First-Year Experience

We provide new students with guidance, programming, and resources to help them transition from high school to college.

6 Prescott Building Exterior
Together, our team ensures academic and social well-being and growth for first-year students. Stop by our office to meet with your Resident Dean, borrow games or kitchen items, or sign up for a music practice room.

First-Year Residential Life

Incoming students live in the central part of campus which includes the first-year dormitories, Annenberg dining hall, Widener and Lamont libraries, and academic buildings. You're also just steps from stores and restaurants in Harvard Square.

First-year students are assigned to one of four residential neighborhoods called "Yards", each with a dedicated Resident Dean. Each Yard includes dormitories, and within the dorm students are grouped into entryways of 20-40 students.

Learn about life in the Yard


Our Mission

We strive to help first-year students:

  • Build a strong foundation of skills and strategies needed to be successful in college
  • Navigate from the first year to their future at Harvard College and beyond
  • Foster intellectual curiosity and build connections based on personal interests
  • Engage substantively and reflectively in the living and learning communities that surround them
  • Recognize and seek guidance at appropriate moments for themselves and their peers
  • Respect the multiple voices and perspectives of our community and commit to productive dialogue

Our Team

Resident Deans

Each of the Resident Deans oversees the academic and residential life of one of the Yards, which includes roughly 400 students.

Resident Deans



Proctors are graduate students and administrators who live in the dorms with students and create an academic and social community for the first-year students in their entryway.



Full-Time Staff

The team based at 6 Prescott Street facilitates all aspects of first-year life.

Full-time staff


Programming Staff

Members of the programming staff plan targeted programs for students: intramurals, arts, faculty-student initiatives, health and wellness, and social events.

Program Staff

Contact Us

First-Year Experience Office

Office Hours Monday - Friday
9am - 5pm

6 Prescott Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Email Us



Parents and Family Members

Move-in Day Family Photo.We hope to connect with those who have helped you arrive at the Harvard gates. Parents and family members may receive communications, as well as programming and support from the Parent and Family Engagement Office.

Above all, we respect that your experience at Harvard belongs to you. We are bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that protects your rights.