Harvard Divinity School does not have on-campus residential options; however, some of our students choose to live in properties affiliated withHarvard 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 theHarvard 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 all 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 Center is a residence hall for Harvard graduate students that invites applications from HDS students. It has a mandatory meal plan. Housing and meal plan contracts run year-round.
For more housing information, contact:
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 Residence at the CSWR for details.
In addition to administering University-owned apartments, Harvard University Housing (HUH) has engaged Off Campus Partners to manage an online database with listings of rental units offered by private landlords and real estate agents. This housing database can be searched at no cost from any computer with Internet access. The site also contains a section where Harvard affiliates can search for a roommate.
Neighborhoods in Cambridge/Somerville
These five squares are conveniently located centers of culture, cuisine, and commerce in Cambridge and Somerville. The following information is compiled from Boston.com and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
The most well-known of the squares and the one closest to HDS, Harvard Square offers a wide array of tourist destinations, local businesses, and eateries to explore. Over 30 bookstores and hundreds of shops are just the beginning of what you'll find exploring the less than eight square miles of Harvard Square.
Porter Square is within walking distance from the HDS campus or a short trip on the T from Harvard Square. (It also has one of the most unique T stations you'll encounter.) A more commercial destination, Porter is home to the largest chain grocery store in the area (Shaw's Market), as well as a hardware/housewares shop (Tags), and a bevy of smaller shops arranged strip-mall style. Red Line to Porter, or walk NW on Mass Ave from Harvard Square.
Davis Square has long been a popular destination due to its abundance of eccentric restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Davis is a cultural hub featuring restaurants ranging from vegan to BBQ and music venues playing everything from jazz to folk music. Venture out to Davis to check it out for yourself.
Central Square, located in the center of Cambridge, has in recent years become a destination to sample a vast array of ethnic foods and to enjoy the live music and theater venues it offers. Central Square's transition from an economic center to a cultural one is definitely worth checking out.
Despite its lack of a T stop, Inman Square is a vibrant community and worth the walk or bus ride. While maintaining much of its original architecture, Inman boasts a wide variety of eclectic and diverse restaurants, coffee shops, and businesses.