Harvard’s global work is a dazzling kaleidoscope, the result of a simple strategy for engagement with the world: to attract talented students and faculty, wherever they might come from, and to empower them to pursue their teaching and research interests, wherever they might lead.

Dozens of Harvard research centers cross disciplinary boundaries in the search for broad knowledge that is firmly grounded in local contexts, from the University’s Center for African Studies, to the Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, to the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Harvard Divinity School.  Many academic departments have an inherently international mission, including Global Health and Population in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and South Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  Scientists and engineers from the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as researchers at the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Business School, and the Graduate School of Design, carry out work that is global by its very nature, and enhanced by numerous collaborations with international partners from Tokyo to Dubai and Santiago to Mumbai.  Small wonder that in 2015-16, Harvard students, faculty, and staff traveled to more than 160 countries.

Meanwhile, scholars and students from all over the world come to Harvard by the thousands, vastly enriching the University’s teaching and research.  From the Law School to the Graduate School of Education to the Dental School, no part of Harvard lacks global exposure:  Nearly a quarter of Harvard’s students come from outside the United States, and Harvard consistently hosts more international scholars than any other American university.  The Harvard Summer School offers study abroad courses in more than 20 locations, from Santo Domingo to Seoul, and the Radcliffe Institute routinely counts visitors from every continent among its fellows.

Harvard faculty and students drive its global activity.  Working through schools, centers, and a growing network of regional offices, and collaborating with peers across the University and around the world, Harvard scholars are advancing the frontiers of human knowledge in service to the world: One Harvard, One World.


To accomplish this mission, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (VPIA)…

Promotes Harvard’s global engagement by:

  • Developing electronic and printed materials that capture the breadth and depth of international activity at Harvard
  • Working with the University Development Office to provide resources for Harvard’s international endeavors
  • Meeting with Harvard alumni around the world
  • Maintaining Harvard Worldwide, a website providing an overview of Harvard’s global engagement and a searchable database of Harvard’s international activities
  • Representing Harvard with other universities and scholarly partners, and hosting visiting delegations

Facilitates Harvard’s global engagement by:

  • Negotiating agreements to support Harvard students and faculty in their global teaching and research, and to bring students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows from around the world to Harvard
  • Supporting international Inter-Faculty Initiatives and other cross-School initiatives in long-term planning, fundraising, and leadership appointments
  • Working closely with Schools and centers managing Harvard locations abroad
  • Serving as a clearinghouse of information on Harvard resources and policies for faculty and students launching international activities

Oversees Harvard’s global engagement by:

  • Administering the University Committee on International Projects and Sites, which reviews proposals for new offices abroad, and advises the Provost and Deans on University policies that affect Harvard’s international activities
  • Reviewing international research proposals to ensure consistency with Harvard’s teaching and research missions
  • Working with the Harvard Trademark Program to monitor the use of the Harvard name in international activities
  • Collaborating with the Office of the Governing Boards to conduct reviews of international and area studies at Harvard

Join us on Twitter!

Bookmark and Share