About the Institute

Our Mission

Radcliffe Yard in the fall. Two students are seated on a stone bench.
The Radcliffe Yard in fall. by Kevin Grady

Established in the 1999 merger agreement between Radcliffe College and Harvard University, which created today’s Harvard Radcliffe Institute, our mission is broad and ambitious.


The purpose of the Radcliffe Institute will be to create an academic community where individuals can pursue advanced work in the academic disciplines, professions, or creative arts. Within this broad purpose, and in recognition of Radcliffe’s historic contributions to the education of women and to the study of issues related to women, the Radcliffe Institute will sustain a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender, and society.

Three Radcliffe students sitting in the apple tree

On the occasion of the Institute's 20th anniversary, Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin reflects on Radcliffe’s rich history—including the Bunting Institute, which led to the “bold experiment” of the Radcliffe Institute, driven by a commitment to inclusion, opportunity, and excellence.