Harvard vs Cambridge: Difference and Comparison

Education has always been a fundamental right and essential for a child. Many students aspire to pursue higher studies at a renowned college, nationally or internationally.

These Universities provide a healthier environment, encourage academics and co-curricular activities, and pursue one of their hobbies to build up strong personalities from the inside out.

Key Takeaways

  1. Harvard and Cambridge are two distinct and renowned universities in the world, located in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.
  2. While Harvard has a wider range of undergraduate courses and focuses on liberal arts education, Cambridge specializes in science and research with a more structured curriculum.
  3. Harvard has a higher acceptance rate than Cambridge, and its campus is located in a vibrant city, whereas Cambridge offers a more traditional college town experience.

Harvard vs Cambridge 

Harvard is located in America and is built in an urban area, whereas Cambridge is located in England, the United Kingdom, nearly around agricultural lands. Although, a point of similarity between the two is that both Universities are situated in the same city called Cambridge.

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Harvard is a private institution that belongs to the Ivy League University System. The University has always been considered among the top-rated colleges.

Considering the history of the college, it is the oldest institute in the United States. John Harvard founded it in 1636, and the Massachusetts Legislature established it.

Cambridge is a public institution and part of the Golden Triangle of United Kingdom Universities. The history of the institution is relatively longer than Harvard.

Later, King Henry III supported the institution and made him a recognized educational institute by the popes. Also, around 31 colleges are affiliated with Cambridge University, and coincidently it is located in the same name city in the United Kingdom.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHarvardCambridge
Location AmericaEngland, United Kingdom
Educational Institution PrivatePublic
BoardBoard of Overseers and Harvard CooperationRegent House and University Council
Number of Colleges Affiliated 1531
Official ColourCrimson RedBlue

What is Harvard?

The renowned Harvard University was founded by John Harvard and established by the Massachusetts legislature in 1636. It is comparatively newer than Cambridge. The University is situated in America, the United States, in Cambridge.

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Harvard University is a private institute providing higher education to numerous students now and back then. The University has many notable alumni, including some millennials. It is considered to be the oldest institution in the United States.

The President heads the college along with the Principal Administrator. The University preferred the Crimson Red colour as its representative colour and also named its athletic team Harvard Crimson.

The teacher staff directly focus on the method of lectures and seminars as the teaching aid. Being one of the top-rated universities, the competition also rises with it. Thus Harvard University mainly competes with the two institutes are – Ivy League Schools and Yale University.


What is Cambridge?

Located in England, the United Kingdom, with the coincidently same city name Cambridge. The institution is surrounded mainly by agricultural land areas.

The English King Harry III offered his helping hand and supported the institution. He was the person who made it possible and acclaimed it as an educational institute from the pops. 

Therefore, it is considered the second oldest educational institute for higher studies in England, Europe, English-speaking countries, etc., because of its foundation stone in 1209.

The University believes in providing special attention to its students; therefore, the teaching staff emphasizes one-to-one interaction with them. Also, the University has doubled the number of colleges affiliated with it compared to Harvard.

The institute is headed by the Reagent House and the University Council and has chosen Blue as their representative colour. Sometimes, Cambridge is called “Oxbridge”, which combines Oxford University and Cambridge University.


Main Differences Between Harvard and Cambridge 

  1. Harvard University is situated in America, the United States, in an urban area named the city of Cambridge. In contrast, Cambridge University is located in England, the United Kingdom, around some agricultural land in the same town as Harvard called Cambridge.
  2. Harvard University is a private institute in the Ivy League University system. At the same time, Cambridge University is a public institution and is said to be the Golden Triangle of United Kingdom Universities.
  3. Harvard University is governed by two bodies – the Board of Overseers and Harvard Cooperation, while the Reagent House and the University Council govern Cambridge University.
  4. Harvard University has affiliated 15 colleges under its institution, while Cambridge University has affiliated a double number of colleges besides the one that is 31 colleges within its prestigious institution.
  5. Harvard University has chosen its University colour to be Crimson Red, while Cambridge University preferred the colour Blue. 
Difference Between Harvard and Cambridge


  1. https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1119/1.2978182
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969701006489
  3. https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/amr.1996.9702100310
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Harvard vs Cambridge: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I was not aware of the history and structure of Harvard and Cambridge. This article provides valuable information for prospective students.

  2. The article provides a comprehensive comparison of Harvard and Cambridge, giving readers valuable insights into the educational systems of both institutions.

  3. This is a well-researched and informative article. It sheds light on various aspects of Harvard and Cambridge that many people might not be aware of.

  4. The comparison of Harvard and Cambridge’s governance and educational approaches is enlightening. It highlights the diversity of higher education systems across the globe.

  5. While the article is informative, it would have been beneficial to include student testimonials to provide a more holistic view of the student experience at Harvard and Cambridge.

  6. The comparison of Harvard and Cambridge is insightful and thought-provoking, shedding light on the distinct features that define these esteemed universities.

    • Indeed, the detailed comparison enables readers to discern the unique attributes that set Harvard and Cambridge apart in the academic sphere.

    • Absolutely, the informative content stimulates critical thinking about the nuances of educational environments.

  7. This article effectively captures the essence of the differences between Harvard and Cambridge, providing an in-depth analysis of their respective histories and characteristics.

  8. I find the emphasis on the history and educational approach of both universities fascinating. It’s intriguing to see how these differences shape the student experience.

  9. I appreciate the detailed comparison of Harvard and Cambridge. It’s important for students to understand the differences before making a decision.


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