Harvard Campus Life

January 7, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Harvard Campus Life

There are hardly many academic institutions in the world that can compete with Harvard in terms of their research output, teaching quality, or academic influence. Even when other Ivy League schools are taken into account, Harvard stands out as the best choice for thousands of students. Lastly, the Harvard campus life is well-known all over the world.

Entering college can be really exciting, and you can even experience a rollercoaster of emotions upon entering the campus of Harvard. If you want to go to this prestigious school and live on campus, remember that your application needs to be strong and solid.

Harvard University front building

We at AdmissionSight can be of great assistance in making sure that you’re on the correct path during admissions at Harvard and making sure that your application passes the requirements to become an ideal candidate. We are dedicated to making your dream of becoming a student at Harvard and experiencing its campus life a huge possibility for you. Continue reading to learn more.

Where is the Harvard campus?

Where is the Harvard campus? Harvard Yard is home to the institution’s administrative offices, including University Hall and Massachusetts Hall, as well as several libraries, including Widener, Pusey, Houghton, Lamont, and Memorial Church. The yard and the land immediately around it are home to the majority of the college’s primary academic buildings, such as Sever Hall and Harvard Hall, as well as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Harvard Yard contains or is immediately close to dorms for first-year students. The twelve residential houses on campus are home to upperclassmen; nine of them are located south of the Yard along the Charles River, while the other three are located half a mile to the northwest of the Yard at the Radcliffe Quadrangle (which used to be home to Radcliffe College students).

Undergraduate students, faculty deans, and resident tutors make up the communities that live in each house, which also has its own dining hall, library, and recreational facilities. Each is an important part of the impressive Harvard campus life.

Harvard campus with students

In addition, the Law School, Divinity School (which teaches theology), Engineering and Applied Science School, Design School (which teaches architecture), Education School, Kennedy School (which teaches public policy), and Extension School are all located in Cambridge, as is the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which is located in Radcliffe Yard. Harvard also owns commercial real estate in Cambridge.


On a complex that spans 358 acres (145 ha) in the Boston neighborhood of Allston, Harvard Business School, Harvard Innovation Labs, and several athletic facilities, including Harvard Stadium, may be found. The Allston campus is located just across the Charles River from the Cambridge campus. The two campuses are linked by way of the John W. Weeks Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that spans the Charles River.

In Allston, where it currently owns more property than in Cambridge, the institution is rapidly growing. Plans for the Allston project include new buildings and redevelopment for the Business School; a hotel and conference center; graduate student housing; Harvard Stadium; and other sporting facilities.

In 2021, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will expand into a new building in Allston called the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC), which will be more than 500,000 square feet in size. The SEC will be adjacent to the Enterprise Research Campus, the Business School, and the Harvard Innovation Labs in order to encourage technology-and life science-focused startups as well as collaborations with mature companies.


On a 21-acre (8.5 ha) campus in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, the schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Public Health are located. This area is about 3.3 miles (5.3 km) south of the Cambridge campus. Several Harvard-affiliated hospitals and research institutes are also located in Longwood, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, and Joslin Diabetes The Greater Boston area is home to a plethora of additional affiliates, the most notable of which is the Massachusetts General Hospital.


Harvard University owns the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, District of Columbia, the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts, the Concord Field Station in Estabrook Woods in Concord, Massachusetts, the Villa I Tatti research center in Florence, Italy, the Harvard Shanghai Center in Shanghai, China, and the Arnold Arboretum in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

A statue of a sitting man inside Harvard campus

There are a lot of things and places to discover at this educational institution, and each can become an unforgettable part of the Harvard campus life.

Harvard Campus Buildings

What are the Harvard campus buildings like? There is a great deal to learn about Harvard University, regardless of whether you are beginning your first year as a student there or are simply touring the campus on a visit. Several people consider Harvard campus life to be both beautiful and overwhelming.

