A History of SEAS

Our name change in 2007 from "Division" to "School", approved by members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and ratified by the Harvard Corporation and Board of Overseers, is a celebration of the renewal and growth engineering and applied sciences has experienced in recent years at Harvard.

The new name also reflects our progenitor, the Lawrence Scientific School. Founded in 1847, the Lawrence School was Harvard's first major effort to provide a formal, advanced education in science and engineering.

"Our transition from a 'Division' to a 'School' is not a departure from history—but in some sense, we are coming full circle. The Lawrence School, our progenitor, will be reborn in a new form appropriate for the 21st century." - Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Dean of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (1998-2008)

In our rapidly transforming world, engineering plays an ever more central role—in advancing basic science, creating tools and everyday technologies, driving economic development, and meeting societal challenges in areas from energy to the environment to human health.

We have an exceptional opportunity to educate future engineers who will connect ideas in unexpected ways, integrate technological innovations into daily life, and apply their discoveries to make a positive impact in the world.

At the same time, we can provide students from all concentrations with a deeper understanding of the role of engineering and technology in today’s world.

To remain a great university with a global reach, Harvard must have research programs commensurate with the changing needs of the present and the challenges of the future.

Ensuring that engineering and applied sciences have the appropriate scale and scope is integral to achieving this goal.

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, dedicated to basic and application-oriented research, reflects our genesis, builds upon our recent successes, and looks to the future.