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 Tuesday, August 22.

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

Can we send belongings ahead of time?

Yes. Once students receive their Harvard Yard Mail Center addresses in August with their rooming assignments, they may begin shipping items. You will be able to pick up any packages shipped in advance in the Science Center, 1st Floor, Tuesday, August 22 through Sunday, August 27, 8am-6pm. After this time, package pick-up hours return to their normal schedule of Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm.

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When should parents leave?

Opening Days events begin with a mandatory entryway meeting for all freshmen at 7pm on Tuesday, August 22. 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 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 22.

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 

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


All members of the Class of 2020 will need to be fully moved out of their rooms by 12:00pm on Sunday, May 14, 2017.

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.


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

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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.

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.

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.

What do students need to bring with them to the dorms?

A full listing of what to bring and what not to bring can be found in the Guide to the First Year for Students and Their Families, a publication that is released in early July each year. We direct your attention to the resource for guidance on what to pack.