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What are the Best Majors at Harvard?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Free Online Courses at Harvard

What are the Best Majors at Harvard?

What are the best majors at Harvard? Harvard University offers students learning opportunities across a comprehensive curriculum.

The Business School, the Graduate Education School, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Medical School are all considered among the best in the world.

Harvard is home to a total of 13 schools and institutions. Harvard also provides chances for professionals to further their education that does not lead to a degree, such as executive, continuing, and online education.

Founded in 1636, it has cultivated a rich academic tradition, offering a multitude of majors across various disciplines. While every major at Harvard is reputable in its own right, some programs have gained particular renown due to the university’s historical strength, faculty, resources, or a combination of these factors. Below are some of the best majors offered at Harvard:

View of the entrance gate at Harvard University.

Economics

Harvard’s Economics department is a titan in academic research and professional advancement. Numerous Nobel Prize winners have come from or affiliated with this department. Students receive theoretical insights into economic frameworks and are given the tools to analyze and shape public policies.

The department has close ties with many research institutions, think tanks, and financial organizations, providing students unparalleled opportunities.

Government (Political Science)

As an institution that has produced many leaders, from presidents to international diplomats, Harvard’s Government department offers an incisive analysis of political systems, international relations, public policy, and political theory. With renowned faculty members and a comprehensive curriculum, students are prepared for leadership roles in global politics and policy-making.

Computer Science

Today’s world is increasingly driven by technology, and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been at the forefront of computer science research and education. From artificial intelligence to cybersecurity, the department equips students with the skills to navigate and shape the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Law

Although technically a graduate program, Harvard Law School is worth mentioning due to its global reputation. With alums gracing the benches of the Supreme Court and leading law firms worldwide, the school offers rigorous training, fostering theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in various legal fields.

Biology & Biomedical Sciences

Harvard’s prowess in the life sciences is well-recognized. The university collaborates with numerous hospitals, research labs, and biotech companies in the Boston area, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances both research and education. The broad curriculum spans molecular biology, ecology, evolution, and more.

History

Harvard’s History department has a storied past, with a reputation for producing some of the most esteemed historians in the world. The department offers a global perspective, covering a myriad of regions and eras, and instills in its students a deep understanding of the complexities of human civilization.

English

At Harvard, the study of literature goes beyond simply analyzing texts. The English department encourages students to explore literature’s cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts, allowing them to appreciate the multifaceted nature of human expression.

Business

The Harvard Business School, another graduate program, has long been a beacon for those seeking to shape the corporate world. Its case study method revolutionized business education, and its alum network is a veritable Who’s Who of the corporate and entrepreneurial world.

Philosophy

With a lineage that traces back to great thinkers like William James and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Philosophy department at Harvard dives deep into questions of ethics, logic, metaphysics, and the nature of existence.

Social Sciences

Programs like sociology, anthropology, and psychology are acclaimed for their interdisciplinary approach, rigorous methodologies, and commitment to addressing pressing societal challenges.

Ultimately, while these majors are standout programs at Harvard, it is essential to remember that “best” is subjective. The right major for an individual depends on their personal interests, career goals, and passion. Harvard’s strength lies in its vast resources, unparalleled faculty, and diverse student body across all disciplines, ensuring that every student can pursue excellence in their chosen field.

How Do You Define ‘Best’?

When selecting the best majors at Harvard, the definition of ‘best’ is a complex tapestry woven from various threads of individual priorities, societal expectations, and future aspirations.

A female student thinking while holding her pen and notebook.

Is the ‘best’ major the one that challenges you intellectually, pushing the boundaries of your cognitive abilities? Or is it the one that promises a lucrative career with job security and a six-figure salary?

Perhaps, for some, the ‘best’ major aligns with their deepest passions and offers a sense of personal fulfillment. The ‘best’ major is subjective, varying from person to person based on their unique circumstances and goals.

Therefore, this part of the article dissects the term ‘best’ into academic rigor, job prospects, and personal fulfillment. By examining these facets, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision about the best majors at Harvard for you.

Academic rigor

Regarding academic rigor, Harvard is a titan, a behemoth of intellectual challenges that can either make or break you. In terms of academic rigor, the best majors at Harvard often demand a high level of analytical thinking, extensive research, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Fields like Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy come to mind. These majors are not for the faint-hearted; they require a relentless pursuit of knowledge and a resilience to failure. But the rewards are equally monumental.

The skills you acquire—critical thinking, problem-solving, and an ability to analyze complex issues—will serve you well in any career path you choose. Academic rigor is not just about the difficulty level of your courses; it’s about the intellectual transformation you undergo, the kind that shapes your worldview and equips you to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time.

