Yard Life & Freshman Dorms

First-year students live in four residential neighborhoods called Yards, at the geographic and historic center of College life. Accommodations range from eighteenth-century buildings, which housed the earliest Harvard students as well as George Washington's troops, to our newest twentieth-century accommodations in Canaday Hall. Classrooms, libraries, mail, and Annenberg – the freshman dining hall – are all within a five-minute walk of every freshman dorm.

One of the most rewarding experience for first-year students is being part of a residential community. Proctors (academic and residential advisers) live in the dormitories and are responsible for building community in the entryway. An entryway typically consists of between 20 and 40 students, all of whom share a floor or designated area within a building.

Most dorms have suites with two to four bedrooms and a common room, and house between three and six students. A few have their own bathrooms, though most share with other suites. The FDO assigns students to suites rather than to particular bedrooms, and in almost any suite students should expect to share a bedroom for at least part of the year. Some dorms contain doubles, usually one fairly large room with a shared bath. Very few singles are available. All dorms and Harvard Yard are smoke-free. Notification of housing assignments typically takes place in the last week of July or first week of August.

For more information about individual dorms, please visit their respective Yard pages.

Crimson Yard

  • Greenough
  • Hurlbut
  • Pennypacker
  • Wigglesworth

Elm Yard

  • Grays
  • Matthews
  • Weld

Ivy Yard

  • Apley
  • Hollis
  • Holworthy
  • Lionel
  • Mass Hall
  • Mower
  • Stoughton
  • Straus

Oak Yard

  • Canaday
  • Thayer