Most academic institutions have dormitories or residence halls. Harvard has Houses.
The House system, established in 1930 by Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, was fashioned after the residences at Oxford and Cambridge.
Lowell aimed to embed the educational experience into the Houses. His aim was for undergraduates to develop wider circles of friends and for House administrators and tutors to support student needs; each House was designed with a dining hall, library, and senior and junior common rooms for study, meetings, and collaboration.
The House system, composed of nine River Houses, three Quad Houses, and one alternative residence, has been at the center of the undergraduate experience. Lining or near the Charles River are Adams, Dunster, Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, Lowell, Mather, Quincy, and Winthrop. Situated north of Harvard Square around the Radcliffe Quadrangle are Cabot, Currier, and Pforzheimer. And nestled in the neighborhood north of campus is the Dudley Co-op.
House architecture is as varied as the residents who inhabit them. From the neo-Georgian to the Brutalist, each has its own flourishes and charm that make these Houses home.
On Friday, Housing Day, first-year students will find out which House they will live in for the rest of their time at Harvard.