Living in one of our four residence halls near Harvard Yard is a convenient and affordable housing option, but there are a variety of options on-campus and off. As a graduate student, you can enroll in our meal plan and get access to summer housing if you need it.
Harvard University Housing (HUH) offers a wide variety of properties, with heat, hot water, electricity, and gas included in the rent. At some locations, air conditioning and/or Harvard RESnet Internet service are also included. No security deposit, application fee, or finder’s fee are required, and rents are conveniently paid via student term bill. The Graduate Commons Program operates in most HUH properties, which provides a vibrant social and learning community. Apply by May 1 for the best apartment selection.
HUH also provides information on Off-Campus Housing that includes local rentals, a roommate search option, and other resources.
Other Harvard properties include:
- Harvard Law School Housing
- The Center for the Study of World Religions
- Shattuck House (affiliated with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health)
- Vanderbilt Hall (affiliated with Harvard Medical School)
Students can also explore the off-campus housing market. Before signing a lease, consider rent amount and fees, apartment condition, utilities (including heat), furnishings and appliances, landlords/management companies, and pets. We encourage you to understand your rights when exploring the off-campus market. Explore the Boston Rental Housing Center and the Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections for more information.
On-Campus Residence Halls
Located in the North Yard, the GSAS residence halls are Harvard’s most convenient and affordable graduate housing option. The halls are a brief walk to libraries, laboratories, and classrooms on the Cambridge campus and to Harvard Square. Free shuttle service is available to the Longwood Medical Area. Incoming first-year GSAS students who submit their online application to the Office of Residential Life by the deadline are guaranteed a room in one of the residence halls.
Academic-year housing begins in late August and extends to the end of the academic year. The GSAS Residence Hall Handbook outlines the rules and regulations associated with living in our halls and details how to apply, pricing information, and more. We encourage you to review the handbook in advance of applying. Policies are occasionally updated during the year based on changed in University policies or other circumstances, and we require all residents to follow our policies to ensure and safe and comfortable living environment for all. Residents will be notified of any changes. For information about life at Harvard and other graduate students policies, refer to the GSAS Handbook.
All GSAS residents are required to enroll in the Dudley Café meal plan, which provides an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with fellow students. All meals are taken in Dudley Café. The meal plan follows the academic calendar and provides for two dinners a week plus a declining balance allotment ($675.88 for the fall semester and $660.86 for the spring semester) for your use at the Dudley Cafe at lunch, for additional dinner meals, or to host a guest for any meal. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Built in the 1950s and designed by the well-known architect Walter Gropius, Child Hall is located at 26 Everett Street. Accommodations include:
- 95 small singles
- 6 two-room suites
- Communal kitchen and lounge on each floor
- Computer room in basement
- TV lounge with cable and DVD player in basement
- Laundry room
- Vending machines
A traditional Harvard style building built in the late 1890s, Conant Hall is located at 36 Oxford Street. Accommodations include:
- 39 small singles
- 45 large singles
- Kitchen on each floor
- Two communal lounges on the first floor, including TV lounge with cable and a DVD player
- Laundry room
- Vending machines
- Bike storage room
A traditional Harvard-style building built in the late 1890s, Perkins Hall is located at 35 Oxford Street. Accommodations include:
- 77 small singles
- 77 large singles
- 2 kitchens per floor
- 1-2 lounges per floor
- TV lounges with cable and DVD players on the 2nd and 3rd floors
- Laundry room
- Vending machines
- Bike storage room
- GSAS Mail Center
Built in the 1950s and designed by the well-known architect Walter Gropius, Richards Hall is located at 24 Everett Street. Accommodations include:
- 71 small singles
- Kitchen and lounge on each floor
- Large lounge with TV and DVD player in basement
- Ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and pool tables in basement lounge
- Laundry room
- Vending machines
Each floor in Conant has one bathroom; there are two bathrooms per floor in Child, Perkins, and Richards. Students in Conant may need to use the bathroom on the floor above or below their own floor. Bathroom designations may be changed at the beginning of the spring term.
