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. The priority deadline to submit the online application was May 15, 2020. The application has been taken offline for the time being due to severely limited housing in the residence halls for 2020-2021. If you have not submitted an application, but are interested in housing in our residence halls, please email our office at gsasreslife@fas.harvard.edu.

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 went 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 small $7,588
Child Hall two-room suite $11,914
Conant Hall small $8,714
Conant Hall large $10,876
Perkins Hall small $8,260
Perkins Hall large $10,246
Richards Hall small $7,588


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: 

• All floors have at least one kitchen that contains a microwave, stove, oven, kettle, and refrigerator.
• Each hall has at least one lounge with cable television and a DVD player (individual rooms do not have cable access).
• Washers and dryers are located in the basements of each of the halls, operated by coins or Crimson Cash funds (a declining balance account accessed through your Harvard ID).
• A computer lab is available in Child Hall.

Life in the Residence Halls

The residence halls provide a community-based environment where residents are encouraged to meet one another, enjoy a variety of events, and dine together in GSAS Commons. Each floor has a resident advisor (RA), graduate students who live in the halls to help residents adjust to residence hall living, aid in emergency situations, and serve as liaisons with the GSAS administration. RAs also host floor and community events throughout the year. Sample events include residence hall–wide Halloween and Thanksgiving parties, talent show competitions, wine and cheese nights, weekend breakfast and brunches, potlucks, and finals study breaks. The GSAS residence halls not only offer comfort and safety, but also fun throughout the year! The GSAS Graduate Residence Hall Council (GRHC) is a voluntary, student-run organization that fosters a sense of community among hall residents by organizing various social activities through the year. The GRHC also oversees recreational equipment and maintains a DVD and game library.


All GSAS residents are required to enroll in the GSAS Commons meal plan, which provides an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with fellow students. All meals are taken in the GSAS Commons. The meal plan follows the academic calendar and provides for two dinners per week plus a declining balance allotment for use at GSAS Commons at lunch, additional dinner meals, or to host a guest for any meal. The declining dollar balance can also be used at Allston HUDS operations for Allston-based students, and the cafe in Kresge for Longwood-based students. Those who wish not to be enrolled in a meal plan are advised to seek alternative housing accommodations. Please note: For the 2020-2021 academic year, there will be no meal plan as part of the housing contract, as the GSAS Commons will not operate. Please visit the GSAS Commons website for more details regarding the meal plan.

Housing Application/Contract


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 15, 2020). The application fee is $75, and is nonrefundable. 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 correspondences 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.

The 2020-2021 academic year application is currently suspended due to severely limited housing available in the GSAS residence halls.


All full-time registered Harvard graduate students and incoming GSAS students are eligible to apply. Due to social distancing measures in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing cannot be guaranteed for fall 2020. For 2020-2021, due to severely limited housing in our halls, we are unable to offer housing for the fall semester to students enrolled at Schools outside of GSAS. Our office will reevaluate this policy as new public health information becomes available, and if we make the decision to expand our housing availability and if rooms are available, GSAS will reopen our housing application. 

Students enrolled in Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education (Extension School) are not eligible to apply.


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 15, 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.

Move-In hours

Move-in hours will be determined in late summer 2020. Once determined, these will be communicated to all students living in the residence halls for 2020-2021.

Please note: Sudden, unannounced arrivals occurring outside of move-in hours are subject to a fee.


For academic year 2020-2021, early arrivals will not be permitted. 

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.


Room Assignment/Lottery Process

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 assignments and waitlist numbers will be sent out in early to mid-July. Students will be given a short period of time to accept or decline their room offer or position on the waiting list. Room assignments cannot be changed. 

GSAS students

Due to social distancing measures in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing cannot be guaranteed for fall 2020. Incoming and returning GSAS students who apply by the priority deadline will be entered into a lottery, and assignments will be made based on lottery results.


For 2020-2021, due to severely limited housing in our halls, we are unable to offer housing for the fall semester to students enrolled at Schools outside of GSAS. Our office will reevaluate this policy as new public health information becomes available, and if we make the decision to expand our housing availability and if rooms are available, GSAS will reopen our housing application. 


GSAS Special Students and Visiting Fellows who apply by the priority deadline will be entered into a lottery, and assignments will be made based on lottery results.


The GSAS Office of Residential Life manages the housing waiting list. 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 fall, and students on the waiting list will be contacted periodically. 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.

Summer Housing

Summer 2020 housing is closed and our office is no longer accepting applications. The process below outlines our standard summer housing assignment process, contract, and cancellation policy. 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.

Assignment Process

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 nonrefundable 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 are as follows:

  • 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)

Cancellation Policy

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

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.


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
  • 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, GSAS 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
RA Training

August 21 to 23, 2020
Move-in Weekend

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.


GSAS Residence Hall Descriptions

Child Hall is located at 26 Everett Street and features 95 single rooms and 6 two-room suites.Read more
Conant Hall is located at 36 Oxford Street and has 39 small single rooms and 45 large single rooms.Read more
Perkins Hall is located at 35 Oxford Street. The hall has 77 small singles and 77 large singles.Read more
Richards Hall is located at 24 Everett Street and has 71 small singles.Read more