First-Year Living

Harvard Yard in the Fall

As a first-year student, you'll live in one of the residential neighborhoods called Yards, which are located at the geographic and historic center of College life.

Fall 2022 First-Year Student Housing

First-year students are required to live on campus, and the College and the First-Year Experience Office share the goal of ensuring that every first-year student will be able to live in Harvard-affiliated housing. We also recognize the importance of the first year in building a sense of class identity.


One of the most rewarding experiences for first-year students is the opportunity to be a part of a close-knit residential community. Your dorm's entryway will be made up of between 20 and 40 students who will share your floor or another designated area within a building.


Accommodations range from eighteenth-century buildings, which housed the earliest Harvard students as well as George Washington's troops, to our newest twentieth-century accommodations in Canaday Hall. Most dorms have suites with two to four bedrooms and a common room and house between three and six students. A few have private bathrooms, but most share bathrooms with other suites. We assign students to suites rather than to specific bedrooms. In almost any suite, you should expect to share a bedroom for at least part of the year. Some dorms contain doubles, usually one fairly large room with a shared bath. Very few singles are available. All dorms and Harvard Yard are smoke-free. 

Housing Assignments

You will receive an email with your housing assignment at the end of July or the first week of August.


Several dorms feature amenities like printing, laundry rooms, kitchens, common rooms, and music practice rooms. All first-year students are welcome to use these spaces, even if they don’t reside in that particular dorm. You can view this interactive map to see each dorm’s resources. All dorms are a short walk to Annenberg Dining Hall, the Harvard Yard Mail Center, classrooms, libraries, and the Malkin Athletic Center.

Common Rooms

You may reserve yard common rooms for your own social events, but not for events hosted by student organizations. Learn more about hosting events in the dorms.


Some first-year dorms have kitchens for student use, but all first-year students may access them. To find the kitchen nearest you, use this interactive map. Kitchens are equipped with stoves, sinks, and ovens. Students may borrow kitchenware from the First-Year Experience Office, free of charge, for three days at a time. 

Music Practice Rooms

Reserving Time

Music practice rooms must be reserved in advance by logging into the FAS RoomBook online reservation system and selecting the "First-Year Music Room Reservations" template.

Guidelines for Use

  • Only first-year students are permitted to use the spaces.

  • Rooms are available from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

  • Limit the use of rooms to an hour at a time and no more than three hours a day.

  • Disinfect all surfaces after use with sanitizing supplies provided in each space.

  • No food or drinks permitted.

  • Students may use the heater(s) and air conditioners, but please power off after use.

  • Drums and amplifiers are not allowed in any music practice room.

  • Do not store your equipment in the music practice rooms.

  • Music room windows must remain closed at all times.

  • Please always be considerate of your neighbors.


  • Greenough Basement
  • Holworthy Basement
  • Matthews Basement (two wheelchair accessible rooms)
  • Straus A Basement
  • Straus C Basement
  • Wigglesworth C Basement
  • Wigglesworth D Basement


Yamaha AvantGrand hybrid pianos are available in each of the music practice rooms. These volume-controlled pianos can be played acoustically or silently with headphones. You must supply your own headphones if you prefer to play silently. If you encounter an issue with one of the pianos, please contact us.

Accomplished players who are interested in performance-grade pianos are also encouraged to inquire about practice pianos in the Department of Music.


All dorms are equipped with printers for student use. Installing and printing to Crimson Print requires that your device be on either Harvard's wired network or Harvard Secure wireless. For installation instructions, please see the Set up and print with Crimson Print article. Costs range from $0.03 - $0.15. 

Borrowing Programs

First-year students, proctors, and PAFs are welcome to borrow items from the FYE's collection. Items available to check out include:

  • Board and lawn games
  • Grills (proctors only)
  • Kitchen items
  • Tables and chairs (proctors only)
  • Video projectors and screens

Explore borrowing programs


The Yards

Crimson Yard

  • Greenough
  • Hurlbut
  • Pennypacker
  • Wigglesworth


Elm Yard

  • Grays
  • Matthews
  • Weld


Ivy Yard

  • Apley
  • Hollis
  • Holworthy
  • Lionel
  • Mass Hall
  • Mower
  • Stoughton
  • Straus

Oak Yard

  • Canaday
  • Thayer


Student Stories

Dorm Room Tour!

Claire Chen '18

So you've heard about the classes and the extracurriculars at Harvard, but there's far more to the college experience.

Read the Story

Student's first-year dorm room