For Parents

A Welcome to Parents from the Dean

Welcome Parents:

Believing in the expression “he (or she) is a chip off the old block,” we know that you, as parents, have a lot to offer the University and look forward to getting to know you. Your son or daughter is about to embark on an amazing experience. I trust that together we can form a formidable partnership of support, so that your student benefits from all aspects of the experience. Please let us know when you have questions or concerns and we will – through proctors, peer advising fellows, teachers, advisers, and deans – keep challenging, raising options, and showing our abiding respect and confidence.

As you make plans for freshman move-in day, we hope you will consider joining us for one or more of the parent events scheduled for Monday, August 27, 2018.

Thank you for entrusting your son or daughter to us. And congratulations on the role you have played in getting him or her to this exciting point.


Thomas A. Dingman

Dean of Freshmen

Frequently Asked Questions from Parents

When is freshman move-in?

Freshman move-in is on Monday, August 27, 2018. Keys will be available beginning at 9:00 am. All students are required in residence by 3:00 pm. The first required meeting for all freshmen is at 7:00 pm.

See also: Parents

When should parents leave?

Opening Days events begin with a mandatory entryway meeting for all freshmen at 7:00 pm on Monday, 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 Monday, August 27.

See also: Parents

What are important dates and vacation times?

› View the Registrar's 5-year academic calendar.


Class of 2021 Class of 2022
Move-In Day Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Monday, August 27, 2018
Freshman Parent's Weekend Friday, October 27 -
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Friday, November 2 -
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Thanksgiving Recess begins
Classes will not be held
on this day
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Thanksgiving Recess ends

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

November 26, 2017 November 25, 2018
Winter Recess begins
Dorms close at 3pm
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Friday, December 21, 2018
Winter Recess ends Sunday, January 21, 2018 Sunday, January 27, 2019
Spring Recess begins
No classes/exams
Saturday, March 10, 2018 Saturday, March 16, 2019
Spring Recess ends Sunday, March 18, 2018 Sunday, March 24, 2019
Dorms close
Students must vacate their
dorms by noon
Sunday, May 13, 2018 Sunday, May 19, 2019
See also: Parents

Can students be in the dorms over winter break?

Class of 2021 - All first-year students must vacate the dorms by 3:00pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Dorms and Houses open at 9:00am on Friday, January 12, 2018.

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 11, 2019.

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 freshmen need to move out of the dorms, and how does move-out work?

All members of the Class of 2021 will need to be fully moved out of their rooms by 12:00pm on Sunday, May 13, 2018.

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.

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 FDO  is unfortunately not able to provide floor plans.

See also: Parents