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150th Anniversary

During the 2022-2023 academic year, Harvard Griffin GSAS celebrated an extraordinary milestone—150 years as a graduate school.

1872 marked the first year of new requirements for graduate study at Harvard University, creating what was then known as the Graduate Department and enrolling 28 students. Over the past 150 years, the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as it came to be known, has grown to include nearly 5,000 students studying in 57 graduate programs across the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. 

Our students forge connections with every Harvard School whether they are studying toward a master’s degree or PhD, engaging in the JD/PhD program with Harvard Law School, or serving as a graduate student fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Our alumni have quite literally changed the world through their creation of new knowledge, in the process winning Nobel Prizes, MacArthur “genius” Fellowships, Pulitzers, and many other awards and accolades.

During this special year, Harvard Griffin GSAS celebrated the inquiry, innovation, and impact of our alumni and students across the disciplines and throughout the world. We told stories and hosted events that spotlighted their exceptional achievements. 

When the Graduate Department was first proposed to the College Faculty in 1872, many opposed its creation on the grounds that it would harm the education of undergraduates by siphoning off much-needed funding. Harvard President Charles Eliot disagreed. “It will strengthen the College,” he said, and indeed, graduate students have strengthened the University in multiple ways over 150 years: They are the lifeblood of Harvard’s knowledge ecosystem, generating novel ideas and advancing innovative research while connecting with undergraduates and faculty alike. Please join us in celebrating the past, present, and future of Harvard Griffin GSAS.

Events Calendar