The Graduating
Class of


by the numbers

Academics and Student Life

By Vivian Zhao and Ariel H. Kim

The Class of 2024 entered Harvard during the pandemic and exited as generative artificial intelligence and the elimination of shopping week marked a shift in the educational experience at Harvard.

The College invited the Class of 2024 to spend their first semester at Harvard in person — albeit with online classes — but not again that spring semester. Only in fall 2021 did the whole class begin an in-person academic and social experience at Harvard.

Since returning to campus, the Class of 2024 has witnessed a series of changes at the College. In May 2022, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard’s largest academic school, voted to end shopping week and shift to a previous-term course registration model. This change began with spring 2024 courses, so seniors registered for their final courses at Harvard months before they had done so in previous years.

The Class of 2024 has also witnessed the rise of ChatGPT and other AI chatbots. Harvard's classrooms have evolved in real-time to adapt to the widespread impact of generative artificial intelligence tools, most notably ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can generate text in natural language and code.

In July, Harvard issued University-wide AI guidelines emphasizing the protection of confidential data. The FAS quickly followed suit, releasing guidance for professors to help them establish their own rules regarding generative AI in their courses.


Many members of the Class of 2024 began their college careers during the Covid-19 pandemic, with some spending the entirety of their freshman year learning remotely and coming to campus for the first time their sophomore fall.

A majority of respondents reported living in Harvard’s dorms when classes were remote during the pandemic, with 72 percent reporting living on campus in fall 2020 and 16 percent in spring 2021. Around a quarter of respondents said they did not live in Harvard’s dorms when classes were remote during the pandemic, compared to 79 percent of respondents from the Class of 2023.

Surveyed seniors were split as to how remote learning during the pandemic affected the difficulty of their coursework: 43 percent of respondents said remote learning made their coursework less or much less difficult, while 40 percent said their coursework became more or much more difficult during the pandemic.

Nearly all respondents — over 99 percent — said they were partially or fully vaccinated for Covid-19, with 85 percent indicating they were fully vaccinated and received multiple boosters.

Although nearly all members of the Class of 2024 were vaccinated, three-quarters of respondents reported contracting Covid-19 at least once, a small drop from roughly 80 percent of last year’s survey respondents. More than half of those students — 54 percent — reported they had contracted Covid-19 more than once. More than 57 percent of those students also said they believed their exposure to the virus had taken place on campus.

Nearly 43 percent of respondents who contracted Covid-19 reported testing positive in spring 2022, when Harvard loosened many of its Covid-19 restrictions.

Just over 7 percent of respondents reported that their family members or personal contacts died from the coronavirus.


The proportion of seniors opting to pursue a double concentration more than doubled since it was first introduced last year: under 4 percent of respondents last year graduated with a double concentration, while over 9 percent of respondents this year will. The percentage of respondents pursuing a joint concentration, which requires a cross-disciplinary senior thesis, stayed the same from last year to this year at 13 percent.

The top five concentrations among respondents, in decreasing order, were Economics, Computer Science, Government, Applied Mathematics, and Neuroscience — the same as last year, except that Computer Science switched places with Government this year. Just under half of respondents reported feeling that their concentration classes were somewhat or very difficult, compared to 28 percent reporting their concentration classes were somewhat or very easy.

Academics was a top priority for a vast majority of surveyed seniors, with nearly 90 percent of respondents rating academics as important or very important to their time at Harvard. Surveyed seniors reported spending an average of 31.4 hours per week on academics, just a couple hours fewer than the Class of 2023 at 34.7 hours per week.

Nearly 59 percent of respondents said they wrote or are currently writing a thesis. The majority of respondents, just over 50 percent, had not yet received a thesis grade at the time of completing the survey. Just over 50 percent of respondents who had received a thesis grade achieved a grade in the magna cum laude range.


Grade inflation remains a concern among Harvard faculty. An October report presented at a Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting found that 79 percent of college students had received A-range grades in the 2020-21 academic year, a significant increase from 60 percent a decade earlier.

Grade point average distributions among senior respondents remained similar to that of the Class of 2023, with nearly 80 percent of respondents reporting a GPA of 3.7 or above, which rounds to an A- or higher, per the College’s grading scale. Just over 19 percent of respondents maintained a near-perfect GPA rounding to 4.0.

Academic Integrity

Almost half of respondents — 47.2 percent — admitted to having cheated in an academic context while at Harvard, nearly double the 25.5 percent of respondents in the Class of 2023. Most students suspect that even more of their classmates have cheated. On average, respondents expected that 55 percent of classmates cheated at some point during their time at Harvard.

