Housing Policies

Room Assignments

Each House determines the room assignment procedure for its upperclass students. Sophomores are assigned a room following the room selection process for seniors and juniors. Depending on the tradition of the House, this process will be done either by an open lottery or by assignment overseen by the House Administrator. Students receive information about House-specific room assignment procedures in the spring term. Questions regarding room assignment for upperclass students should be directed to the House Administrator of the appropriate House.

Gender Inclusive Housing


Over the summer, the Dean of Students Office (DSO) will send an electronic housing application to all incoming first-year students where you will be able to check a box requesting to be placed in gender inclusive housing. Students who check this box will be housed with others who made the same request. On the application, there will also be space to offer additional information that you would like the Dean of Students Office to know about regarding your housing needs.

All incoming first-year students are randomly assigned to one of the first-year dorms. The room and suite configurations differ from dorm to dorm, so the more information you are able to provide, the better the DSO will be able to place you. 

If you need more information, have questions, or want support, you can contact the Dean of Students Office at firstyear@fas.harvard.edu (617-495-1574), or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at bgltq@fas.harvard.edu (617-496-5716).


Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who wish to opt into gender inclusive housing can do so during the housing lottery process in the spring. Requests for gender inclusive rooming groups can be made to your House Administrator. All occupants must voluntarily agree to the arrangements and must complete a gender inclusive housing contract confirming their agreement. 

Fulfillment of requests for gender inclusive housing will take into account the limitations of each House. For more information about this policy, contact the Housing Office, your House Administrator, or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life. If you have gender-based needs that require accommodations beyond those offered by this policy, please contact the Housing Office at collegehousing@fas.harvard.edu (617-496-2774), or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at bgltq@fas.harvard.edu (617-496-5716).

Space Available Wait List (SAWL) 

Students who fail to submit the Returning Student Application (RSA) by the appropriate deadline for the term they wish to be housed will automatically be placed on their House’s SAWL.  Students on the SAWL are not guaranteed on-campus housing.  Students will ordinarily be housed from the SAWL according to the date their RSA was submitted.

Students on the SAWL are eligible for housing in their assigned House and only their assigned House.  Students on the SAWL will not be permitted to transfer Houses in an attempt to secure on-campus housing as the Inter-house transfer deadlines are applicable. 

Veteran, Married, and Family Housing

Harvard College does not offer undergraduate housing in the Houses or dorms to married undergraduates and/or undergraduates with families.  Students who are veterans, married, and/or have children may be eligible for Harvard-affiliated housing through Harvard University Housing. Requests and inquiries related to this policy should be directed to the Director of Housing and Residential Operations (6 Prescott St., 617-496-2774, collegehousing@fas.harvard.edu).

Note:  Given the leasing period for Harvard University Housing, students are strongly encouraged to make such a request during the spring term (between March 1 and May 1) if they are requesting housing for the following academic year.  Requests can be made at any time, but the ability to accommodate such requests is more limited after the May 1 deadline.  Please visit www.huhousing.harvard.edu for more details on the application process. 

Housing for Students with Disabilities or Medical Conditions

Accommodations can be made for students with disabilities and/or medical conditions. Students requiring assistance need to communicate directly with the Accessible Education Office (AEO) immediately following admission, or as soon as the need is clinically documented. In addition, students bringing medical equipment should inform the AEO to ensure that adequate electrical or other considerations are made.  Clinical documentation provided to the Accessible Education Office (AEO) is always necessary to request housing accommodations. Specific guidelines for such documentation may be obtained from the AEO website. The University reserves the right to change a pre-existing housing assignment, even temporarily, if a disability-related life-safety concern exists.

Students Who Move Off Campus

All students planning to move out of housing must complete a Housing Cancellation Form via the Residential Portal. All current first-year students who complete the fall term must enter the rising sophomore housing lottery to receive a House affiliation before submitting a housing cancellation. Students who choose to live off campus in their sophomore year will be affiliated with Dudley House. Students living off campus may subsequently apply for on-campus housing, provided they meet the Returning Student Housing Application deadline. In this case, students are affiliated with the House to which they were assigned during the rising sophomore lottery. Students must live in their assigned House for a minimum of two semesters before becoming eligible for an inter-house transfer.

Visiting Undergraduate Students (VUS)

Visiting undergraduate students are affiliated with Dudley House.  Please reach out to Dudley House for more information.


Students living in the Houses or dormitories who are leaving in the spring and intending to return to residence in the fall may store belongings in designated areas during the summer on a space available basis.

Please note: Storage is not available in every House, and students should check with the House Building Manager to learn if storage is available in their particular House.*

In those Houses where summer storage is available, the amount of storage space varies considerably, as does the number of boxes and/or pieces of furniture that students are permitted to store. Students may not store their belongings in a House other than their own. Students assume the risk for all items stored at the University. Since the University will not be responsible for any loss, theft or damage, students are strongly urged not to store items of significant value, important class notes, etc., or to insure them if they must leave them. Students are not permitted to store items that are banned from use in the Houses and dormitories such as halogen lamps, microwave ovens and any other cooking appliances. Per order of the City of Cambridge Fire Department, no items may be stored in basement hallways, stairwells, or any other emergency egress route. Items left in any of these areas will be disposed of immediately.

No storage is available for students who live within 150 miles of the College.

 * Houses undergoing renewal will provide students with new common room furniture and will create new social spaces in rooms formerly used for storage, and so will no longer be able to offer storage to their residents. In an effort to help students with this storage transition, the House Renewal Project will cover the costs of a set amount of off-site summer storage for eligible students in the Houses undergoing renewal for three years: the summer preceding renewal construction, the first summer of renewal construction, and the second summer of renewal construction. Students will be responsible for the cost of summer storage starting the summer following the House re-opening. The College will negotiate discounted rates with a preferred off-site storage vendor. Please refer to House specific communications regarding your House’s timeline. The current timeline for the transition to student-funded storage is as follows:

 Quincy House: Summer 2014

 Leverett House: Summer 2015

 Dunster House: Summer 2016

 Mather House: Summer 2016

 Winthrop House: Summer 2018