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 by 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2020, are guaranteed a room offer in one of the residence halls for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Academic year housing begins in late August and extends to the end of the academic year in May. The GSAS Residence Hall Handbook outlines the rules and regulations associated with living in our halls and details on 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 a safe and comfortable living environment. Residents will be notified of any changes. For information about life at Harvard and other GSAS policies, refer to GSAS Policies.
2020–2021 Housing Applications
The housing application for the 2020-2021 academic year will go live on Monday, March 2 at 12:00 p.m. Please see below for details and eligibility.
The Residence halls
The GSAS Office of Residential Life oversees four residence halls: Child, Conant, Perkins, and Richards, all of which are located in the North Yard of Harvard's Cambridge campus. Each building has unique qualities, and more information about each residence hall, including room floor plans, amenities, photos, etc., can be found at the bottom of this page.
Rooms are single occupancy only, except for six two-room suites available in Child Hall. 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. Couples may apply for housing in a two-room suite; however, both individuals must be full-time registered Harvard graduate students. All floors house male- and female-identified individuals, except for Child Basement (all male-identified individuals) and Richards Third Floor (all female-identified individuals). Visitors of all genders are permitted to visit single-gender floors.
|Room Type||2020-2021 Cost|
|Child Hall||two-room suite||$11,914|
Each room contains a bed, desk and chair, desk lamp, bookcase, bureau, and closet or wardrobe (these items cannot be removed from the rooms); pillows, linens, towels, and blankets are not provided. Rooms also include Ethernet jacks for wired access, and Wi-Fi is available throughout the halls. Residents can also rent fans, lamps, buy linens, sign up for laundry service, and more, through the student-run Harvard Student Agencies.
In Child, Conant, and Richards Halls, bathrooms are designated for single-gender use. In Perkins Hall, two bathrooms will be designated for all-gender use, located on the second and third floors. For one term during the academic year, students in Conant Hall may need to use the bathroom on the floor above or below the floor on which they reside. Bathroom designations in Conant Hall will be reversed at the beginning of the spring term
Residents have access to a number of communal areas:
Life in the Residence Halls
All students must apply via the Residential Portal, using their HarvardKey and PIN. The application cannot be accessed without the HarvardKey and PIN. Incoming students will be able to set up their HarvardKey once they receive their Harvard University ID number, which is emailed in early April. Incoming students must also have accepted their offer of admission to access the application. Please note there may be a delay between when students claim their HarvardKey, and when they are able to access the application. To be included in the first housing lottery round, complete applications must be received by the priority deadline, May 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. The application fee is $75, and is non-refundable. Applicants are given the opportunity to select their top four preferences for building and room size, as well as preferences for a room on a single-gender floor, or close to an all-gender bathroom.
All correspondence regarding the application, assignment and waiting list processes will be done via Harvard email. Our office is not responsible for missed deadlines caused by inattention to email.
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:
- GSAS (Returning Students)
- 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.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The residence halls can accommodate students with certain medical conditions and/or 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 May 1, 2020.
The 2020–2021 contract runs from Friday, August 21, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., to Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Residents who are receiving a degree at Commencement may remain in the halls until Friday, May 28, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Our office reserves the right to move any resident to a different room for the interim period, if necessary.
All keys and move-in materials are to be picked up during the following times:
- Friday, August 21: 12:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
- Saturday, August 22: 12:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
- Sunday, August 23: 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Beginning Monday, August 24, residents should pick up keys at the GSAS Office of Residential Life, located in the GSAS Student Center (Lehman Hall) room B-2, during normal business hours (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), except Labor Day, Monday, September 7, when the University will be closed due to the national holiday. Absolutely no move-ins are allowed on Monday, September 7, 2020.
If it is not possible to arrive during scheduled move-in times or office hours, residents should plan to make alternate arrangements until the next scheduled move-in time or office hour.
Please note: Sudden, unannounced arrivals occurring outside of move-in hours are subject to a fee.
The Office of Residential Life accepts early arrival requests for academic prerequisites only. Early arrival requests due to any other reason will not be approved. To request early arrival, email our office by Friday, June 26, 2020, noting the arrival date and reason for arriving early. Written approval from the resident's department is also required. Note that early arrival is not guaranteed.
Students with approved early arrivals will be charged a fee, to be determined by the date of their arrival.
Billing & Payment
GSAS Residential Life does not collect payments for room or meal plan fees. These fees will be billed to residents' student accounts in two installments. The fall term room and meal fees will be billed by early August and the spring term room and meal fees will be billed in late November. Because the fall term is slightly longer than the spring term, the room and meal plan fees for the fall term are more than half the overall fees. Any questions regarding payment should be directed to Student Financial Services.