The Harvard University campus is consistently ranked as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Boston and even on the entire East Coast. A tour of Harvard University is an unforgettable experience because every visitor has seen at least part of the campus before, either in movies, pictures, or other places whose design was inspired by Harvard’s.

The campus of Harvard University features a wide variety of historic and contemporary structures, each of which features stunning architecture and numerous photo-worthy locations. The following are some of the finest buildings and places at the institution that make the Harvard campus life etched in your mind.

Harvard Square

The Harvard Square T station provides access to the institution via the metro, subway, or subterranean systems serving the greater Boston area and is appropriately named after the university. It’s also where you should go if you get separated from your tour group.

The building of Cambridge Savings Bank can be found near the intersection of John F. Kennedy Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Over the course of its history, this structure has evolved into something of a local landmark. In the area around Harvard Square, there are many other buildings and businesses, such as bookstores, toy stores, and a Bank of America branch.

The Harvard University square at night

Harvard Square is the hub of campus life, where students congregate to socialize, network, and fuel up on food. Other popular spots in the area include Au Bon Pain, which is right next to Starbucks, and The Coop, which is just across the street and sells books as well as official Harvard merchandise.

Harvard Yard

You’ve certainly heard of Harvard Yard, the grassy space enclosed by wrought-iron fences, walls, and gates that sit between the several first-year student residences. Since it is the most identifiable portion of the Harvard University campus, Harvard Yard must be seen on every tour of the school.

It is one of the oldest places that was acquired by Harvard University in the late 1600s. At that time, it was used to house dormitories for Harvard College. It is also home to the well-known John Harvard Statue.

The Harvard Yard encompasses a total area of 25 acres (10 ha) and has a total of 25 gates, the first of which is located at Mass Ave. Science Center. In addition, the yard is home to the Harvard libraries and the memorial church, which is the location of the annual Harvard graduation ceremony.

Harvard Yard is the ideal location to relax in the sun, catch up on some reading, and mingle with other college students, making for a great Harvard campus life. If you happen to be traveling during the autumn season, this location makes for some stunning photographs. At this point in the season, the foliage in New England is at its most vibrant and beautiful.

Memorial Church

Because of its location right across from Widener Library, it is regarded as one of the university’s most beautiful attractions. The vast majority of Harvard’s students view and walk by it daily on their route to dorms, dining halls, or classes. This is where the great majority of Harvard students obtain their degrees, but not every student has entered. The interiors are typically utilized for events such as ceremonies, commemorations, and other gatherings of a similar nature. It is not a complete Harvard campus life without visiting the Memorial Church.

Tercentenary Theater is the name given to the section of Harvard Yard that may be found directly in front of Memorial Church on the center green. This is where the Harvard Commencement ceremony takes place every year. Steven Spielberg, Mark Zuckerberg, J.K. Rowling, and John F. Kennedy are just a few of the celebrities and prominent Harvard alumni who have given graduation addresses on the porch.

Sanders Theater

The Memorial Transept is an open-to-the-public crypt that serves as a gathering spot for Sanders Theater’s audience. The ceiling is vaulted and quite high, and on either side of the entry are large stained-glass windows.

The Sanders Theater at Harvard University is the institution’s most expansive interior venue. It is used for a variety of events, including concerts, talks, and most notably, the yearly graduation ceremony for students of Harvard College. The Sanders school is the one where they get their diplomas.

a building in Harvard, one of the oldest schools in the US

The majority of the lectures that take place at Sanders are given by celebrities or well-known graduates of the university. Notable individuals like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Theodore Roosevelt have all given talks there, which several prospective students look forward to experiencing as part of Harvard campus life.

Science Center

The Harvard Science Center, which can be found to the north of Harvard Yard, is where the undergraduate students will find their classrooms, computer labs, and the science library. It was built in the 1970s, during the height of the modernist movement, when architects were looking for a fresh alternative to the conventional Georgian architectural style that was in use at the time.

