In support of the academic mission of Harvard College, the Dean of Students Office oversees an integrated four year residential and campus life experience for Harvard College students, seeking to create a campus residential and social community that is welcoming, open and accessible to all students. The three key areas that comprise the Dean of Students Office are residential life and housing, student engagement, and diversity and inclusion. The units within the Dean of Students Office are responsible for developing the conditions for a thriving learning environment by which students can succeed intellectually, socially, and personally.
The Dean of Students Office oversees a distinctive four year Residential Life and Housing system which weaves an outcomes-based residential education program throughout the four years. Starting when students arrive on campus, the Office of First-Year Experience provides a structured, intentional first year experience in the Yard that provides a critical foundation for the entire four-year student experience including academic support, advising, and careful attention to the needs of students transitioning to college life. Students then move to one of the residential upper-class Houses within the unique intergenerational House system that provides a vibrant living and learning environment for students as they develop their intellectual and interpersonal skills. The Office of Student Engagement coordinates new student orientation programs, social programs, student organizations, leadership opportunities, class programs, and reflective opportunities – and is another critical component of the Harvard College student experience which builds affinity across all four years. Throughout all of our areas and informed by the work of the Diversity and Inclusion area, the Dean of Students Office fosters thought, dialogue, and active engagement around social justice, diversity, cultural competence, and inclusion at Harvard.
The Dean of Students Office partners with the Office of Undergraduate Education to provide academic support and advising in the Yards and Houses - particularly in the first and second year - and to help students connect their co-curricular and academic lives on campus.