All rooms have basic furnishings: a twin bed, desk and chair, desk lamp, bookcase, bureau, and closet or wardrobe. University-owned furniture cannot be removed. Rooms in Richards are carpeted.
Harvard Student Agencies (HSA)
Through the student-run Harvard Student Agencies, residents can rent microfridges, buy linens, sign up for laundry service, and more.
All halls are equipped with wireless Internet access. All rooms also are equipped with data jacks to connect via Ethernet cable.
Our office encourages students to purchase student property insurance, available through private insurance companies.
All kitchens are equipped with a microwave, stove, oven, tea kettle, and 1or 2 refrigerators for use by all residents of the floor.
The two-room suites in Child consist of two small connecting rooms. Students may live in suites alone or with a roommate. If two students share a suite, the room fee will be split equally among them.
Single Sex Floors
All floors are co-ed, except for Child Basement (all male) and Richards Third Floor (all female). Visitors of all genders are permitted to visit single-sex floors.
Our 2017–2018 application becomes available on March 1, 2017. All students must apply via the Residential Portal, using their Harvard ID and PIN. The application cannot be accessed without the Harvard ID and PIN. To be included in the first housing lottery round, applications must be received by the priority deadline, April 26, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. The application fee is $75.
All correspondence regarding the assignment and waitlist processes will be done via e-mail. Our office is not responsible for missed deadlines caused by not receiving e-mail. Please notify us if your e-mail address changes.
Please note: Any student who knowingly falsifies an application will automatically lose a room assignment and may not be considered for an assignment in the future.
All full-time registered Harvard graduate students are eligible to apply. Incoming first-year GSAS students are guaranteed a room if they apply by the priority deadline. Students in the following Schools receive higher priority than those in other Schools:
- Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Harvard Kennedy School
Students enrolled in Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education (Extension School) are not eligible to apply.
The 2017–2018 contract runs from noon on Friday, August 18, 2017, to noon on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Residents who are receiving a degree at Commencement may remain in the halls until noon on Friday, May 25, 2018. Our office reserves the right to move the resident to a different room for the interim period, if necessary.
The Office of Residential Life accepts early arrival requests for academic reasons only. To request early arrival, e-mail our office by June 30, 2017 noting the arrival date and reason for arriving early. Written approval from the student’s department is also required.
Our early arrival fee is $35 per night. Note that early arrival is not guaranteed.
The first round of housing assignments will be sent by Friday, June 2, 2017. Assignments are based on lottery number, room availability, and room preferences.
GSD, GSE, and HKS Students
Each School determines the assignment and waitlist order for their students who have applied for the GSAS residence halls. The GSAS Office of Residential Life sends all room contract and waitlist numbers via e-mail. Inquiries regarding the assignment and lottery process should be directed to the respective housing contact at each School.
GSAS Special Student and Visiting Fellows
The GSAS Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office determines the assignment and waitlist order for its students. E-mail the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office with any questions regarding the assignment and lottery process.
Students with Disabilities
The residence halls can accommodate students with certain disabilities. Interested students should register with the FAS Accessible Education Office; students from other Schools must submit documentation to their School's disability coordinator. All documentation must be received by April 26, 2017.
Initial waitlist numbers are sent after the first round of the housing lottery. Late applicants will be added to the waitlist consecutively. Our office will send room offers out to students on the waitlist as we receive room cancellation notices. Waitlist numbers will be updated throughout the summer.
E-mail the Office of Residential Life if you wish to cancel. There is a short grace period during which students are permitted to cancel without penalty. After this period, students are charged a $150 cancellation fee and must pay room and board until the vacancy is filled. More information about our cancellation policy is outlined in the room offer.
Full-time, registered Harvard graduate students can apply for GSAS summer 2017 housing in Conant Hall beginning February 2, 2017. Priority is given to current residents of the GSAS residence halls; students graduating in May 2017 are not eligible. There is no meal plan associated with GSAS summer housing.
Summer housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. If demand exceeds the number of available rooms, students will be placed on a waitlist based on their application submission date and time.
