Skip to main content

Resident Advisors

Resident advisors are 16 graduate students employed by the GSAS Office of Residential Life to fulfill various responsibilities in the GSAS residence halls.

A resident advisor (RA) lives on each floor of the residence halls.


Resident advisors:

  • act as liaisons with the GSAS Offices of Residential Life, Student Services, Student Affairs, and various other offices
  • help residents, particularly new residents, adjust to their environment at Harvard and in the residence halls
  • are available for urgent and non-urgent matters
  • manage and report emergency situations, such as illness, accidents within the premises of the residence halls, facilities problems, etc.
  • are visible and available to students both in the residence halls and at the GSAS Student Center
  • inform residents of housing policies, rules, and regulations; monitor compliance
  • receive information from residents and report needed repairs and facilities problems; monitor progress
  • staff at least two key distribution shifts during move-in weekend (August 19 through 21, 2022) and at other times as necessary
  • aid residents who are locked out of their rooms
  • are available to residents on Friday and/or Saturday night several nights each term during lock-out duty
  • attend monthly meetings, and additional ones as necessary, that are organized by GSAS Residential Life. RA meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. A second meeting is held occasionally. Class schedules and other commitments need to be arranged accordingly
  • plan, organize, and hold social events every two to three weeks, at minimum, for the floor for which they are responsible
  • participate in events organized by GSAS Residential Life and Student Services, fellow RAs, Graduate Residence Hall Council, GSAS Student Council, and GSAS Student Center Fellows
  • organize and participate in activities/meetings as an RA liaison
  • pick up information and materials at the Office of Residential Life every Friday afternoon to be posted and/or distributed
  • submit paperwork, online forms, expense forms/receipts, and weekly report forms on time.


In order to be eligible to apply, students must:

  • be a full-time Harvard graduate degree-seeking candidate who has lived in the residence halls for at least one full term at the time of application AND will continue to be registered full-time for the academic year, OR
  • be a GSAS degree-seeking student who is currently and will be registered in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for the academic year

RAs must attend the meetings and events below. Confirm your availability on these dates before applying.

August 8 to September 1, 2023, and May 10 to 24, 2024
RAs must be in residence

August 10 to 16, 2023
RA Training

August 18 to 20, 2023
Move-in Weekend

January 8 to 19, 2024
January@GSAS. RAs are expected to remain in the residence halls for at least five days of the term.

Thursday, January 18, 2024, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Resident Advisor Winter Retreat

Application and Selection Process

The 2023–2024 GSAS resident advisor application will go live on January 1, 2023. Submissions are due on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. Please contact the GSAS Office of Residential Life with any questions.

Duration and Benefits

RAs are selected for the academic year and may reapply for the following year as long as they continue to be enrolled in a graduate degree program at Harvard. Re-appointment is not guaranteed.

RAs in Child, Conant, and Richards Halls receive a free, small single room and 10 meals per week, Monday through Friday, at GSAS Student Center for the academic year. RAs in Perkins Hall, which houses a larger number of students per floor than the other residence halls, may choose either a small or large room. RAs are required to have a telephone with voicemail capability. 

Events Calendar