The lovely Tanner fountain can be found on the plaza in front of the Science Center. Yard sales, college club events, and protest demonstrations are common student activities that take place there. Food trucks, farmer’s markets, and even Quidditch practices have been known to set up shop in certain areas on occasion. Remember that having a lot of enjoyable experiences such as those is part of the Harvard campus life.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum, which is located to the north of the Science Center and near the graduate apartments, is also a great site. It is a hidden gem within the school, and one of the nicest locations to eat on campus.

The museum is home to a large number of exhibits, both permanent and temporary, that any student is sure to enjoy. One of these is a paleontology exhibit, which features fossils of Kronosaurus, a prehistoric sea reptile that was 42 feet long and lived in the past. In addition to this, there are displays of birds, wildlife microorganisms, and a world-famous glass-flower show.

Radcliffe Quad

The Radcliffe Quad, also known simply as the “Quad,” can be found to the north of the Harvard campus. Cabot House and Pforzheimer House are two of the most photographed residence halls on campus, and they are both located in the Radcliffe Quadrangle, which also contains the Quad green.

The path that leads from Cambridge Commons to Radcliffe Quadrangle is a lovely one, and depending on the time of year, you may see vibrant tulips or autumn leaves along the way.

Harvard Stadium

Harvard Stadium can be found to the south of the main campus, directly opposite HBS. The illustrious stadium was constructed in 1903 and is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.

The stadium’s primary purpose is to host college football games, but in addition to that, it frequently hosts other sporting events as well as music festivals. It is situated close to the enormous Blodgett Pool. You would never dare miss witnessing such events as part of the Harvard campus life.

Malkin Athletic Center (MAC)

Students usually work out at MAC. The fitness center is a sizable building with five levels, and it can be found to the south of Harvard Square.

The cardio rooms are located on the top floors, and they each offer a view of the enormous pool that is located in the middle of the facility. The structure also contains a multitude of weight rooms, several pieces of strength training equipment, a basketball court, and a variety of other amenities.

Charles River

The Charles River is an iconic body of water that cuts through the center of the Harvard University campus. The Cambridge campus is located in the uppermost part of the university grounds, to the north of Charles, and it shares a border with Memorial Drive.

The campus to the south is known as Allston, and it is located about where Soldiers Field Road begins. These two are linked by the Anderson Memorial Bridge, which offers a wonderful vantage point from which to shoot photographs of both sides of the river.

How is life on campus at Harvard?

How is life on campus at Harvard? You probably got a glimpse of Harvard with the discussion above, which shows a lot of opportunities for students to enjoy the Harvard campus life.

Let us talk about other features of campus life at this prestigious university below.


Harvard University fields 42 Division I sports teams, the most of any college or university in the United States. Additionally, Harvard participates in Ivy League competitions. Baseball, basketball, crew, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, football, and golf are among the many varsity activities.

Additionally, the university hosts club sports teams such as aikido, archery, badminton, ballroom dance, basketball, bowling, boxing, cheerleading, hapkido, juggling, jiu-jitsu, and several others.

More than 80 percent of students at Harvard take part in extracurricular sporting activities, which is not a surprise because such activities are part of Harvard campus life.

In addition, Harvard has more than 450 student organizations available to its students. The university has much to offer students who are interested in the arts, literature, music, religion, politics, writing, multicultural organizations, or any combination of these fields.

The Harvard Lampoon is one of the humor publications that has been continuously published for the longest amount of time around the globe. Other notable organizations include Act on a Dream, which engages students in learning about and advocating for immigration reform; and Beekeepers, which, as the name suggests, focuses on beekeeping. Both of these organizations are important in their respective fields.


As previously indicated, first-year students at Harvard live in Harvard Yard, generally in suites, and have the opportunity to participate in activities geared toward developing their relationships with other students. Additionally, the faculty deans of each building reside with their families within the complex.


