Housing Resources

Rockefeller Hall

Harvard Divinity School does not have on-campus residential options; however, some of our students choose to live in properties affiliated with Harvard University Housing or the Center for the Study of World Religions. The majority of our students choose to live in the nearby neighborhoods of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston.

Finding housing in Cambridge and the surrounding areas can be a lengthy process, so if you are moving to the area, you should begin your search early. If cost is a big concern, and if you are willing to have a longer commute, consider living a bit farther from the Divinity School, where rents will be lower. Very few HDS students have cars, and parking in Cambridge/Somerville can be difficult and expensive. Most students find walking, using public transportation, or biking to be a comfortable way of getting to campus and around the area.

Use the Internet to facilitate your search and to familiarize yourself with the area. This will save you valuable time. When renting from a private landlord, you will probably need to cover at least the first month's rent and a security deposit (i.e., two month's rent). Always find out what is included in the monthly rent. If heat is not included, try to get an estimate of heating costs from previous winters. It is possible to use several real estate agencies at once to find an apartment.

Housing at Harvard

Harvard-owned housing offers some advantages over non-Harvard housing. The process of securing a place to live can be completed from any place that has Internet access. Students can be confident that the accommodations will be of acceptable quality without making a visit to Cambridge ahead of time. Tenants in Harvard-owned housing do not have to provide a security deposit, final month's rent, or brokers' fees, as is common with rentals from private landlords. Rents are conveniently charged to the student's term bill.

Harvard University Housing (HUH) manages almost 3,000 apartments within about a one-mile radius of Harvard Square. These apartments range from one-room studios to two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. Visit the Harvard University Housing website for complete information on rents, eligibility, descriptions, and the application process. In HUH-managed properties, leases are typically for one year and end on June 30. Applications are accepted at any time, but the best selection will be available to those who apply in March or April.

The Graduate Commons program is a unique interdisciplinary program available to residents in a number of Harvard University Housing properties.

The Center for the Study of World Religions, at Harvard Divinity School, has 13 apartments for rent to Harvard affiliates. See Housing at the CSWR.

Cronkhite Graduate Center is a residence hall for Harvard graduate students that invites applications from HDS students. It has a mandatory meal plan. Contracts for residence run only for the academic year.

Other Harvard dormitories do not reserve space for HDS students, but occasionally do provide rooms if available; check the websites of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Law School.

Housing at the CSWR

The Center for the Study of World Religions, at Harvard Divinity School, has 13 apartments for rent to Harvard affiliates. The CSWR community is composed of scholars of diverse nationalities and religious traditions at varying stages in their academic careers (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and senior faculty), making it a dynamic and inspiring place to live and learn. See the CSWR website for details.

Non-University housing

In addition to administering University-owned apartments, Harvard University Housing (HUH) maintains an online database with listings of rental units offered by private landlords and real estate agents. This database can be searched at no cost from any computer with Internet access. HUH also maintains listings posted by Harvard affiliates who are looking for a roommate.

For more housing information, contact:

Campus Service Center
Room 807, 8th floor, Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center)
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Email: huhousing@harvard.edu
Phone: 800.252.5020 or 617.495.3377

Hours vary during the year; see the Campus Service Center website for details.

HDS Voices

Francis X. Clooney, S. J.
All of us share the challenge of moving from the very particular disciplines the academy and our religious traditions have taught us to the less certain postmodern places where particularity can again be more evident and potent, destabilizing our comfortable ways and making us think. But we need to enter upon this more general conversation without losing sight of the details and energy of profession and tradition that guided our research in the first place.
—Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology; Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions