The First-Year Experience Office is responsible for the well-being of students in their first year at the College. Four Resident Deans of First-Year Students, with the support of approximately sixty resident proctors, advise students in four designated dormitory clusters, called Yards. The First-Year Experience Office also coordinates orientation for incoming first-year students, oversees pre-orientation programs, and conducts training and enrichment workshops for resident proctors.
The Resident Deans of First-Year Students are responsible for the academic progress and overall well-being of freshmen and are available to meet with students to discuss anything from academic requirements to personal concerns.
Proctors are Harvard graduate students or staff members who live in the first-year dorms. Each proctor serves as the primary academic, residential, social, and personal adviser to a group of first-year students at Harvard College.
First-year students live in the Yard, Apley Court and the Union Dormitories, at the geographic and historic center of the College. Accommodations range from eighteenth-century buildings, which housed the earliest Harvard students as well as George Washington’s troops, to Canaday Hall, the newest dormitory at the College completed in 1974. Students eat their meals in the beautiful and historic Annenberg Hall.
The first-year experience begins with a full Opening Days schedule complete with orientation and social activities. Opening Days traditionally culminates in Convocation in Tercentenary Theater. Throughout the year students can experience an array of social events including informal study breaks, the First-Year Formal, and the Halloween Catwalk. First-year students can participate in the first-year musical and a wide variety of intramural sports competitions. In the fall, many parents flock back to campus to visit their newly matriculated sons and daughters during Freshman Family Weekend. Twice during the year, students have the opportunity to invite their favorite faculty members to a Faculty Dinner at Annenberg Hall. Before leaving for Spring Break, students receive an upper class House assignment and have a number of opportunities to familiarize themselves with their House during the remainder of the spring term.
For more information on first-year life please visit the First-Year Experience Office website.