The yearly event known as “The Game” is one of the most time-honored traditions at Harvard. This event honors the rivalry between the Yale Bulldogs and the Harvard Crimson in a way that goes much beyond a simple football game.

There are a number of significant events at Harvard, but none are as popular as The Game. It consists of the Yardfest and the Cultural Rhythms. Yardfest is a spring semester festival that involves music, barbecue, and other activities. Cultural Rhythms is a festival of diverse cultures that includes performances by over thirty different student organizations.


Students at Harvard University have access to a wide variety of resources, some of which include illustrious libraries that are home to priceless treasures and artifacts such as the Gutenberg Bible, state-of-the-art research facilities, digital collections, and art and science museums.

Common Spaces at Harvard include the Chairs in Harvard Yard, which are made available throughout the spring, and the Plaza, which hosts activities such as the Arts First Festival, a farmer’s market, a monthly petting zoo, chair massages, and lunchtime performances.

Students are eligible for a variety of discounts, including those on event tickets and admission to adjacent museums and attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England Aquarium.

Does Harvard have on-campus housing?

Does Harvard have on-campus housing? Harvard guarantees housing for all four years of college life, which is definitely the highlight of Harvard campus life.

Annenberg Hall, which is located adjacent to Harvard Yard, serves the majority of the first-year students’ meals. The suites in their residence halls are communal. In this gathering area, you will have the opportunity to meet other new students while engaging in a wide-ranging conversation. In addition, you will engage with other first-year students during the numerous activities designed for you.

The Harvard University name flashed unto a screen and is magnifiedThe house system is one of the most recognizable traditions associated with Harvard. At the end of your first year at Harvard, you will be assigned to one of the university’s 12 academic “Houses.” Each house houses between 350 and 500 students and contributes to the creation of a close-knit community within the greater framework of the university.

What percent of Harvard students live on campus?

What percent of Harvard students live on campus? During their time at the university, 98 percent of all undergraduates live in one of the twelve residential houses. In addition, the Dudley Community assists students who are not residents of the university and who live off-campus, as well as students who are members of the Dudley Cooperative.

Each house is equipped with its own dining hall, common rooms, and facilities for academic, recreational, and cultural events—the perfect combination for a wonderful Harvard campus life.

The following are the 12 houses at Harvard University:

  1. Adams House
  2. Cabot House
  3. Currier House
  4. Dunster House
  5. Eliot House
  6. Kirkland House
  7. Leverett House
  8. Lowell House
  9. Mather House
  10. Pforzheimer House
  11. Quincy House
  12. Winthrop House

The house system is designed to foster a connection between academic pursuits and day-to-day life by providing a forum for a wide range of intellectual pursuits and long-standing customs. In addition to lectures and seminars, each house also hosts a collection of weekly language and interest tables.

These tables offer students who share a common interest a casual opportunity to connect and talk about their interests, as well as to gain new skills and improve existing ones. Learning takes place all the time in the house, whether it is in the dining hall, where students eat alongside teachers and visiting academics, or in the tutorials and seminars offered by the house, which can be taken for credit toward a degree.

How much does it cost to live on the Harvard campus?

How much does it cost to live on the Harvard campus? The cost of room and board at Harvard was $10,927, while the price of the meal plan was $6,755. In addition to the cost of books and supplies, which comes to $900, the student will have to pay a total of $2,600 in other university-related living expenses. You can also check our discussion on Harvard Yearly Cost to learn more about the particulars of the annual expenses at Harvard.

Harvard campus life can give you a lot of college memories worth remembering. The transition to college can be demanding, difficult, and even stressful. Therefore, having a beautiful campus to help you relax is truly a wonderful thing to experience at Harvard. You’re a step closer to entering your dream college, you just need to strive to pass through Harvard’s enrollment process.

Here at AdmissionSight, we can help you with your application to Harvard and our experienced consultants can give you professional advice. Contact us today to learn about our committed service.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.