Amazing Facts you need to know about Harvard Housing


Are you fresh into the Harvard University and you need to have yourself settled into a comfortable room? Here is the necessary information you need about the Harvard University Housing.

The Harvard University has a total of 20,324 enrolled students cutting across the college, graduate, and professional schools located in Cambridge and Boston. Of this number, 6,710 is the total of undergraduate enrollment, and students arrive every year in late August.


98% of Harvard undergraduates live in college-owned, operated or affiliated housing (which is to say they live on campus) for their four years of study. The remaining 2% of students live off campus. This large percentage of students living on campus make for a strong campus community and undergraduate experience.


The Harvard University Housing (HUH) system offers a multifaceted scope of housing to the University’s graduate students, faculty, and employees. This system is designed to create a full, interesting collegial experience for the four years of undergraduate education. In your freshman year, you live in one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, featuring shared suites, located within or adjacent to historic Harvard Yard. This is a prime location that enables you enjoy the companionship of roommates, eat meals in the Annenberg dining hall reserved for freshmen, and participate in activities designed specifically for freshmen. After your first year at Harvard, you are placed into one of the 12 houses on campus and continue to live there for the remainder of your residential life at Harvard. These houses are designed to teach you countless traditions and multi-textured learning opportunities and help you fit into the close-knit, spirited community. There is an additional house referred to as the thirteenth House. This house accommodates non-resident students and graduate students.

The 12 Harvard Houses and freshman dormitories ensures a kind of friendly bonding by bringing together people from all over the world, such that your roommate could be an environmental science student from Ghana, an accountant from Canada, or just anyone from around the world studying something different from you. Besides being living quarters for students, campus residences are learning communities. There are no shortages of graduate students to guide you through your curriculum, deans to provide you academic and personal advice, and tutors to offer you pre-professional advice and academic support. You could even find making friends over meals shared in dinning halls easy and interesting.

Also, organized activities like intramural sports, informal study breaks, and social gatherings within your freshman dorms and upper-class House could continually broaden your circle of friendship and connection.


Photocredit: Harvard Offcampus


As a Harvard undergraduate, you fall under a freshman or an upperclassman. This section elaborately treats Harvard University Housing for both category of undergraduate students.


As a freshman, you derive pleasure when you experience a community life around the yard. You will live with your classmates in or adjacent to Harvard Yard. The Yard is the location for newly renovated classrooms, dormitories which are primarily sheltered by ancient trees, and the magnificent Widener Library. You will have your meals with your friends in the Annenberg Hall, the dinning hall specially reserved for freshmen. There is every chance of making new friends here and sharing interesting conversations with classmates and friends from around the world. This is put together to ensure that your first year is an exciting transition into the Harvard community.


On the assignment of freshmen suites to freshmen, the Freshman Dean’s Office takes charge to see that it is carefully done. You will be placed in a dorm (rather than a specific room) with other freshmen. A fair share of these residences contain doubles, which consist of a fairly large room and a shared bath (very few singles are available). Some suites have their own bathrooms, but the ideal situation is students sharing a bathroom with other suites.


Freshmen are grouped into entryways. An entryway accommodates 20 to 40 students who share a floor or a designated area within their dormitory. A freshman proctor lives in each entryway. The proctor is charged with the responsibility of providing academic, personal counsel, social counsel, as well as planning events that build the community. Each entryway is like a link of a big gold necklace. They are a very diverse, supportive and innovative community that proudly participates in organized activities and shares informal social events, like study breaks.

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Extracurricular activities are programmed for you as a fresher living on campus, such as arts, intramural athletics, social events, and the “Reflecting on Your Life” series. Most of these activities designed for freshmen are organized by the Freshman Dean’s Office, the Houses, or the Office of Student Life. However, the students are given leeway to organize activities of their own.

There is an effective advisory system to crown the freshmen housing plan as many of you would be experiencing the environment for the first time. There is an effective and a very broad advising network that comprises of the proctor, academic adviser, peer advising fellows, and resident dean. All members of the advising team are available so as to counsel and assist students in their consideration of both academic and non-academic matters.


