In the 1920s, Harvard College created a unique system of residential education for undergraduates centered on 12 Houses, home today to 98 percent of the College’s student population. Each House is presided over by a Harvard faculty member and by a staff of scholars and graduate students, all of whom live and work alongside the undergraduates.
Harvard’s House system is one of the most important features of our undergraduate experience. The House system creates a small-college atmosphere within a major research university. The Houses are where students eat, sleep and form lifelong friendships. Since 2012, Harvard has undertaken a major renewal of its Houses, creating a home where students can bring together their academic, social, and personal passions. Each House features a dining hall, library, fitness room, music practice rooms and many other special spaces such as theatres, dance, art studios and makerspace. Harvard is far along on this program with the 6th House (out of 12) now in renewal.
House Renewal aims not only to improve conditions through renovation, but also to change how the physical spaces function to support students' academic and social needs in the 21st century.