1. Residence in the Hall is primarily for matriculated predoctoral students registered full-time in a degree program at the Harvard Medical School, the School of Dental Medicine, or the Division of Medical Sciences. Non-matriculated visiting students of the Medical School and full-time students who are registered in degree programs at other Harvard Schools are also eligible if space is available.
  2. Priority in residence in Vanderbilt Hall is given to incoming students in the degree programs identified above.
  3. Residence in the Hall for students after their first year of residence is subject to availability, and students may be asked to seek other accommodations after their first year of residence, or after any subsequent year of residence, to allow space for incoming students. Students asked to relocate will be notified by April 30 and will be expected to vacate on or before June 30. As a general rule, students who have been in residence longest will be the first asked to relocate.

Term of Contract

The student contract term is based on the Harvard University academic fiscal year. Students whose academic year will terminate prior to the conclusion of the contract term may shorten the Spring term of their contract by providing written notice to the Vanderbilt Hall Business Office, delivered no later than March 1. A pro rata reduction will be made to such students’ room license fees.

The Business Office also reserves the right to amend graduating student's contracts to terminate two days after graduation, with a pro rata reduction of the room license fees. Should this occur, graduating students will be notified of the change by March 1.

Amended contracts are binding and may not be changed again by the student.

Nature of Occupancy

The licensed unit shall be used only for residential purposes. Licensee shall not make any unlawful, noisy or otherwise offensive use of the unit, nor cause any substantial interference with the rights, comforts, enjoyment, or safety of other occupants of the Residence Hall, nor make any use of the room other than a private residence. No business of any kind shall be conducted in or from the room. No hazardous materials (other than cleaning materials and other household items used in accordance with applicable law) shall be kept in the room.

The University's contract with the resident is not a lease. It is a Room License Contract permitting the resident to occupy a room in Vanderbilt Hall under the terms and conditions set forth herein. Residents shall have no interest or estate in realty arising from this contract. The University reserves the right to assign the resident to occupancy in another room for any cause deemed appropriate by the University.

If a returning student opts to renew a contract, the student will be informed of any scheduled maintenance or repairs to be done to the assigned room prior to signing the contract. If a student signs a Room License Contract for a room known to be scheduled for maintenance or repairs within the term of the contract, and is thereafter temporarily required to relocate to another room for purposes of said maintenance or repairs, the student will be responsible for any charges that are associated with the temporary move, including but not limited to: the removal and installation of student-owned air conditioners, and any telephone installation or service charges.

Conduct of Residents

All residents of Vanderbilt Hall shall conduct themselves in a manner that respects the rights of others living and working in the Hall. Conduct that infringes on the rights of others to peacefully live and work within the Hall, in the University's judgment, may result in the termination of the Room License Contract, which will require the offending individual to vacate Vanderbilt Hall. Residents shall respect the person and property of others as well as their rights to privacy; to freedom from unreasonable noise, interference, and disruption in their daily activities; and to freedom from fear of physical or emotional harm. The harassment of others residing or working within Vanderbilt Hall for any reason, including harassment based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability, shall be grounds for termination of the Room License Contract.

Termination by the University

The University reserves the right to terminate the license for any cause it deems reasonable including without limitation when licensee’s conduct jeopardizes his or her welfare or the welfare of the community, making an appropriate adjustment of the fee. The University may also reassign licensee to other quarters at any time. Without limiting the foregoing, the university may terminate the license and a licensee may be required to leave Vanderbilt if:

  1. The resident fails to pay the room license fee or other charges when due;
  2. The resident ceases to be a full-time student enrolled in a degree program or takes a leave of absence; or the resident's affiliation otherwise changes;
  3. The University concludes that the resident has given false information in connection with his or her application for occupancy in the Residence Hall; or
  4. The resident fails to adhere to the terms and conditions of occupancy or any rules and regulations of the Residence Hall.

The University shall retain the right to terminate the license regardless of the delay between the date the licensee's affiliation ceases or changes and the date the licensor gives notice to terminate. The licensee agrees to notify Harvard Medical School immediately in writing if the licensee's affiliation ceases or changes. 

If the room or any part thereof or more than fifteen percent of the floor area of the Residence Hall (outside the Premises) shall be destroyed or damaged by fire or other casualty, then the license shall terminate at the election of the licensor, by written notice to the licensee given within sixty days after the fire or other casualty. If the license is not terminated, then the license fee shall be equitably adjusted.

If all or any part of the room or the Residence Hall or the land adjacent to the Residence Hall shall be taken by eminent domain, then the licensor may terminate the license by written notice to the licensee given within thirty days after the effective date of the taking. The licensor reserves to itself, and the licensee shall assign to the licensor, all claims and demands for damages on account of any taking by such eminent domain.(excepting damages for licensee's personal property and/or moving costs). 


No resident has the right to sublet or assign his or her space in the Residence Hall or to share the space with another person. This prohibition includes all short-term leasing arrangements such as Airbnb and similar occupancy arrangements


At the end of the term (or sooner if the room contract is canceled by the resident or the University) each resident must:

  1. Remove all belongings from the resident's bedroom, student storage, the student kitchens, bathrooms, the courtyard, and any other common area at the time of vacating. Items left behind in the bedroom or the corridors will be considered abandoned and discarded or donated to charity.
  2. Lock the room and return all keys immediately to the Business Office or to the Vanderbilt Hall Security Officer.
  3. Vacate the premises on the agreed date and at the agreed time.
  4. Notify the University of a desire to have mail forwarded by logging on to the Harvard Student Mail Forwarding website at: http://www.hums.harvard.edu/mail-delivery/student-mail-forwarding to update the resident's address. Questions regarding mail forwarding should be directed to the Student Mail Forwarding Office at 617-496-4290. Visiting students who wish to have their mail forwarded but do not have a Harvard Student ID must contact the Vanderbilt Hall Business Office at 617-432-1629. Harvard Medical and Dental students must also provide their new addresses to their registrars.

If any licensee's personal property (including goods and furnishings) remains in the room or in the Residence Hall following the end of the license term and after the licensee has vacated the room indicated by delivery of the keys or otherwise, such personal property shall be deemed to be abandoned by licensee and the University may dispose of (including sale or donation), discard, or destroy the peroneal property without obligation to or further notice to the licensee. 


The University is not liable for any loss of or damage to personal property located in the Residence Hall. The University strongly advises all residents to obtain appropriate insurance for their personal property.