HDS Housing Overview: On-Campus Housing

Post by: Natalie Solis, MTS Student, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant

Mikaela here! As the editor of the HDS Admissions Blog for the past two years, it is almost time to say goodbye to all of you as my degree program draws to an end this May. Housing has a huge influence on our academic lives as students, and so I wanted to leave you with a comprehensive series on housing resources as the last blog series I will supervise before handing over my role to another capable Graduate Assistant. Our next post in the series will feature resources and strategies for finding off-campus housing, a popular choice among HDS students.

Editor’s Note: Please note that this article was last updated in March 2022 and reflects accurate information as of that time.

CSWR meditation room. Open to all HDS students from 9AM-5PM Mon-Fri during the academic year.
Photo by Justin Knight Photography.

Hello, my name is Natalie, and I am a graduate assistant at HDS Admissions. In this blog post, I will provide an overview of the on-campus housing options at Harvard. On-campus housing is very convenient for students because it is usually within walking distance to campus and includes community events. While there are no HDS specific dorms on campus, there are still many options for on-campus housing.

The closest thing to an HDS specific graduate housing program is the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR), which is right across the street from Swartz Hall. The CSWR is a residential community that fosters living and learning with a focus on world religions. In order to live at the CSWR for the academic year, students need to submit a short application by April 15th. You can find more information about the apartments at the CSWR and the application form on the CSWR website. 

Harvard University Housing (HUH) is a more general on-campus housing option. HUH has a variety of apartments, from studios to 4 bedrooms, available for graduate students. HUH works via a lottery system in which applicants are randomly assigned a View/Select Window, a scheduled period when applicants can sign a lease for a specific apartment. Prior to the View/Select Window appointment, applicants can view the housing options available to inform their housing selection. Applicants receive their View/Select Window appointment via email and View/Select Windows begin in early May. Since HUH is via a lottery system, the sooner your View/Select Window, the more housing options there will be available. In order to live in HUH, students need to make an account on the HUH website in the “Applicant Portal.” From here you can start an HUH application. Note that the priority application deadline for Harvard University Housing is May 1st. In HUH-managed properties, leases are typically for one year and begin and end on June 30.

One of the great aspects about living in Harvard University Housing is that students get to participate in the  Graduate Commons Program, a residence community program offering various events for residents to participate and meet fellow graduate students. I have only heard positive things about the Graduate Commons Program and know that there are even student employment opportunities available to HUH residents.

We hope that this blog is helpful as you go through the housing process. For incoming students, you may want to start looking into housing and applying to Harvard University Housing if you are interested in on-campus housing. It is still early in the housing process and you should not feel pressured to sign a lease now. By thinking about the various options available and figuring out your housing needs, you can make the best informed decision about where to live as a HDS student. Remember to keep an eye open for our next housing post on off-campus housing!

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