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First Weeks at Harvard

Harvard Griffin GSAS Welcomes

All incoming students are invited to Harvard Griffin GSAS Welcomes 2024, a program designed to introduce you to important resources, provide opportunities to connect with other students, learn about student groups and the many ways to get involved, and aid in the transition to life at Harvard for international students; students with families, spouses, or children; special students; and visiting fellows. Please save the below dates for Harvard Griffin GSAS Welcomes programs and watch your inbox for additional details as August approaches:

Tuesday, August 20, 2024 

  • Special Students Town Hall, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Zoom
  • Visiting Fellows Town Hall, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Zoom 

Tuesday, August 27, 2024 

  • Convocation, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Sanders Theatre 
  • Resource Fair, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS at Lehman Hall 
  • Social Hour, sponsored by the Graduate School Alumni Association, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS, Lehman Hall Patio

Wednesday, August 28, 2024  

  • Families Brunch, 10:00 a.m. to noon, Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS at Lehman Hall 
  • International Student Orientation, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., Emerson Hall  
  • International Student Reception, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS at Lehman Hall 

Thursday, August 29, 2024 

  • Student Involvement Fair, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Lehman Hall Patio (SCC 10th floor, rain location) 
  • Student Center Open House Party, Lehman Hall, 8:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. (no entry after 10:00 p.m.) 

Saturday, September 7, 2024

  • Lunch on the Lawn, noon–3:00 p.m., Natural History Museum Lawn

General questions about Harvard Griffin GSAS Welcomes can be directed to the Office of Student Services at Keep an eye on your inbox for additional details as August approaches!

Academic or Personal Support

No matter what kind of support you need during your time at Harvard, the Office of Student Services is here to help. To schedule a virtual or in-person appointment, students can drop by Room B-2, located in the basement of the Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Students can also reach out by phone (617-495-5005) or email (, or book an appointment online

Financial Aid and Support

Get to know your financial aid officer who can help you plan financially for the term of your degree program. 

Tuition Grants

Tuition grants for eligible students cover tuition, the Student Health Fee, and the Student Health Insurance Plan. Grants do not cover dependent health or dental care, but a partially subsidized dental plan option is available for eligible PhD students.

Stipend Payment

Students who receive stipends as part of their financial award will receive payment on the first day of the month either by direct deposit or check. If the first day of the month falls on a weekend, the check date will be the Friday before the first day of the month. In early summer, you will receive communication from the Office of Financial Aid regarding the stipend disbursement schedule. If you have questions about this, please contact your financial aid officer. Additionally, students will receive an email from the Harvard University Student Financial Services office over the summer with instructions on how to sign up for direct deposit.

Fellowships for First-Year Graduate Students

There are a number of fellowships specific to first-year and second-year graduate students with deadlines in October or November. Harvard Griffin GSAS provides resources and workshops on fellowship opportunities.


Any grant or stipend amount awarded in excess of tuition, required fees, books, and supplies is subject to federal income tax, as is any funding contingent upon providing service to the University (for example, teaching fellowships or research assistantships). Depending on citizenship and physical location, income taxes may or may not be withheld from stipend payments. More details are available from Harvard University Student Financial Services. Students are urged to review this information and ensure that they are incorporating any resulting tax obligation into their financial planning. If you have questions about US income taxes, visit the taxes page of Harvard University Student Financial Services (SFS).  It has information on federal and Massachusetts taxes, information specific to international students, access to Harvard-issued tax forms, and tax FAQs.

Glacier Tax Compliance System

International students may receive an email from Harvard about the GLACIER tax compliance system. They will need to enter their information into GLACIER prior to arrival in the United States.


Your financial aid officer can help with questions about loans.


Harvard Griffin GSAS students can purchase an MBTA pass at a 50 percent discount.

For International Students

You must register your arrival with the Harvard International Office (HIO) within 30 days of the start date on your visa document (Form I-20 or DS-2019), otherwise your SEVIS record will become invalid. After arriving in the US, you must complete the HIO Registration Form and send it via email to to fulfill your required immigration registration. Please note that in order to complete this form, you will need to access your I-94 record online. If you have difficulty locating your I-94 record, or your I-94 record has incorrect information, please contact your HIO Advisor. You will receive an email from HIO confirming when your registration has been processed. 

English Language Resources

If you would like to strengthen your English, check out the many resources at the Academic Resource Center, Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, and more! 

The Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS

The Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS in Lehman Hall is the center of Harvard Griffin GSAS student life. The Center has a cafeteria, a library, game room, study spaces, computer lab, coffee house, and several administrative offices serving graduate students. 

Student Groups and Events

Discover your Harvard Griffin GSAS community! Engage allows you to connect with student groups, find events, and explore social and learning opportunities.

Events Calendar