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Harvard vs. Oxford: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Harvard is a prestigious private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, known for its law and business programs. Oxford is a historic university in Oxford, England, renowned for its humanities and sciences.
Harvard vs. Oxford

Key Differences

Harvard University, established in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, known for its influential alumni. The University of Oxford, dating back to at least 1096, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, famed for its scholarly tradition.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023
Harvard, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a private Ivy League university, renowned for its research and academic excellence. Oxford, situated in Oxford, England, is a collegiate research university, celebrated for its unique tutorial system and historic colleges.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023
Harvard's notable schools include Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, attracting students globally for their professional programs. Oxford is distinguished for its faculties in humanities and sciences, and the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for international students.
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While Harvard operates under a unified university system with various graduate and undergraduate schools, Oxford is composed of autonomous colleges, each with its own governance. Harvard's campus architecture is characterized by a mix of historic and modern buildings, while Oxford's architecture is predominantly Gothic and ancient.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Harvard's library system is the largest private library collection globally, supporting a diverse range of academic fields. Oxford's Bodleian Libraries form one of the oldest and largest university library systems in Europe, housing extensive collections of rare manuscripts.
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Comparison Chart

Established Year

1636
Around 1096
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Type

Private, Ivy League
Collegiate, Public
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Location

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Oxford, England
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Notable Programs

Law, Business, Medicine
Humanities, Sciences, Rhodes Scholarship
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Campus Architecture

Mix of historic and modern
Predominantly Gothic and ancient
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Harvard and Oxford Definitions

Harvard

Harvard is a prestigious Ivy League university in the USA.
She was ecstatic to receive her acceptance letter from Harvard.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Oxford

Oxford is a historic university in Oxford, England.
Oxford University's academic tradition dates back centuries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Harvard

It's known for its law, business, and medical schools.
Harvard Law School has produced numerous prominent lawyers and politicians.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Oxford

Renowned for its humanities and science faculties.
Oxford's faculty of humanities is respected worldwide for its research.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Harvard

Harvard boasts a large private library system.
I spent hours researching in Harvard's extensive library.
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Nov 17, 2023
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Oxford

Known for its unique collegiate system and tutorial approach.
The tutorial system at Oxford offers personalized academic guidance.
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Nov 17, 2023

Harvard

It's the oldest higher education institution in the United States.
Harvard's history as the first American university is quite impressive.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Oxford

Oxford's Bodleian Libraries are among the oldest in Europe.
The Bodleian Libraries at Oxford are a treasure trove of knowledge.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Harvard

Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Harvard's campus in Cambridge is known for its beautiful architecture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Oxford

It has the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship program.
Being a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford is a remarkable achievement.
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Harvard

A university in Massachusetts
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Oxford

A sturdy, low shoe that laces over the instep.
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Oct 19, 2023

Harvard

American philanthropist who left his library and half his estate to the Massachusetts college that now bears his name (1607-1638)
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Oct 19, 2023

Oxford

A cotton cloth of a tight basket weave, used primarily for shirts.
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Oxford

Alternative case form of Oxford(cloth)
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Oxford

Alternative case form of Oxford(shoe)
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Oxford

Of or pertaining to the city or university of Oxford, England.
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Oxford

A city in southern England northwest of London; site of Oxford University
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Oxford

A university town in northern Mississippi; home of William Faulkner
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Oxford

A university in England
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Oxford

A low shoe laced over the instep
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How old is Oxford?

Oxford's founding date is unclear, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

What is Harvard known for?

Harvard is renowned for its law, business, medical schools, and extensive library system.
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Nov 19, 2023

Are Harvard and Oxford part of any university groups?

Harvard is part of the Ivy League, and Oxford is a member of the Russell Group.
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Nov 19, 2023

What is Oxford?

The University of Oxford is a historic university in Oxford, England, known for its excellence in education and research.
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How do the admission processes differ?

Harvard has a holistic admission process, considering several factors, while Oxford focuses more on academic achievement and an entrance interview.
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How old is Harvard?

Harvard was established in 1636, making it the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

What is Harvard?

Harvard University is a prestigious private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Is English the medium of instruction at both universities?

Yes, English is the primary language of instruction at both Harvard and Oxford.
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Nov 19, 2023

Do Harvard and Oxford offer scholarships?

Both universities provide a range of scholarships and financial aid to students.
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What is Oxford known for?

Oxford is famous for its rigorous tutorial system, historic colleges, and contribution to scholarship and politics.
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Nov 19, 2023

Can international students apply to Harvard and Oxford?

Yes, both universities welcome applications from international students.
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Can anyone visit Harvard or Oxford?

Both universities have areas open to the public, but certain facilities may have restricted access.
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Nov 19, 2023

Do Harvard and Oxford offer online courses?

Yes, both universities offer various online courses and programs.
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What are the notable alumni of Harvard?

Notable Harvard alumni include several U.S. presidents, Nobel laureates, and global leaders.
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Do Harvard and Oxford have similar campus styles?

Harvard has a North American collegiate style, while Oxford is known for its historic and iconic college buildings.
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How competitive is admission to Harvard and Oxford?

Both have highly competitive admission processes with low acceptance rates.
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Are Harvard and Oxford involved in research?

Both are leading research institutions with significant contributions to various fields.
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What are the notable alumni of Oxford?

Oxford alumni include numerous British prime ministers, Nobel laureates, and internationally prominent figures.
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Do Harvard and Oxford have a rivalry?

While they are often compared academically, they do not have a direct rivalry like in sports or other university competitions.
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What is the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford?

The Rhodes Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship enabling students from around the world to study at Oxford.
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Nov 19, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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