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Residential Buildings and Rooms

On-campus residential buildings have various configurations. All buildings are coed. Most buildings have suites, typically featuring a common room, two to four bedrooms, and a shared bathroom. Other buildings have rooms off a hallway with a shared bath. Some bedrooms have bunk beds. All rooms and bathrooms are divided by legal sex. Rooms are not air conditioned. Please note building or room requests cannot be honored.

Harvard University’s dorms and Houses, used during the non-summer months to house its undergraduate students, are rich with history. Since 2012, Harvard has undertaken a major renewal of its Houses, creating a home where students can bring together their academic, social, and personal passions. Harvard is far along on this program with the 6th House (out of 12) now in renewal. Residents of Summer School live in a mix of pre and post renewed spaces. The buildings used by the Summer School change each year. Regardless of which building you may be living in this summer, each building has its own rich history with notable alumni and traditions. As the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, the Summer School is happy to welcome all students to learn, and add, to this storied history.

Roommates and Room Assignments

The Summer School houses students by program, session, age range, availability, and legal sex. Your roommate(s) may come from all over the world. Often, English-speaking students live with students whose native language is not English. Because getting to know new people is a valuable part of the Summer School experience, roommate requests cannot be honored.

Due to the timing of assignments and arrival of students, we will not release information on roommates, and you will meet your roommate(s) — if you have any — on move-in day. The Summer School reserves the right to make any changes in room assignments that it deems advisable.

Choosing a Bed

You are required to wait for the arrival of your roommate(s) before choosing a bed. This provides an early opportunity for you and your roommate(s) to establish a pattern of working together constructively. You and your roommate(s) should seek guidance from your proctor if you ever need help resolving a dispute of any kind. 

Residence Furnishings

Although you may share your room/suite with one, two, three, four, or five roommates, each student is provided with their own furniture. Please note that students are not permitted to remove any Harvard-owned furniture from their rooms. Everything you bring must be kept in your room or suite. Items left in the hallways, stairways, basements, or common areas are a fire and egress hazard, and will be removed and discarded. Rooms are not equipped with cable television service.

You are allocated one each of the following items:

  • Bookcase
  • Box or ceiling fan per bedroom
  • Built-in closet or free-standing wardrobe
  • Desk with matching chair
  • Chest of drawers (with five drawers)
  • Standard, twin extra-long bed and mattress (39” x 80”)
  • Floor lamp (though we do recommend bringing a desk or additional lamp)
  • Bin for recycling and compost

You may also find the following information helpful as you prepare to live on campus this summer:

What to Bring

When planning what to bring with you, it is best to keep in mind that all dorm rooms are small, and you will not know in advance the configuration of your specific space or those with whom you will share it. In general, you should err on the side of bringing less. Chances are that if you wish you had brought something, either a roommate will have brought it, or you can purchase or rent what you need in or around Harvard Square.

You may want to bring the following items:

  • Backpack
  • Calendar/organizer
  • Cell phone
  • Clothes hangers
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comforter/blanket
  • Computer/laptop
  • Desk lamp
  • Dryer sheets
  • Earplugs/headphones
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Laundry bag/basket and drying rack
  • Laundry detergent
  • Light jacket
  • Linens
    • Flat sheet: 66″ x 102″ or 167 cm x 259 cm
    • Fitted sheet: 39″ x 80″ or 99 cm x 203 cm
  • Mattress pad/topper
  • Pillow
  • Raincoat
  • School supplies
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Small appliances (electric voltage no more than 100-V, 60 cycles)
  • Surge protector/power strip
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Umbrella
  • Waste basket

What Not to Bring

Several items are prohibited inside the dormitories and MUST be left at home, including:

  • Air conditioners*
  • Candles or incense
  • Cleaners containing ammonia or chlorine
  • Cooking appliances, such as:
    • Boiler/toaster oven
    • Coffee maker/Keurigs/tea kettles
    • Grilling machine
    • Hot plate
    • Hot pot
    • Popcorn popper
    • Rice cooker
    • Sandwich maker
    • Toasters
  • Dart boards
  • Drones
  • Exercise equipment
  • Explosives of any kind
  • Firearms (including BB and pellet guns)**
  • Hoverboards, self-balancing boards, two-wheeled Segways, motorized scooters, and similar devices
  • Microwave or refrigerator
    • Note: Adult and college students and Secondary School Program students in 7-week sessions may rent MicroFridges from Harvard Student Agencies. Pre-College Program students, and all other students in 3-week and 4-week sessions may rent MicroFridges from Harvard Student Agencies only if this accommodation has been approved by the Accessibility Services Office.
  • Pest control products
  • Pets of any kind
  • Space heaters
  • Various prohibited lamps, including:
    • Lava lamps
    • Halogen lamps
    • Oil burning lamps
  • Weapons of any kind**

*Air Conditioners

Residences are not air-conditioned; window and portable air conditioner units are not permitted in residential buildings unless otherwise approved by the Accessibility Services Office. An air conditioner will be installed for approved students who require air conditioning for disability-related reasons.

**Possession of firearms or weapons is a violation of both Massachusetts law and Harvard University regulations, and subjects students to serious disciplinary action. The Harvard Police have defined dangerous weapons to be ones designed to do bodily harm such as a stiletto, ballistic knife, brass knuckles, billy club, or a blackjack. Martial arts items such as throwing stars, kung fu sticks, and nunchaku sticks are included in the category of dangerous weapons. Any of these prohibited items is subject to confiscation.

What You May Rent or Purchase

Harvard Student Agencies (HSA)

HSA is an independent student contractor, and payment or cancellations must be made directly to that office. If you have any questions about items available for rent, email or visit the HSA Summer website.

Services for Secondary School Program, Adult, and College Students

Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) provides many services to Summer School students, including linen, pillow, and MicroFridge rentals; laundry cleaning and delivery services; and free American SIM cards. Please visit the HSA Summer website for a complete list of products and services.

HSA recommends you place orders early, as items sell out quickly. For products with in-room delivery, early orders are guaranteed to be in your room upon arrival. HSA representatives are available during Opening Weekend to accept orders as well. You may place orders through the HSA Summer website or at the HSA store located at 69 Mt. Auburn St.

Services for Pre-College Program students

Harvard Student Agencies also provides many services to Pre-College Program students, including linen and pillow rentals; laundry cleaning and delivery services; and free American SIM cards. Please visit the HSA Summer website for a complete list of products and services.

HSA recommends you place orders early, as items sell out quickly. Representatives are available during check-in to accept orders as well. You may place orders through the HSA Summer website or at the HSA store at 69 Mt. Auburn St.