Radcliffe College has announced that it will fully merge with Harvard University and transform its undergraduate program for women into the “Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study” — a coed center for research and graduate-level studies on women, gender and society.
Although Radcliffe’s undergraduates have taken courses through Harvard for year, they had always received diplomas signed by the universities of both schools, and the two schools had maintained separate offices for course registration and tuition payment. Under the merger agreement, all undergraduates will receive a Harvard diploma and will send registrations and tuition payments directly to Harvard. In exchange, Radcliffe will receive $150 million from Harvard for its new institute.
Administrators for the Radcliffe Institute hope to retain Radcliffe College’s focus on women. “This Institute for Advanced Study is going to become probably the best such institute in the country and the only one with a strong emphasis on women,” said Maples Dunn, a former president of Smith College who will act as the institute’s interim leader.
Radcliffe was established 120 years ago as an alternative for women denied admission to Harvard and was originally known as the “Harvard Annex.” Women were first admitted to Harvard in 1943, when WWII caused a shortage of male students.