Move In

Plan ahead for a safe arrival

Harvard Yard in Winter with Public Health Signs to Keep Harvard Healthy

We are excited to welcome you to campus January 20-24! Move-in is one of the most exciting times of the year, and we can’t wait to see you. Before you arrive, however, there are some important steps that you need to take in order to protect the health and well-being of our entire community.

All students approved to live on campus during the spring 2021 term received an email on Monday, January 6, with information to plan their arrival and select a move-in time. You must arrive within the assigned window so that you can safely complete required COVID testing, receive your room key, and move your belongings into your room. Students should have received an email on January 14 with their room assignment.

The information below is the most up-to-date information about logistics, and will be updated as we receive more guidance from the College, the state of Massachusetts, and the city of Cambridge.

We've created a move-in map showing the location for
COVID testing, key pick-up locations, and more!

View the Map

If an emergency or travel delays your arrival past 7pm,
contact Harvard University Police at 617-495-1212.


Each student is provided with several pieces of furniture in the dorms:

  • Twin x-long bed and mattress (38" x 80")
  • Dresser
  • Wardrobe or closet
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Bookcase

Your suite will also contain recycling and compost bins, however trash bins are not provided. See guidelines for recycling and composting on the Office for Sustainability's website.

For Spring 2021: Bulky items like furniture can make moving out on short notice very challenging, and we do not recommend you bring additional furniture to campus. Harvard College will be furnishing Houses and dorms with MicroFridges for students' personal use.

Items to Pack

When packing for your move, err on the side of bringing less. We recommend you bring:

  • Clothes for winter and spring weather
  • Active wear to take advantage of the outdoor spaces
  • Towels
  • Bed linens (pillow, mattress pad, sheets, blanket/comforter)
  • Mobile phone
  • Computer
  • Laundry hamper/basket and detergent
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Trash can
  • School supplies
  • Surge protector/power strip
  • Desk lamp
  • Non-damaging, temporary adhesive for posters, pictures, and wall art

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted:

  • Pets
  • Candles or incense
  • Halogen lights
  • Fire arms or weapons
  • Space heaters
  • Cooking appliances with exposed heating elements, such as toaster ovens, air fryers, hot plates, griddles, or crock pots
  • Exercise equipment
  • Dart boards
  • Hoverboards
  • Cleaners containing ammonia or chlorine
  • Pest control products
  • Natural-cut Christmas trees

View fire safety guidelines for more information.

Before Move-In Day


Computer monitor and keyboard
Complete the online COVID-19 Safety and Awareness training module no later than January 10. Unless you are coming from Massachusetts or from a state designated by Massachusetts as lower-risk, you must also complete the Massachusetts Travel Form

Prepare for Testing and Quarantine

Medical suitcase

Visit the Dorm and House Residence Requirements site to learn about COVID testing, quarantine policies, and how to create your Color account. Complete the Self-Swab Online Training.

Early Departure

Person pulling suitcase
File an Early Departure Plan by January 19, with your destination if public health conditions or guidance make it necessary for you to leave campus earlier than expected. Your plan can be changed at any time.

Mail and

Boxed package

You may send packages to campus to arrive January 20 or later, using the mailing address sent with your housing notification. Packages will be held for you until you have completed your arrival quarantine.


Rolling suitcases
We strongly recommend that you pack lightly, limiting your belongings to just a few suitcases. Bring with you anything you might need for the first 10 days on campus.

Help with

You may only have one other person help you move into your room. This does not mean that families and friends cannot join you for move-in, but only one will be permitted into the residential building with you. Your helper will need to wear a mask and abide by physical distancing requirements outlined in the Residential Community Compact.

Leave Furniture
at Home

Bulky items like furniture can make moving out on short notice very challenging, and we do not recommend you bring them.

On Move-In Day

Crimson Clear

Laptop with medical image on screen
Before arriving for your move-in timeslot, complete the Crimson Clear wellness attestation. This must be completed on the morning of your move-in date.