Among respondents who said they cheated, 73 percent reported cheating on a problem set or regular homework assignment, and 56 percent on a paper, take-home exam, or a project. Around 16 percent admitted to cheating on a live exam in person or online, a marked drop from 39 percent last year.

Around a third of respondents whose GPA rounded to 4.0 admitted to having cheated in an academic context, compared to almost 20 percent in 2023 and 10 percent in 2022.

Just over 7 percent of respondents had to stand before the Administrative Board or the Honor Council for a disciplinary issue while at Harvard — a slight increase from last year. More than half of those students said they felt their disciplinary process was somewhat or very unfair.

The number of Honor Council cases dropped during the 2021-22 academic year from its all-time high, according to a report published last spring. During that time, the Honor Council reviewed 100 academic dishonesty cases, 12 of which resulted in withdrawals.

More than 30 percent of respondents admitted to submitting work generated by an AI model for assignments that did not instruct them to do so. Among those students, 3 percent said they were caught submitting AI-generated work, and less than 1 percent said they faced disciplinary action.

Extracurriculars and Varsity Sports

Seniors’ second top priority after academics was extracurricular activities. Nearly a quarter of respondents — 73 percent — rated extracurriculars as important or very important to their time at Harvard.

Respondents reported spending an average of 14.3 hours a week on extracurricular activities, a decrease of one hour from the Class of 2023 and a decrease of two hours from the Class of 2022.

Just over 11 percent of surveyed seniors reported participating in a varsity sport during their time at Harvard. More than half of those student athletes walked on to their team. Of the athletes recruited in high school, 81 percent played their sport through the end of their senior season. Of the athletes who walked on, only 41 percent played through the end of their time at Harvard.

House and Student Life

Lowell House received the highest marks for its accommodations this year, narrowly beating out Leverett House and Adams House, last year’s winner. Around 91 percent of surveyed Lowell residents reported they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their living arrangements, while 86 percent of surveyed Leverett residents and 80 percent of surveyed Adams residents said the same.

For the third consecutive year, Kirkland House received the lowest ratings out of the 12 undergraduate houses, with 61 percent of resident respondents reporting feeling at least somewhat satisfied with their living arrangements. But the Dudley Co-Op received the lowest ratings overall, with only 50 percent of surveyed residents reporting feeling at least somewhat satisfied.

Pforzheimer House received the fourth highest ratings overall with a 79 percent satisfaction rate, despite its farther location within the Radcliffe Quadrangle.

During freshman spring, Harvard students choose a blocking group of up to seven other students to be placed in an upperclassmen house with. Blocking groups of eight people remained the most popular option with the Class of 2024, with 32 percent of seniors reporting having seven blockmates.

However, only 47 percent of respondents said their blocking group is still together, and 63 percent of respondents said they would feed at least one blockmate to the Harvard Square turkeys.

Most surveyed seniors — 54 percent — were not involved in any final clubs, sororities, fraternities, or other off-campus social organizations while at Harvard. Of the 24 percent who reported being part of a final club, 37 percent were part of a female final club, 41 percent were part of a male final club, and 22 percent were part of a co-ed final club.

Of the final clubs, the Fox Club received the highest favorability rating for the second consecutive year at 26 percent, followed by the Owl Club (just over 22 percent), the Delphic Club (22 percent), the Spee Club (20 percent), and the I.C. (19 percent).

On the other end of the spectrum, the Phoenix S.K. Club (The “P.S.K.”) received the highest unfavorability rating, with 46 percent of respondents reporting they had an unfavorable opinion of the organization. The Exister Society (The “X”) received the lowest favorability rating at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the A.D. Club (9.9 percent) and the Porcellian Club (11 percent).

At the time of the survey, 62 percent of senior respondents reported having attended a party hosted by a final club. Around a third of respondents said that final clubs and other social organizations were very important or important to their social experience at Harvard.

In contrast, seniors relied on off-campus venues more for opportunities to socialize: 46 percent of respondents said off-campus locales, like restaurants and bars, were at least important to their social experiences.

The Class of 2024 spent a great deal of time away from campus. A fifth of respondents said they studied abroad for one or more semesters, and 21 percent reported taking at least one semester off from Harvard. Of the students who took time off, 83 percent said they were away for two semesters, while 13 percent said they were away for just one semester.

More than 80 percent of student respondents who took time off said they did so primarily because of the pandemic. Nearly all of the surveyed students who decided to take time off — 98 percent — said they did not regret this decision, while 32 percent of students who did not take any time off said they regretted their decision.