of which were constructed in the Georgian and Colonial Revival styles. Despite these differences, both campuses offer a beautiful and inspiring environment for students to learn and grow.

History and Prestige between Tulane University vs Harvard

Known for its vibrant cultural scene, Tulane University was founded in 1834. Tulane has a longstanding history of excellence in education and is currently ranked 41st in the U.S. News and World Report’s National University Rankings. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. It is currently ranked second in the U.S. News and World Report’s National University Rankings. Both universities have a long-standing tradition of academic excellence and are renowned for their research programs and distinguished faculty.

Tulane University has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The university offers over 70 majors and minors, including programs in business, engineering, and public health. Tulane is also known for its strong commitment to community service and has been recognized as a leader in service-learning programs.

Harvard University has produced numerous notable alumni, including eight U.S. presidents, over 150 Nobel laureates, and 14 Turing Award winners. The university has a large endowment of over $40 billion, which allows it to offer generous financial aid packages to its students. Harvard is also known for its rigorous academic programs, including its highly selective undergraduate program and top-ranked graduate schools.

Admissions Requirements and Process

Both Tulane and Harvard are highly selective universities, and the admissions process can be rigorous. Tulane University requires applicants to submit standardized test scores, transcripts, recommendation letters, personal essays, and an application fee. In contrast, Harvard University uses a holistic admissions process and considers factors such as academic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and more.

a group of college students talking in a staircase

It is important to note that both universities have different deadlines for their admissions process. Tulane University has an Early Action deadline of November 15th and a Regular Decision deadline of January 15th. Harvard University has a Single Choice Early Action deadline of November 1st and a Regular Decision deadline of January 1st. It is recommended that applicants submit their applications well before the deadline to ensure that all materials are received and reviewed in a timely manner.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered between Tulane University vs Harvard

Both Tulane and Harvard offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs across various fields of study. At Tulane, academic programs cover a broad range of subjects, including business, education, engineering, environmental studies, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health, and social work. At Harvard, academic programs span multiple areas of study, including the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, and include fields such as architecture, law, public policy, education, and more.

In addition to the traditional academic programs, both Tulane and Harvard offer unique and specialized programs that cater to specific interests and career paths. Tulane offers a program in Disaster Resilience Leadership, which prepares students to lead and manage disaster response and recovery efforts. Harvard offers a program in Computational Science and Engineering, which combines computer science and applied mathematics to solve complex problems in various fields. These specialized programs provide students with the opportunity to gain expertise in niche areas and stand out in their respective fields.

Faculty and Class Size

Tulane and Harvard are known for their distinguished faculty members and renowned researchers. Tulane University boasts a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which ensures personalized attention and mentorship opportunities. Harvard also provides a small student-to-faculty ratio, with a ratio of 7:1. Both universities offer small class sizes, providing ample opportunities for discussion, debate, and collaboration among students and faculty.

Additionally, Tulane University has a diverse faculty, with over 50% of its faculty members being women and people of color. This diversity brings a unique perspective to the classroom and allows for a more inclusive learning environment.

Harvard University also offers a wide range of interdisciplinary courses, allowing students to explore various fields of study and collaborate with faculty members from different departments. This approach to education encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills, preparing students for success in their future careers.

Student Life and Activities between Tulane University vs Harvard

Tulane and Harvard offer a vibrant campus life with plenty of opportunities for students to explore their passions and interests. Tulane has over 300 student clubs and organizations, ranging from academic, cultural and political groups to service organizations and fine arts groups. Harvard boasts an equally impressive array of student clubs and organizations, including publications, religious groups, political groups, and cultural groups.

Additionally, both Tulane and Harvard offer a variety of events and activities throughout the year to enhance the student experience. From guest speakers and concerts to sports games and community service projects, there is always something happening on campus. Students can also take advantage of the many resources available, such as career services, counseling centers, and health clinics, to support their personal and academic growth.

Housing Options and Cost of Living

Living expenses can be a significant factor to consider when choosing a university. Tulane University offers a variety of housing options, including residence halls, apartments, and off-campus housing. The cost of living in New Orleans is relatively affordable, with the average cost of living index slightly below the national average. Harvard University also provides extensive on-campus housing options, with several dormitory halls and apartments available to students. The cost of living in Cambridge/Boston, however, is generally higher than the national average.

a male student sitting on the floor of his dorm room

At Tulane University, students have the option to live in themed housing communities, such as the Honors Residential College or the Wellness Living Community. These communities offer a unique living experience and allow students to connect with others who share similar interests. Additionally, Tulane offers a limited number of single rooms for students who prefer more privacy.

Harvard University also provides resources for students seeking off-campus housing, including a database of available apartments and rental properties. However, the cost of living off-campus in Cambridge/Boston can be even higher than on-campus housing options. It is important for students to carefully consider their budget and living preferences when choosing between on-campus and off-campus housing.

Financial Aid and Scholarships Available between Tulane University vs Harvard

Tulane University and Harvard University provide financial aid and scholarships to help offset the cost of attending college. Tulane’s grants and scholarships cover an average of 75% of tuition costs, while Harvard’s financial aid program guarantees that students from low and middle-income families pay no more than 10% of their annual income towards tuition costs. Both universities offer need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants to eligible students.

In addition to need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants, both Tulane and Harvard offer work-study programs to eligible students. These programs provide part-time employment opportunities on campus, allowing students to earn money to help pay for their education while gaining valuable work experience.

Furthermore, both universities have partnerships with external organizations that offer additional scholarship opportunities to students. For example, Tulane has partnerships with the Posse Foundation and QuestBridge, which provide full-tuition scholarships to high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds. Harvard has partnerships with organizations such as the Gates Millennium Scholars Program and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which offer scholarships to students based on academic achievement and other criteria.

