Living in the Boston/Cambridge Area

“Boston is your laboratory” – Pam Silver

The Boston/Cambridge area is an ideal place to be a graduate student as it is one of the largest biomedical research hubs in the country. The area is home to more than 150,000 students, roughly 50 colleges and universities and a multitude of biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Boston offers a wealth of diverse activities; restaurants, museums (Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science), theaters, historic sites, sporting events and recreation. And Boston’s surrounding areas offer opportunities for great day trips like the White Mountains hiking trails, Harbor Islands, coastal beaches, and ski resorts.

Student clubs and organizations

Dudley House
The Biomedical Graduate Student Organization (BGSO
GSAS website


Harvard offers three on-campus housing options, all of which allow students can apply for online.

Many students also choose to live off campus and Harvard’s Off Campus Housing website lists Harvard affiliates who are looking for a roommate:


It is easy to get around Boston without a car. Boston is small enough that many places are within walking distance.

  • MBTA. Boston’s public transportation system is called the MBTA and is widely used by its residents.  Students can receive a discounted MBTA pass each semester.                 
  • Harvard M2. The M2 shuttle bus runs from Harvard Medical School to the Cambridge campus (Harvard Square) via MIT and is free to all of our students.
  • Harvard Shuttle. These buses run on five different routes, covering most of the main streets of the Cambridge campus.
  • Biking. Biking around Boston is one of the best and fastest way to explore the city. Students can register their bike with the Harvard Parking Office to receive access to the Longwood Medical Area bike cages.  Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition provides maps of bike trails as well as other information regarding bike travel in Boston.