Important information for first-year GSAS students:
Fees for the GSAS residence halls and meal plan will be billed in August prior to registration, and due upon arrival. If you are a first-year GSAS student and cannot pay these charges in full before the registration deadline, please note that you will be cleared for registration by GSAS Financial Aid. More information about registration, stipends, and paying your GSAS room and meal plan fees is available at the Student Financial Services website.
Following the application deadline, the first round of room assignments will be conducted. Assignments are based on lottery number, room availability, and room preferences. Room offers will continue until all rooms have been assigned. Every effort is made to assign rooms in order of the preferences indicated on the housing application; however, it is not always possible to assign applicants their first or second choices. Room offers and waiting list numbers will be sent via email by Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Students will be given a short period of time to accept or decline their room offer or position on the waiting list. Room assignments can not be changed.
Incoming first-year GSAS students are guaranteed a room offer if they apply by the priority deadline. Returning GSAS students who apply before the priority deadline are not guaranteed a room offer, but are given priority over other Schools and will be entered into a lottery.
GSD, GSE, AND HKS STUDENTS
Each School determines the assignment and waiting list order for their students who have applied for the GSAS residence halls. The GSAS Office of Residential Life sends all room contracts and waiting list numbers via email. 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 waiting list order for its students. Email the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office with any questions regarding the assignment and lottery process.
The GSAS Office of Residential Life manages the waiting list for GSAS students, as well as any graduate students who are not enrolled in HKS, HGSE, or GSD. Initial waiting list numbers are sent after the first round of the housing lottery. Late applicants will be added to the waiting list consecutively. Our office will send room offers out to students on the waiting list as we receive room cancellation notices. Waiting list numbers will be updated throughout the summer, and students on the waiting list will be contacted periodically. We often are able to accommodate many applicants who are initially placed on the waiting list. Chances of receiving housing highly depend on the number of applicants who decline or cancel their room assignments. Each year is different, so it is not possible to predict chances of receiving housing. Our office makes every effort to communicate as often as possible with students on the waiting list to provide updated information.
There is a short 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 meal plan fees until the vacancy is filled. More information about our cancellation policy is outlined in the room contract.
Full-time, registered Harvard graduate students can apply for GSAS summer 2020 housing in Conant Hall beginning Monday, February 3, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Priority is given to current residents of the GSAS residence halls; students graduating in May 2020 are not eligible. The meal plan is not 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 waiting list 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 29, 2020, to Friday, August 7, 2020)
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 2020 will be set in late January. The housing fees below were for summer 2019.
- Conant small room: $2,180 ($150 deposit fee plus second installment of $2,030)
- Conant large room: $2,720 ($150 deposit fee plus second installment of $2,570)
Our assignment process assumes that all students who are assigned a room will accept. All cancellation requests must be made via email 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 Friday, May 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. will lose the $150 deposit fee and be charged a $150 cancellation fee.
- Students who cancel after Friday, May 1, 2020, 5:00 p.m. must pay all room fees until the vacancy is filled, will lose the $150 deposit fee, and be charged a $150 cancellation fee.
Resident advisors (RAs) are 15 graduate students employed by the GSAS Office of Residential Life to fulfill various responsibilities in the GSAS residence halls. An RA lives on each floor of the residence halls.
- 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
- Be 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.
- Be 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 21-23) and at other times as necessary
- Aid residents who are locked out of their rooms
- Be 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-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, Graduate Student Council, and GSAS Student Center Fellows
- Organize and participate in activities/meetings as a 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
RA applicants must be a Harvard full-time graduate degree candidate for the 2020–2021 academic year and have lived in a GSAS residence hall for at least one full term (fall 2019 or earlier). Applicants 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 4, 2020, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Meeting of the 2020–2021 RA team
August 11 to September 4, 2020, and May 14 to 28, 2021
RAs must be in residence
August 12, 2020
RA Training Kickoff Dinner
August 13 to 19, 2020
August 21 to 23, 2020
January 11 to 22, 2021
January@GSAS. RAs are expected to remain in the residence halls for at least five days of the term.
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Resident Advisor Winter Retreat
Application and Selection Process
The GSAS Resident Advisor application is now live. Applications are due by Friday, January 31, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Based on the completed applications, applicants will be selected for an interview in mid-February. Two letters of recommendation are required—one must be from a member of the Harvard community. Current RAs cannot be recommenders. Current RAs and Graduate Residence Hall Council officers will be consulted. Offers are expected to be sent out in early March 2020.
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 capacity. The Office of Residential Life provides free University and local calls, as well as voicemail service. Charges for all other calls are the responsibility of the RA.