Orientation is your official welcome and introduction to Harvard College.
Throughout Orientation you will begin to learn about the values of the Harvard community and the opportunities and responsibilities associated with being a member. Most importantly, it is a time for you to get settled, meet peers and advisers, and consider how to explore and pursue your intellectual and personal interests. Although there is much to learn, there are many students, faculty, and staff who are ready to offer advice and support you throughout your transition to Harvard. The Harvard College 2021 orientation experience will consist of two parts: a virtual and a live, in-person component.
As the Class of 2025, the newest members of the Harvard College community, we recognize that the transition to college will be an extraordinary moment for you and your families.
While Harvard College has closely monitored the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our top priority has remained the health, safety, and well-being of our community in addition to ensuring the continuity of our orientation mission. To ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students as they transition into their undergraduate years, we have designed a hybrid orientation experience that introduces students to the mission, expectations, and resources of Harvard.
All students in the Class of 2025 are required to complete virtual orientation from August 9–August 24. Virtual orientation will be hosted on a platform called Canvas, a learning management system you will use throughout your entire time at Harvard. Virtual orientation will introduce you to the diverse resources and services that you can take advantage of while enrolled at Harvard.
Starting on August 28 after move-in, in-person orientation will be focused on opportunities to connect with members of your class and with the larger Harvard community. You will have a chance to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and build a sense of belonging at Harvard before your classes start on September 1. In-person orientation will culminate in long-observed tradition: Convocation–or the formal moment of transition into Harvard College.
We are committed to making our community and our programs accessible to everyone and recognize that not all environments, including online environments, are universally designed this way. While each of our programs have customized our curriculums and community building efforts to meet varying learning differences and preferences, we understand that there may be additional needs.
If you need any accommodations to fully participate in our Orientation program, please contact the Accessible Education Office (AEO) before the start of the fall term. Your privacy is important to us and any information you share with AEO is used for program accessibility and/or accommodation purposes only.
A long-standing tradition at Harvard College, Community Conversations is a program for first-year students to discuss elements of identity and belonging together with their entryway peers and Proctor. This conversation serves as a starting point to help students consider their role in building and sustaining community at Harvard.
As leaders within the Orientation program, upper-level students play an important role in supporting your transition to Harvard. At the very beginning of your experience, the Orientation Welcoming Committee plans community-building events to connect you with peers and help you develop a sense of belonging at Harvard.