Stethoscope and syringe
You will be tested for COVID-19 prior to picking up your key. Drive first to your House or dorm, and then walk to your testing site: SOCH for students in the Quad, the Science Center for students in Adams, Quincy, and all first-year students; and Smith Campus Center for students in Dunster, Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, Lowell, Mather, and Winthrop. Parking is not available at the testing locations.

Quarantine Meals

Fork and spoon
After your COVID test, you'll be directed to the HUDS staff nearby to pick up meals for Phase 1 of Quarantine.

Key Pick-Up

Key with tag
After completing your COVID test and picking up your quarantine meals, you'll be able to pick up your key. First-year students will pick up keys at Yard Operations, in the basement of Weld Hall. Upper-level students will pick up keys from their House building manager.


Car and parking sign
If you are moving into one of the Houses, you will be able to park and unload your vehicle in a space adjacent to your assigned House. If you are moving into Harvard Yard, you will be able to park in front of your assigned dorm. We ask that you limit this to no longer than 20 minutes. Please note that parking is not available at the testing sites, so you should plan to walk from your House or dorm to your assigned testing site.

MicroFridges and
Air Purifiers


Harvard College will furnish Houses and dorms with MicroFridges for students' personal use, at no cost to students. You'll also be provided an air purifier with a HEPA filter, which you should leave on at all times.


Airplane in Clouds
COVID testing and key pick-up are staffed 11am-7pm. If you arrive after testing has finished for the day at 7pm, you will not be able to move in that day. Please contact Harvard University Police at 617-495-1212 if you need help in those circumstances.


During the move-in window, January 20-24, questions may be directed to:

General Questions
First-Year Experience Office 
Available January 20-22, 9am to 5pm
First-Year Students Yard Operations
Upper-Level Students House Building Managers or the tutor on call


After You Move In


Attention sign
For the safety of our community, you will be expected to quarantine upon arrival to campus. Visit the Dorm and House Residence Requirements site to learn about quarantine policies. Safe practices will guide a phased campus reopening.


Laptop with medical image on screen
For every day you are on campus, you will need to complete the daily Crimson Clear wellness attestation. You should do this as early as possible after waking up. Before receiving meals, you will be required to scan your HUID to show your Crimson Clear is current.


Stethoscope and syringe
High-frequency viral testing is planned for students living on campus.

Bathroom Cleaning

Broom and cleaning bucket
All students are responsible for cleaning their bathrooms. Cleaning supplies will be provided at no cost to each suite, and can be restocked upon request from the House Building Manager or Yard Operations.

Mail and Packages

Boxed package
You must complete the first phase of Quarantine before you retrieve any mail or packages. Harvard Yard Mail Center and House mailrooms open 
for package pickup on January 22.


Printers in the Yard and Houses are offline due to COVID. No academic courses require printing, but if you need access to printing for accessibility reasons, contact the AEO. Printing vendors in the Square include: Gnomon, FlashPrint, or FedEx.

Parents and Families

We understand your student's start at Harvard is a momentous day for the whole family. The guidelines listed above apply to students. If you are a parent or family member, please review the information below to help keep your student, yourself, and others safe on move-in day.

Before you arrive:

  1. Review the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order to learn what steps you must take if you travel with your student to campus or plan to stay overnight in a local hotel.
  2. Complete any sight-seeing or errands to purchase items for your student's room be before you come to campus.
  3. Pack a mask. You will be required to wear a mask and abide by social distancing protocols. 3-layer ‘procedure masks’ are required on campus, and are available for members of the FAS community who reside on campus, free of cost. Individuals who wish to use face coverings other than the FAS-issued masks are welcome to do so, at their own expense, as long as the filtration protection is greater than or equal to the FAS-issued face coverings.

On move-in day:

  1. If you are driving, you may park outside your student's assigned House/Dorm. There is no designated parking near the testing locations. As soon as you park, your student will proceed to their testing site to complete their required COVID-19 tests and pick up pre-packaged meals from Harvard University Dining Services.
  2. Students can only bring 1 move-in helper into their House or Dorm. If you have other family members with you, they cannot enter the student's House or Dorm.
  3. Please depart immediately after you help your student move-in. Once your student is moved in, leaving campus with family members will not be permitted.