For Families

A Welcome to Families

Dear Harvard families:

Welcome to the Harvard family! We know that this year marks not only a beginning for our first-year students, but also a beginning for those who love and care for them. We look forward to getting to know you and all that you bring to our community as this first year arrives.

No individual arrives at this point alone, nor do they experience Harvard alone. We are eager to work with you and have created a structure of support and resources to ensure the best for your student in the class of 2023, so please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. The deans, proctors, peer advising fellows, teachers, and advisers all stand ready to support your student whether by asking questions, exploring options, describing resources, or simply sharing their time and respect. We look forward to the First Year Move–in Day, and if you are able, hope that you will considering joining us for one or more of the family events scheduled for Tuesday, August 27, 2019.

Thank you for entrusting your student to us. We look forward to exciting times ahead for them and for you!



Lauren Brandt
Associate Dean of Students

Lauren Brandt

Frequently Asked Questions from Parents

When is first-year move-in?

First-year move-in is on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Keys will be available beginning at 8:00 am. All students are required in residence by 3:00 pm. The first required meeting for all students is at 7:00 pm.

See also: Parents

When should parents leave?

Opening Days events begin with a mandatory entryway meeting at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 27. Once Opening Days begin, students will have a full schedule of events and meetings keeping them busy. We recommend that parents leave no later than 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 27.

See also: Parents

What are important dates and vacation times?

› View the Registrar's 10-year academic calendar.


Class of 2022 Class of 2023
Move-In Day Monday, August 27, 2018 Tuesday, August 27, 2019
First-Year Family Weekend Friday, November 2 -
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Friday, November 1 -
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Thanksgiving Recess begins
Classes will not be held
on this day

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Thanksgiving Recess ends

Dorms are open during Thanksgiving Recess,as is 
one dining hall (Annenberg is likely to be closed)

November 25, 2018 December 1, 2019
Winter Recess begins
Dorms close at 3pm
Friday, December 21, 2018 Friday, December 20, 2019
Winter Recess ends Sunday, January 27, 2019 Sunday, January 26, 2020
Spring Recess begins
No classes/exams
Saturday, March 16, 2019 Saturday, March 14, 2020
Spring Recess ends Sunday, March 24, 2019 Sunday, March 22, 2020
Dorms close
Students must vacate their
dorms by noon
Sunday, May 19, 2019 Sunday, May 17, 2020
See also: Parents

Can students be in the dorms over winter break?

Class of 2022: All first-year students must vacate the dorms by 3:00pm on Friday, December 21, 2018. Dorms and Houses open at 9:00am on Friday, January 18, 2019.

Class of 2023: All first-year students must vacate the dorms by 3:00pm on Friday, December 20, 2019. Dorms and Houses open at 9:00am on Friday, January 17, 2020.

See also: Parents

Can you recommend a local bank or hotel?

There are several banks in the immediate area which are easily accessible from campus. We do not, however, have any specific recommendations to offer. They are all very good, and we recommend that each individual investigate the options when arriving in Cambridge. If you're looking to get an early start, you might try using the internet to find what nearby banks have to offer. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce website or the official website of the City of Cambridge could help you get started, or you could try using or another online directory to find out how to contact banks in the area. There are many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts within walking distance of Harvard Square; again, we make no specific recommendations and invite you to browse the sites mentioned above.

See also: Parents

When do first-years need to move out of the dorms, and how does move-out work?

All members of the Class of 2022 will need to be fully moved out of their rooms by 12:00pm on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

All members of the Class of 2023 will need to be fully moved out of their rooms by 12:00pm on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

At this time access cards will be deactivated, and students will no longer be able to get in and out of the dorm. To facilitate move-out, the Yard gates will be open to vehicles at designated times.

Sending boxes home early will make move out easier. For students preferring not to take all of their belongings home with them, the College recommends private storage services such as With these services, students can select a pick up date and the provider will come to their room to collect their items for summer storage. These services cost approximately $45 per box, with higher rates for furniture items, and belongings are insured against loss or damage.

See also: Parents

When will students receive their roommates and housing assignments?

The housing assignment notification is made during the last week of July or first week of August and typically includes the following information: dorm, suite assignment, freshman proctor, mailing address, whether the suite has an en suite or hall-style bathroom, and roommates, if any.

See also: Parents

What furniture is provided for students in the dorms?

All dorm rooms and suites are configured with the following furniture: a standard, twin extra long bed; a desk with matching chair; a bookcase; a chest of drawers (with five drawers); a floor lamp (though we do recommend bringing a desk or additional lamp); bins for recycling; and, in cases where closets are not present, a wardrobe.

See also: Parents

Can we see dorm rooms in advance or get a copy of floor plans for dimensions?

Unfortunately, it is not possible for incoming students or their families to see dorm rooms prior to arrival. During the summer months, the dorms are occupied by the Harvard Summer School program or under routine maintenance, preventing families for seeing dorm rooms. Likewise, the DSO is unfortunately not able to provide floor plans.

See also: Parents