There are 12 upperclassmen houses, of which 9 are located on the River and 3 in the Quad. After your freshman year of living in a dorm in the Harvard Yard, you live the remaining three years in your House. A House is basically one big dorm complex. About 300-500 students reside in each of these “Houses.” However, each of these Houses possess their own dining halls, their own gyms, their own libraries, their own tradition, their own mascots and colors. For example, Pfoho house members go on an annual dog sledding trip every winter. The house has a spa downstairs and wonderful things. Eliot on the other hand have their annual spring formal called Fete, which is like prom without any of the drama of prom.


In the spring of your freshman year, the housing lottery will place you in one of the 12 Upper-class Houses. These houses are one of a kind and offer the experience of a small-college community within the broader framework of the University, providing the students with a wealth of opportunities to participate in academic, extra-curricular, and cultural activities over the three years they ought to stay. The 13th House which is typically known and addressed as Dudley House, gives you an offer as a social and academic gathering place for undergraduates who have been permitted to live off campus.

To get into any of these houses, you will form a small rooming group with your classmates towards the end of your freshman year. In most cases you will be assigned to live in one of the 12 Houses with the roommates/friends you have selected for yourself. These assignments arrive on Housing Day, which is one of the most exciting festive days of the year. This is a day when freshmen are introduced to their new communities so they can have an experience of the ways and traditions of the House. This Day begins with upperclassmen visiting the freshmen dorms to greet their newest housemates. Then you are welcomed into the life of your new Houses by a celebration at Annenberg Hall.

Even though each house has its own peculiarity and cultivates its own traditions, all Houses offer a number of amenities including a library, a lounge known as the “Junior Common Room,” as well as recreational and functional spaces, like woodshop, recording studio, or grill.

For each House, there is a senior House leader. They are like the father figure in a home. This house leader is referred to as the Faculty Dean. The Faculty Deans eat meals together with students in the dining hall, coordinate the House Tutors, host gatherings in their very own private residences and sponsor student-planned events for the house. The Dean of the Faculty through his intellectual, professional and recreational interests gravely influences the House’s communal and cultural life, giving the House its superior identity.

Just like in the Freshmen housing plan, there is an advisory program, with resident and non-resident tutors representing many fields of study. These Tutors avail themselves to you in every entryway to primary assist with academic matters, fellowships, and graduate school admission. They are also pledged with the responsibility of organizing and fully participating in each House’s intellectual, cultural, and extracurricular activities, such as discussion and language tables, House sports, drama, music, art and community service activities.

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For further strengthening the community and the unity therein, a large number of department tutorials and course sections meet in the Houses, which allows you to share meals with your own professors and diverse astute section leaders in the evenings, before or after class.

Because creating a comfortable and dynamic environment for learning is the key feature of the Harvard House system. A House is a place of learning as thoughts are being shared almost all the time, whether in the dining hall while you share meals with teachers and classmates, visit with your suitemates in your common rooms, or attend office hours with your tutors, the dean or the faculty dean. In your House for example, you can make use of spaces for art, attend a yoga class, or take House tutorials and seminars for credit.

A grave number of Houses just leverage on their own athletic teams in every intramural sports ranging from hockey and rowing to squash and ultimate Frisbee. The Straus Cup is won annually by the House with the highest standing which is a cumulative of all credits at the year’s end.

For a typically ideal coordination and a better all-round improvement and, each House has its own student-led House Committee, responsible for building the community by organizing and sponsoring many House activities.


This is a day when Upperclassmen welcome freshmen who have just concluded their one year in the Fresher Dorm to their Houses. The order is that on Thursday before Spring Break, at 9AM, crazy upperclassmen from your assigned house will come and bang on your door in all of their costumes and house gear to hand you and your block mates/friends the letter that welcomes you into their House. The rest of the day is dedicated to showcasing house tradition and welcoming you into the House.

An ideal Housing Day begins at 6a.m. This is the time the upperclassmen wake up and gather in their dining hall. They then gather in the Yard around 7a.m and begin their various house chants, and waving their flags. They generally just yell about how much they love their house. At 9a.m, the dean gives each House the letters of the freshmen who got placed in their houses. The houses then go “dorm storming” the graduate freshers, delivering them their letters. The celebration continues into Annenberg Hall, the fresher’s dinning hall, where each house holds their festivity for the rest of the day.


