Summer 2021

It is essential for all students considering the invitation to be in residence to understand that the campus experience will be markedly different from the one you remember.

Prior to accepting your housing invitation, you should read, understand, and be prepared to abide by the rules and guidelines outlined in the Harvard College Residential Community Compact in order to make an informed decision about residency. You will be required to complete an online COVID-19 training before returning to campus, and upon arrival, you will have the support of a Community Health Lead, as well as summer residential staff.


Summer 2021 housing availability will be determined by current public health guidelines, and we will work to safely accommodate as many students as possible.

Summer 2021 housing will be offered to Harvard College students who are:

  • Unable to leave campus due to visa issues or other extenuating circumstances related to health and well-being
  • Part of the tuition-waiver program for Harvard Summer School
  • Participating in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village

Students who wish to apply to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances can submit an application on line.  Please note this application closed on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Residential Life

Housing Assignments

Your housing assignment will be determined by your summer program rather than your affiliated House or Yard. Students who live on campus in the summer as part of an organized research program will be housed together.

If you are living on campus for the summer but are not assigned to your affiliated House or Yard, you will not be permitted to access that space during the summer as part of health and safety precautions.

Health and Safety

Access to campus spaces and facilities will be based on your academic need and public health guidelines. You must also be in compliance with all required public health practices, including COVID-19 testing and your Crimson Clear wellness attestation.

The Houses and Yards have undergone physical modifications and measures to support public health goals such as:

  • Easy access to masks - all residential students will be provided with masks, and if needed, you can pick up more from your Building Manager
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules for community spaces (you will be expected to clean your own bedroom and bathroom)
  • Personal safety training and protective equipment for custodians, security guards, and residential staff
  • Improved air handling and filtration in shared spaces
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipe stations
  • Signage outlining our public health community guidelines


The ability to travel during the summer is likely to be very limited and will vary in accordance with the Harvard campus levels of reopening.

  • If you need to travel due to an emergency when Harvard is in a phase with restricted travel, you must seek advance permission from your summer program director, who will consult with the Dean of Students Office.
  • Upon your return, you may be required quarantine.
  • Violations of this policy will be referred to the Community Council and may be grounds for immediate revocation of housing privileges.

Community Expectations

Harvard has developed a set of evidence-based, required public health practices for our campus-based community that are outlined in the Residential Community Compact.

Any alleged violations of the Compact will be reviewed by a Community Council, which will have authority to remove a student from campus. Examples of violations include refusing to undergo testing, failure to abide by quarantine terms, or hosting or attending an unauthorized gathering. Serious and/or repeated violations may result in suspension of a student’s on-campus residency.


The ability to socialize safely will vary in accordance with what is allowed in different Harvard-specific color-coded phases of campus re-opening. As public health circumstances allow, we will move quickly to provide students in residence access, in a phased approach, to academic facilities like libraries and research laboratories and to increase opportunities for campus-based academic engagement activities.

  • Students living off campus will not have access to any dormitories or dining halls.
  • Large performances, competitions, and other gatherings are prohibited. 
  • Some recreational and performing arts spaces may be available during the summer term, depending on public guidelines and the phase of campus opening.
  • As outlined in the Handbook for Students, students on leave do not have access to campus activities or resources, with a few exceptions.

Open Locations

Select locations will be available to on-campus students for studying and recreation during Summer 2021. Some spaces may require reservations. Be sure to note the hours and reservation policy for each location.