Career Services and Job Opportunities

Both Tulane and Harvard offer comprehensive career services to help students achieve their post-graduation goals. Tulane’s career services center provides a wide range of resources, including career counseling, resume and cover letter assistance, job and internship search tools, career events, and more. Harvard’s Office of Career Services offers similar resources and helps students prepare for graduate school, internships, and career opportunities.

Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and job opportunities. Tulane’s alumni network spans across the globe and includes successful professionals in various industries. Harvard’s alumni network is also extensive and includes notable figures such as CEOs, politicians, and Nobel laureates. Students can tap into these networks through career fairs, networking events, and online platforms to gain insights and advice from experienced professionals.

Alumni Network and Support

The alumni network of a university can be a valuable resource for graduates. Tulane University boasts a robust alumni network with over 140,000 alumni worldwide. Harvard University’s alumni network is even more extensive, with over 330,000 alumni worldwide. Both universities offer various networking and career development opportunities to their alumni.

In addition to networking and career development opportunities, alumni networks also provide support to graduates in various ways. For example, Tulane University’s alumni network offers mentorship programs, where alumni can connect with current students and provide guidance and advice. Harvard University’s alumni network provides financial support through scholarships and grants for alumni pursuing further education or starting their own businesses. These resources can be invaluable for graduates navigating their post-university careers.

Campus Safety and Security Measures between Tulane University vs Harvard

Campus safety and security are critical factors to consider when choosing a university. Tulane University and Harvard University both have comprehensive safety measures in place to ensure the well-being of their students. Tulane’s police department and campus security team work in close collaboration to monitor and prevent campus crime. Harvard’s campus also has a robust security presence, with over 400 security personnel on duty around the clock.

a group of students silently taking the test

In addition to their security personnel, Tulane University also offers a campus escort service for students who feel unsafe walking alone at night. This service is available 24/7 and can be accessed by calling the Tulane University Police Department. Harvard University also provides a similar service, with their shuttle system offering safe transportation around campus during late hours.

Both universities also have emergency notification systems in place to quickly alert students and faculty in the event of a campus emergency. Tulane’s system includes text messages, emails, and phone calls, while Harvard’s system utilizes a combination of text messages, emails, and loudspeakers located throughout campus.

Athletics Programs and Facilities

Both Tulane and Harvard offer extensive athletics facilities and programs to their students. Tulane has 17 varsity teams and 9 club sports teams, as well as state-of-the-art facilities, including a newly-renovated football stadium, basketball courts, tennis courts, and more. Harvard’s athletics program boasts 42 varsity teams across multiple sports, including football, basketball, hockey, and more. Harvard’s athletics facilities are also top-notch, with state-of-the-art gyms, swimming pools, and tennis courts available to students.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of intramural sports programs for students who want to participate in sports at a more casual level. Tulane’s intramural sports include flag football, soccer, volleyball, and more. Harvard’s intramural sports program offers a wide range of activities, including dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and even Quidditch. These programs provide students with the opportunity to stay active and engaged in sports, regardless of their skill level.

Extracurricular Opportunities for Students between Tulane University vs Harvard

Extracurricular opportunities play a significant role in a student’s university experience. Both Tulane and Harvard offer plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in various extracurricular activities. Tulane’s campus life is active and thriving, with numerous events and activities happening throughout the year, including Mardi Gras celebrations, music festivals, and cultural events. Harvard’s campus is equally bustling, with student clubs and organizations, lectures, performances, and other events happening regularly.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to participate in community service and volunteer work. Tulane has a strong commitment to community engagement, with programs such as the Center for Public Service and the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship program. Harvard also has a variety of community service organizations, including the Phillips Brooks House Association, which offers over 80 volunteer programs in the Boston area. These opportunities not only allow students to give back to their communities but also provide valuable experiences and skills that can be applied to future careers.

Student Diversity and Inclusivity Efforts

Both Tulane and Harvard place a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion in their student body and campus culture. Tulane has a diverse student body, with students from various ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The university has made significant efforts to promote inclusivity and equity, including establishing a Center for Academic Equity and launching diversity initiatives. Harvard also has a diverse student body and has implemented various programs and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, including the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.

At Tulane, the Office of Multicultural Affairs provides resources and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds. The university also offers scholarships and financial aid to ensure that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds have access to higher education. In addition, Tulane has a student-led organization called the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which works to create a more inclusive campus environment through events and initiatives.

Harvard has also taken steps to address issues of diversity and inclusion in its curriculum. The university has implemented a program called “Engaged Scholarship and Social Justice” which encourages students to engage with social justice issues in their academic work. Harvard also offers a variety of resources and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds, including the First-Year Minority Program and the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations.

Conclusion: Making the Decision between Tulane University vs Harvard

Choosing between Tulane University and Harvard depends entirely on your personal preferences, academic goals, and desired experiences. Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs, extensive resources and amenities, comprehensive career services, and robust athletic and extracurricular opportunities. Ultimately, it’s a question of which campus culture and environment aligns best with your goals and aspirations.

4 students working on an online internship

If you are looking for a more intimate and tight-knit community, Tulane may be the better choice for you. With a smaller student body, you will have more opportunities to connect with your peers and professors on a personal level. Additionally, Tulane’s location in New Orleans offers a unique cultural experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

On the other hand, if you are seeking a more competitive and prestigious academic environment, Harvard may be the better fit. With its Ivy League status and world-renowned faculty, Harvard offers unparalleled academic rigor and opportunities for research and intellectual growth. However, keep in mind that the larger student body and competitive atmosphere may not be for everyone.


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