Student Life

From the very beginning, Harvard College has sought to establish a connection between living and learning. Originally patterned after the Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, the House system reflects the founders' goals of a true residential college, a "collegiate way of living." Across all four centuries of Harvard's history, learning together has meant living together. A special residential plan for freshmen followed by three years in the comprehensive House system for upperclassmen provides students more than simply a place to live. Harvard guarantees every student College housing for four years. By design, residential life that brings together students and faculty is an essential part of the Harvard experience. Nearly all students choose to live on campus for their full undergraduate careers.
Harvard’s extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities are virtually unlimited—including more than 400 official student organizations, whose number and nature are always evolving. The College provides considerable support to student organizations and other activities, and both novices and accomplished practitioners find opportunities to participate and explore. Indeed for many students extra-curricular activities provide an important part of their Harvard education, as well as ways to contribute to the rich community life of the College. The future careers of many students are influenced by their non-academic commitments, in journalism and literature, music and the arts, public service, religious life and business, to name just a few.

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