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students hanging out in their dorm

Community Life Around the Yard

As a first-year, you will live with your classmates in or adjacent to Harvard Yard, the University’s historic hub. The Yard is the site of newly renovated classrooms, dormitories sheltered by ancient trees, and Widener Library, the heart of the world’s largest university library system.

During your first year, you will take your meals in stately Annenberg Hall, the first-year dining hall. Here you will meet friends and enjoy interesting conversations with classmates from around the world.

With every aspect of the first-year experience, we work to ensure your first year is a stimulating and seamless transition into the Harvard community.

First-Year suites

First-year residence hall assignments are carefully arranged by our Dean of Students Office. You will be placed in a suite (rather than a specific room) with other first-year students. Most residences in the Yard contain doubles, which usually consist of one fairly large room with a shared bath (very few singles are available). Some suites have their own bathrooms, but most students share a bathroom with other suites.


First-year students are grouped into entryways, which house 20 to 40 students who share a floor or designated area within their dormitory.

A first-year proctor lives in each entryway, providing academic, personal, and social counsel, and planning events that build community.

Each entryway is a diverse, supportive community that participates in organized activities and shares informal social events, like study breaks.

Extracurricular activities

Campus-wide undergraduate activities are organized by the Dean of Students Office, the Houses, or the Office of Student Life, in addition to those created by students themselves. Many are designed specifically for first-year students, including arts, intramural athletics, social events, and the “Reflecting on Your Life” series.


First-year students are supported by a broad advising network comprised of their proctor, academic adviser, peer advising fellows, and resident dean. All members of the advising team are readily available for in order to help students consider both academic and non-curricular matters.


John Harvard Statue in front of University Hall

Stroll through Harvard Yard, ask Admissions staff all your questions, and feel the warmth of the Harvard community. See tour dates and times.


Harvard Square

Half college town, half cosmopolitan hub—all yours to explore. Find everything from town squares to tech startups right in Boston and Cambridge.