Gender Inclusive Housing

Mower Hall

Frequently asked questions about gender inclusive housing

What is gender inclusive housing?

Gender inclusive housing gives students the option of living together in a room or suite regardless of their gender identity. This housing option is available to all students at Harvard College, though the process differs for first-year students living in the dorms and for sophomores, juniors, and seniors living in the houses.

Who opts into gender inclusive housing?

Any student can opt into gender inclusive housing. This housing option is designed for students who want to live in mixed gender spaces and who may find single gender living situations unsuitable. In alignment with the Mission of Harvard College, gender inclusive housing acknowledges and reaffirms gender diversity as an important aspect of our campus life. 

Students who opt into gender inclusive housing should be open to living with a person of any gender: cisgender men and women, transgender men and women, nonbinary, agender, and genderqueer students. If you have a question about whether this is the right housing option for you, please be in touch with someone from the Housing Office at (617-496-2774).

Is gender inclusive housing just for BGLTQ students?

Gender inclusive housing is not just for BGLTQ students; it is for anyone who wants to live with people with whom they feel comfortable, regardless of their gender. 

What if I don’t want to live in gender inclusive housing?

No one is required to live in gender inclusive housing. A student must opt into gender inclusive housing through one of the housing processes described below. Students who do not opt into gender inclusive housing will be given a same-gender housing assignment (a men’s room or suite, or a women’s room or suite). 

As a first-year student, what kind of dorm will I live in if I opt into gender inclusive housing?

Gender inclusive housing is available throughout the first-year residences, so students who select this housing option can expect to live in a diverse community with students of different backgrounds, identities, and experiences. 

Most dorms have suites with two to four bedrooms and a common room; they house between three and six students per suite. A few have private bathrooms, but most share bathrooms with other suites. Some dorms contain doubles, usually one fairly large room with a shared bath. The DSO assigns students to suites rather than to particular bedrooms, and, in almost any suite, students should expect to share a bedroom for at least part of the year. To learn more, visit the first-year dorms webpage.

What is the process for opting into gender inclusive housing as a first-year student?

In May, the Dean of Students Office (DSO) will send an electronic housing application to all incoming first-year students where you will be able to check a box to request a placement in gender inclusive housing. Students who check this box will be housed with others who made the same request, as availability permits. On the application, there will also be space to offer additional information that you would like the Dean of Students Office to know regarding your housing needs.

All incoming first-year students are randomly assigned to one of the first-year dorms. The room and suite configurations differ from dorm to dorm, so the more information you are able to provide, the better the DSO will be able to place you. 

If you need more information, have questions, or want support, you can contact the Dean of Students Office at (617-495-1574), or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at (617-496-5716).

What is the process for opting into gender inclusive housing as a sophomore, junior, or senior?

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who wish to opt into gender inclusive housing can do so during the housing lottery process in the spring. Requests for gender inclusive rooming groups can be made to your House Administrator. All occupants must voluntarily agree to the arrangement.

Fulfillment of requests for gender inclusive housing will take into account the limitations of each House. For more information about this policy, contact the Housing Office, your House Administrator, or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life. If you have gender-based needs that require accommodations beyond those offered by this policy, please contact the Housing Office at (617-496-2774), or the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at (617-496-5716).

What if my family or legal guardians have concerns about me living in gender inclusive housing?

We encourage students to make the best informed decision for themselves regarding their housing. Many students will arrive on campus with family or guardians at the start of the school year, so students may find it helpful to maintain an open dialogue with their families or guardians regarding their housing decisions. 

Students who would like resources or support on how/whether to broach this topic can reach out to staff in the Office of BGLTQ Student Life. If you would like to speak with a peer, the BGLTQ Office can connect you with an older student who would be happy to speak with you about their experience living in gender inclusive housing. 

What resources exist for trans and genderqueer students on campus?

There are many resources available on Harvard's campus and in the greater Boston and Cambridge area for students who identify as trans or genderqueer. Visit our resources page to learn about the support that's available to students on campus.

If you don't know specifically what it is you're looking for, you're welcome to reach out to BGLTQ Office staff, schedule a Qoffee with QuInterns chat, or stop by when we're open. Alternatively, your BGLTQ tutor in your House or your Yard proctor would be happy to connect with you. If you don't know who your BGLTQ tutor or proctor is, you can find them on this list.

Where can I find more information about gender and gender identity?

You can start by learning more about the relevant terminology

For information about personal pronouns and when/how to use them, check out

Gender Spectrum created a helpful resource that breaks down the differences between gender, gender identity, and gender expression. 

If you'd like to chat with someone, considering reaching out to one of us in the Office of BGLTQ Student Life!


Everyone is welcome in our office space! We are located in the Lower Level of Thayer Hall. Elevators can be accessed in the entrance next to Memorial Church. If you have any concerns about accessibility, please reach out to us at