Priority for summer housing is given to:
- Current residents of the GSAS residence halls
- Students who can commit to the entirety of the summer housing contract (Friday, May 26, 2017 to Saturday, August 5, 2017)
Note: There are more large rooms available than small rooms. Students who indicate a small room as their preference may receive a room offer for a large room once all small rooms are assigned.
Summer Housing Fees
Summer room fees are billed in two installments:
- A $150 non-refundable housing deposit is billed at the time of assignment.
- The remainder of the room fee is billed in early July.
The summer housing fees for 2017 are as follows:
- Conant small room: $1,950 ($150 deposit fee plus second installment of $1,800)
- Conant large room: $2,280 ($150 deposit fee plus second installment of $2,130)
Our assignment process assumes that all students who are assigned a room will accept. All cancellation requests must be made via e-mail to the Office of Residential Life.
- Students who have been assigned a room and cancel on or before the date on their room offer contract will lose the $150 deposit fee.
- Students who cancel on or before Monday, May 1, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. will lose the $150 deposit fee and be charged a $150 cancellation fee.
- Students who cancel after Monday, May 1, 2017, 5:00 p.m. must pay all room fees until the vacancy is filled, plus will lose the $150 deposit fee and be charge a $150 cancellation fee.
Resident advisors (RAs) are 16 graduate students employed by the GSAS Office of Student Affairs to fulfill various responsibilities in the GSAS Residence Halls: Child, Conant, Perkins, and Richards. An RA lives on each floor of the residence halls.
- Act as liaisons with the GSAS Offices of Residential Life and Student Services
- Are available for urgent and non-urgent matters and help residents, particularly new students, adjust to their environment at Harvard and in the residence halls
- Handle and report emergency situations, for example illnesses, accidents within the premises of the residence halls, and facilities problems
- Are visible and available to students both in the residence halls and at Dudley House
- Inform residents and monitor compliance of housing policies, rules, and regulations
- Monitor progress of repairs and facilities issues reported by residents
- Distribute keys during move-in weekend and at other times as necessary
- Aid residents who are locked out of their rooms
- Are available to residents on Friday and/or Saturday nights several times each term
- Attend monthly meetings (and additional meetings as necessary) organized by the GSAS Office of Residential Life. RA meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Class schedules and other commitments need to be arranged accordingly
- Plan, organize, and hold social events every two to three weeks on the floor for which the RA is responsible
- Participate in events organized by the GSAS Offices of Residential Life and Student Services, fellow RAs, Graduate Dormitory Council, Graduate Student Council, and Dudley Fellows
- Organize and participate in activities either as an RA Liaison or an RA Representative, for example on the Graduate Dormitory Council or as a wellness representative
- Post or distribute information and materials picked up at the Office of Residential Life every Friday afternoon
- Submit paperwork, online forms, and weekly reports on time
RA applicants must be a Harvard full-time graduate degree candidate for the 2017–2018 academic year and have lived in a GSAS residence hall for at least one full term (fall 2016 or earlier). Applications must also be in good academic standing and possess excellent interpersonal skills.
RAs must attend the meetings and events below. Confirm your availability on these dates before applying.
May 3, 2017, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Meeting of the 2017–2018 RA team
August 8 to September 11, 2017, and May 14 to 18, 2018
RAs must be in residence
August 9, 2017
RA Training Kickoff Dinner
August 10 to 16, 2017
August 13, 2017
January 8 to 19, 2018
GSAS January Term. RAs are expected to remain in the residence halls for at least five days of the term.
Application and Selection Process
Applications go live on Monday, January 4 at 12 noon and are due on Monday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m. Students are selected for an interview that takes place between the end of February and mid-March. Two letters of recommendation from members of the Harvard community are required (faculty member, administrator, or fellow student. Current RAs cannot provide recommendations). Current RAs and Graduate Dormitory Council officers will be consulted during the selection process.
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.
RAs in Child, Conant, and Richards Halls receive a free, small single room and 10 meals weekly, Monday through Friday, at Dudley House 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 Centrex telephone and are provided with voicemail. Charges for phone calls are the responsibility of the RA.