Statistics show that 2% of Harvard students prefer to stay off campus. Humans have different preferences, as such, not a single situation suite all. Most of the off-campus students live in the Cambridge and Boston area. There are several ways to acquire or process the acquisition of a house off-campus, however, it is most convenient to visit This is a rental market site which is privately owned that has an option that smoothens your roommate search, HUH sublet listings for eligible Harvard affiliates, and many other resources.

It is worthy to note that before signing a lease, you should consider the rent amount and fees, the apartment condition, utilities (including heat), furnishings and appliances, landlords/management companies, and pets.

You are encouraged to understand your rights when exploring the off-campus market.


Although you might wish to live alone, studio and one-bedroom apartments can be quite expensive. The more bedrooms there are in an apartment, the cheaper each room tends to be. This is not always the case as location, environment, room specifications, size and other factors influences the price of apartments.

To explain this further, we will give you examples using the house at number 8 Plympton Street and its neighborhood in Cambridge and the houses in Fenway Triangle, Boston.

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8 Plympton street is in the Harvard Square neighborhood. Harvard Square is the most walkable neighborhood in Cambridge with a neighborhood Walk Score of 97/100. There is an excellent transit system that has been provided, which connotes that transit is convenient for most trips. Car sharing is available from Zipcar, RelayRides, Hertz on Demand and Enterprise CarShare. The location is a Walker’s Paradise; thus, daily errands do not require a car. Below is a table of houses in the neighborhood with their prices, number of beds/types of apartment, and walk score.

Name of House/Street No. of Bed(s)/ Type of Apartment Price ($) Walk Score
Brattle Arms 1 3,225 94
Memorial Dr & Ash St 1 3,100 81
Memorial drive 8 9,800 81
Brattle St 1 3,145 99
Story St 1 2,855 94
Mt Auburn St & John. F. Kennedy Studio 1,890 99


You will discover from the table that the prices of the single bedrooms differ irrespective of the number of their walk score, and that the price for studio against a bedroom is low. This goes to prove that a lot of factor than mentioned comes into play in housing prices.


The Fenway Triangle is at the heart of what matters, surrounded by some of Boston’s most vibrant places to eat, shop and play. This is a building in one vibrant neighborhood replete with history and inspired by possibility, a special bit of Boston — a community that is indeed the perfect place to call home.  It is located at 180 Brookline Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. The table below shows the prices of houses in this neighborhood based on the number of rooms and size in square feet.

No of Bed(s) Size (Sq. ft) Price ($) – Minimum range
1 552 – 896 2,645
2 1010 – 1449 4,020
3 1588 – 1805 6,085


From this table, you will notice that there is a direct relationship among the number of bedrooms, size of the room, and the price. The more the rooms and larger the size of the room, the higher the price of the house.


Before subletting a Harvard house, ensure to download and carefully read the Sublet Kit for HUH apartments or the Sublet Kit for Cronkhite Graduate Center rooms. They possess HUH subletting conditions, policies and procedures, sublet periods, an application, and related forms. The following subletting information are important:

  • Every subleasing and all other similar arrangements is a firm duty duly restricted to Harvard affiliates and can only be made with Harvard’s prior consent; all sublet arrangements definitely have to be approved in writing in advance by Harvard University Housing.
    • Cambridge Residents: This is a new Cambridge City ordinance that rightly and heavily influences your ability to sublease your own unit for a period of less than 30 days.
    • Any type of rentals which span for more than 30 days are hereby prohibitedunless the unit is registered (which involves an inspection process and confirmed payment of a $500 fee) and which also connotes you meet specific eligibility standards. Please be duly notified that new tenants may not be eligible for the City of Cambridge’s registration. 
  • Every sublet request is processed in the order that they are received. In the summer, when business is choked up it might take up to ten business days to process your request; at other times of the year we typically process a sublet application within five business days.
  • To expedite the processing of your request, be sure that the application is complete, it is signed by all parties, and that all required documentation is submitted.


These are guides and further information to aid you in acquiring a Harvard University Housing (HUH). They are as follows:

  • GSD Housing Facebook Group – a focused group and also an exceptional way to connect with other incoming students and current students.
  • Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
  • Cost of Heat
  • Fees and Deposits
  • Renter’s Insurance
  • Harvard Housing Office – Harvard Housing Office,7 Holyoke Street (Harvard Square), Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Other Online and Print Resources




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