About Student Housing Options: Harvard
Harvard University offers housing to each undergraduate student for four years. Typically, incoming students choose to live in one of the 12 residential houses (this excludes the number of other options offered) Harvard provides its students.
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Such houses include—but are not limited to—Adams House, Currier House, Dunster House, Kirkland House and Winthrop House. Each house has an in-house senior faculty member that serves as “house master” for 350 to 500 students.
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According to their website, the administration feels that Harvard housing options provide “small academic and social communities of 350 to 500 students within the larger context of the College.”
The cost of a dorm
The house system provides a wealth of opportunities for students academically and socially with its events held by the in-house senior faculty.
On average, a freshman can expect to pay about $14,000 for room and board at Harvard. This is on a per year basis.
The most popular Harvard freshman housing complexes according to the Harvard housing website include: Pennypacker, Hurlbut, Greenough, Wigglesworth, Weld, Matthews Hall, Grays, Apley Court, Hollis/Stoughton, Holworthy, Lionel/Mower, Massachusetts Hall, Straus, Canaday and Thayer.
Harvard housing provides its undergraduates with plenty of information regarding policies, protocol and activities on campus and in the surrounding areas of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville.
They also provide specialty living such as pet-friendly and smoke-free living. Students can also live in these residences during the academic year and through the summer.
Living as an undergraduate off campus
Students are on their own despite the vast wealth of information provide on the Harvard housing website. Click here for some tips on making the transition from dorm to apartment.
Harvard housing recognizes that although much of the student body lives on campus all four years, some students want to live off campus.
Harvard provides its undergraduates information about realtors and listings. However, this does not mean that the university aids in any way during the actual house hunt.
Many undergraduates choose to live in the surrounding neighborhoods of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston. For some, living off campus is actually less expensive per month than living on campus.
Harvard gives off-campus students access to information regarding local banks, utilities, furniture and more.
Graduate/Family Off- and On-Campus Housing
Harvard does not offer traditional on-campus housing options to its graduate students like it does for its undergraduates.
In 2009, many departments at Harvard recognized that graduate students fostered themselves in the classroom, but stopped nurturing themselves socially. That said, the University created a program known as Graduate Commons.
The Graduate Commons (GCP) is an interdisciplinary program where graduate students apply to live in communities made up of other graduate students on campus.
The GCP has graduate students coming together, almost as if to experience their undergraduate years again, in order to create a better sense of community.
Students put together social and scholarly events that combine their interests in the classroom and brings them outside and across all of the Harvard graduate schools.
GCP residences include 5 Copperthwaite Street, 10 Akron Street and Peabody Terrace, all in Cambridge.
Although this program is becoming increasingly popular, graduate students and families must live off campus and have the same opportunities as undergraduates.
Boston is a college town. During the summer this is most notable because all of the 60,000 students that immigrate to the city leave for home.
With a rich history, Boston proper’s 50 square mile radius encompasses many restaurants, museums and shopping opportunities.
Other forms of entertainment include seeing Off-Broadway shows in the theatre district and the Swan boats in the Boston Common/Public Garden Area.
Boston is also known for its professional sports teams such as the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins.
Adjacent to Boston, Brookline is a suburb that serves also as a mini-global hub of culture. There are many different cuisines and cultures such as Russian, Ethiopian, and Mexican.
Some more interesting attractions include the Coolidge Corner district where visitors and catch an indie film or older flick at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
A very eclectic city, Cambridge encompasses a number of different restaurants and shopping plazas each with its own style and inter-nationality.
Cambridge is known as the “City of Squares” because it is divided into districts known as squares.
These include Kendall Square, Central Square, Porter Square and most famously Harvard Square.
Cambridge is very accessible by the MBTA’s Red-line. Some “T” stops include: Harvard, Kendall/MIT and Davis.
For more information about Cambridge, including restaurants and museums, please refer to the Visiting Cambridge section of our website.
Somerville sits just outside of Boston beginning the belt of suburbs outside of the city.
With an urban feel, Somerville has a diverse mix of ethnicity including Italian, Irish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Korean, Brazilian, Haitian and others.
Tufts University calls parts of this urban area home. Students love going into Davis Square for a movie, drink and various food options like crêpes and ice cream.
Harvard provides a real estate service for its faculty, both on sabbatical and current.
Most often, the university refers them to outside real estate companies to find homes in the surrounding area.
Other times faculty lives in-residence serving as house masters for freshmen or in the GCP residences as a mentor for graduate students.
For more information about anything regarding Harvard Housing, please contact Harvard Campus Services at (617) 496-7827.
Be sure to call during either regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM as they are closed during the weekends.