Job prospects

In an ever-competitive world, the question of job prospects looms large in the minds of students choosing their majors. Regarding job prospects, Harvard’s best majors are often aligned with burgeoning industries and sectors.

Think Computer Science, Economics, or Business Administration. These fields offer a high earning potential and promise a level of job security that is increasingly rare in today’s volatile job market.

However, it’s crucial to remember that a major with excellent job prospects today may not necessarily hold the same promise in the future. The employment landscape is ever-changing influenced by technological advancements, economic fluctuations, and global events.

Therefore, while job prospects are essential, they should not be the sole determinant in choosing your major.

Personal fulfillment

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about personal fulfillment, the often-overlooked cornerstone in the triad of factors that define the ‘best’ major. For some, the best majors at Harvard ignite a fire in their souls that resonates with their innermost passions and interests.

Whether studying ancient civilizations in an Archaeology major or exploring the human psyche in Psychology, personal fulfillment is about aligning your academic journey with your identity and values.

It’s about choosing a path that promises a paycheck and offers a sense of purpose and meaning. Personal fulfillment is a long-term investment; it’s the fuel that will sustain you through any career’s inevitable challenges and setbacks.

So, as you ponder the best majors at Harvard, consider what sets your soul alight and how you can translate that passion into a fulfilling career.

How Do You Decide on Your Major?

One of the most critical choices that a high school or college student must make is selecting a concentration of study. It is one that many people wish they could retake; according to one survey, 61% of college graduates would switch majors if they could return to school. However, not everyone suffers from a case of buyer’s remorse when they receive their diploma.

The following is a list of the most significant considerations to make when selecting the best majors at Harvard, as well as advice on choosing the appropriate college once you have made your selection. The following are some suggestions that can assist you in your search for the proper subject matter for your college studies.

Consider Your Skills

Create a list of your accomplishments and areas of interest to get started. After you’ve finished, inquire with your closest loved ones and friends about what they would say about you. Sometimes, we need a third party to point out the qualities and abilities we sometimes take for granted.

Two students studying in a library.

Include any subjects that have always piqued your curiosity but that you’ve never committed to studying in depth. You should also mention things you used to be good at but haven’t done in a while, especially if you haven’t done them.

Investigate Possible Professions

When you have a list of your interests and passions, the next step is to investigate what kinds of professions meet those interests. For instance, if you have a passion for music, you could pursue a career as a music instructor or look for work at a charity organization dedicated to music.

After compiling a list of possible employment lines, you should consider observing those currently employed in those positions to get a feel for what it’s like to do the job.

Estimate Future Earnings

Most careers have their progression tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Visit the site and choose the professional fields that interest you most. You will be able to discover what employment is available in each sector from that location.

After compiling a list of occupations that pique your interest, you can use the site to determine which fields have a positive growth rate and incomes commensurate with the lifestyle you intend to lead.

Consider what you want your life to be like once you graduate from college. For example, if you want to establish a family, reside in a major city, or do substantial traveling, you will need a career that pays well enough to afford those things.

Consider How Much to Invest in Your Studies

It’s not true that all majors are created equal. There is a significant difference in the effort required for various programs. Think about how much time you can devote to your training and how committed you want to be as a student.

Research any advanced degrees you may require after you graduate college if you want to work in the field that interests you. Before you decide on what you want to study for your bachelor’s degree, it is essential to consider whether or not you will need to move on to earn a professional or master’s degree to achieve the professional goals you have set for yourself.

What are Your Chances of Getting Into Harvard?

As you have set your eyes on one of the best majors at Harvard, you should also be aware of the notoriously competitive admissions process at Harvard University. The recent cycle resulted in just 1,954 students being accepted out of 61,220 applicants for an acceptance rate of 3.2%. Seven hundred forty students were taken through the early decision round, and 1,214 students were taken through the regular game.

View of Harvard building surrounded by grass.

Only 1,954 students can call themselves members of Harvard University’s class of 2026. Of those students, 1,214 were accepted during the standard admissions process, with an acceptance percentage as low as 2.3%.

Likely, the COVID-19 pandemic, optional standardized testing, and an uptick in the number of students applying to college have contributed to the decreasing trend in acceptance rates recorded by most of the nation’s leading colleges over the past three years. Harvard, widely considered the most exclusive institution in the Ivy League, has seen a steady decline in the percentage of applicants it accepts over the past three years.

Harvard University’s Early Admission process results for the Class of 2026 were made public in December 2021. This prestigious educational institution shared that 740 students had been granted early admission, making the university’s acceptance rate 7.4%. Applying to Harvard as soon as possible will significantly improve your chances of acceptance.

Suppose you’re interested in choosing one of the best majors at Harvard or need help finishing your college applications at AdmissionSight. In that case, we have over ten years of experience guiding students through competitive admissions.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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