Housing windows

Unit Selection Process

Harvard University Housing has a self-service process, meaning that approved applicants can select a unit to rent from our online inventory. The majority of units are leased in the spring through “View and Select Windows”; some inventory is typically available year-round in Currently Available listings and can be selected at any time by approved applicants. Please see below to understand how each of these processes work.

  • Applications submitted between March 1 and May 1 at midnight. EDT, will be randomly assigned to specific View and Select Windows and notified of those dates via email in early May.
  • View and Select Windows begin in early May and generally run through late May or early June. Our greatest inventory is available during this time period.
  • Approximately 400 applicants are assigned to each Window period. The total number of Window periods will be determined based on the total number of valid applications received by the deadline on May 1.
  • There is just one pool of available inventory from which all window applicants draw; please be aware that the inventory will become depleted with successive windows.
  • The View Window provides one day, starting at 6:05 a.m. EDT and ending at 3:59 a.m. EDT the following morning, for you to do a detailed review of available units.
  • We recommend you use your View Window to identify several specific units where you would be willing to live and use this as your “wish list”. As many other applicants will be selecting a unit the same time as you, you may not get your top choice(s) when it is time to make your selection.
  • Be sure to read all Riders and view the floor plan associated with each unit you are considering as there are consequences to changing your mind after making your selection. See the “Selecting a Unit” tab for details.
  • During the Select Window you have the opportunity to make and confirm your unit selection. The Select Window starts at 6:05 a.m. EDT and ends at 3:59 a.m. EDT the following morning. Please read the information in the “Selecting a Unit” tab for more details.


  • Apartments offered in the View and Select Windows will have lease start dates in early to mid June or later; leases typically end on June 30 of the following year.
  • Cronkhite Graduate Center residence hall room contracts will typically start in early June and will terminate on June 30 of the following year. Note that a meal plan is mandatory for all Cronkhite residents.
  • Cronkhite rooms must be selected from the Currently Available page. During the time that View and Select Windows are active Cronkhite rooms may only be selected by full-time Harvard GSAS, GSD, GSE, HDS, and HKS graduate degree candidates – those in other schools will not see them as an option. After the View and Select window period, typically late May or early June, any remaining vacant rooms will be available to all full-time degree candidates at all Harvard graduate schools (except Harvard Extension School).
  • Because inventory gets depleted during the View and Select period, an updated inventory report will be posted on the Self Service page every Monday through Friday, informing applicants of the inventory status in the View and Select windows as well as on the Currently Available list. Approved applicants may login to access this report.
  • Units remaining unleased at the end of the View and Select Windows will be posted on the Currently Available list, as will any subsequent vacancies we receive throughout the year.
  • If you do not select a unit during your assigned Select Window you will NOT be reassigned to another Select Window. However, you may still select a unit from the Currently Available inventory.
  • While View and Select Windows are live, typically early May through early June, the inventory on Currently Available is likely to feature units with an early start date. When the View and Select Windows are closed, all remaining inventory gets moved to Currently Available, as do any subsequent vacancies received throughout the year.
  • Please pay attention to the lease/housing contract start dates, as some are immediate and some are in the future. Start dates are not negotiable.
  • The date the unit is available is the date the lease or housing contract will start. This date is not negotiable.
  • The Select process is "first-click, first-served." Someone else may select your top choice moments before you, so be prepared to select another unit from your wish list. We recommend you use your "View" window to look at the floor plan and read any riders associated with units you are interested in so that you can act quickly during your "Select" window.
  • After you identify the unit you want to lease and click the "Select" button you will be asked to “Confirm” your selection. Please be absolutely sure of your selection before you click "Confirm."
  • Once you select a unit a leasing coordinator will validate your selection and will email lease or housing contract documents to you within two business days. You will have three to five days to return your signed documents and initial payment. Please be sure to regularly check the email account you used on your application.

VERY IMPORTANT! If you make a mistake or change your mind after confirming your selection, please contact us immediately.

  • If we have not yet sent out the lease (it can happen within moments or take up to two business days) we have the ability to cancel your request and you may make another selection.
  • However, once we hit the “send” button on the lease you are no longer considered an applicant; you are considered a future resident. Therefore, if you want to cancel your selection and select a different unit after a lease has been sent to you, you must submit a new application. It can take up to three business days for an application to be approved.
  • Once your new application is approved the only inventory you will have access to is that on Currently Available. To put it another way, if you cancel your selection after your lease has been sent to you and you had been in a select Window, you will NOT be able to get back into the same window and will NOT be reassigned to another window.
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