Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate College expanded.Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as sister school of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States.
In 1846, the natural history lectures of Louis Agassiz were acclaimed both in New York and on the campus at Harvard College.
Agassiz's approach was distinctly idealist and posited Americans' "participation in the Divine Nature" and the possibility of understanding "intellectual existences".
He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth.
In 1943, he asked the faculty make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as the college level.
Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites.
Following the American Civil War, President Charles W.When the Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and the president of Harvard Joseph Willard died a year later, in 1804, a struggle broke out over their replacements.Henry Ware was elected to the chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency of Harvard two years later, which signaled the changing of the tide from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas (defined by traditionalists as Unitarian ideas).Agassiz's perspective on science combined observation with intuition and the assumption that a person can grasp the "divine plan" in all phenomena.When it came to explaining life-forms, Agassiz resorted to matters of shape based on a presumed archetype for his evidence.The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in the history of American education in the 20th century.In 1945–1960 admissions policies were opened up to bring in students from a more diverse applicant pool.The library records at Harvard reveal that the writings of Plato and his early modern and Romantic followers were almost as regularly read during the 19th century as those of the "official philosophy" of the more empirical and more deistic Scottish school. Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction.While Eliot was the most crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education, but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions.The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College.The university is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre (85 ha) main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge, approximately 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Boston; the business school and athletics facilities, including Harvard Stadium, are located across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical, dental, and public health schools are in the Longwood Medical Area.