The Battle Between Harvard and Stanford

The Battle Between Harvard and Stanford

Deciding which college to go is a difficult decision and on top of it if you aspire for Stanford or Harvard then the effort gets even more rigorous and structured. Plan early to develop a good admission strategy.

This article describes about the key academic and cultural differences between the two schools, pros and cons of both the schools for the students knowledge.

The comparison is only between Harvard and Stanford and not between either of them and top Ivies like Yale for example. The difference amongst top ivies is insignificant.

The academic difference between Stanford and Harvard is illustrated in following points

1. Stanford has a better and more structured engineering program compared to Harvard.

This difference is significant if you aspire to major in mechanical or electrical engineering because it takes a lot of effort to pursue these majors.

It takes very little time to do anything else. Over the last few years, Harvard has turned their engineering “”division”” into a formal school. Even if its grown in the last 2 years, there is still a world of difference (with respect to quality of faculty, research funding, total educational resources, and breadth of student body) between Harvard and Stanford engineering.

2. Harvard has a better teaching in most humanities and social science subjects.

This is only a general view, based on an individuals personnel experience for four years at Stanford and observation of Harvard. The view says Harvard’s undergrad teaching in the basic subjects is simply of a higher quality – primarily a result of being able to attract by far the best professors (which in turn attract the most talented grad students who often do a bulk of the teaching).


Harvard is more academically competitive. This is with respect to GPA, class standings etc.,

This has been possible because of a strong academic undergraduate body. There are many highly focused, hard working students who greatly contribute to overall student body. This body in turn is more academically interested thus contributing to overall competitiveness.

4. Stanford encourages more academic explorations than Harvard.

The following are some of the benefits in Stanford: It is easier to switch majors. You can also shop classes for longer. You can easily craft your own study program. There are plenty of student-initiated courses that you can choose from. These courses are across disciples and dwell on multiple topics.

There are advantages of above but then you do not get to develop in-depth experience and knowledge like at Harvard.

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