Student Life in Boston

Harvard Medical School is the home for the Division of Medical Sciences and is located in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) of Boston, Massachusetts.  The Longwood area is across the Charles River from Cambridge where the main Harvard campus is found.  The two cities offer a geographically compact, rich and varied academic and cultural environment.


Living in Boston


There are around 45 colleges and universities, approximately 200,000 students, in the Greater Boston Area which sponsor a multitude of cultural and intellectual activities, all easily accessible via public transportation. The Medical School is in close proximity to MIT, the natural science departments at Harvard in Cambridge, Boston University School of Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine.  This creates an unusual concentration of scientific research that draws visiting scientists from around the world.


The main Harvard campus in Cambridge supports a wide variety of facilities for athletics and graduate student activities. Students have access to all the libraries of Harvard University, which is the largest university library system in the world.  A free shuttle bus links the area with MIT and Harvard Square in Cambridge.




Many students live near the Medical School, or in neighboring Brookline. Others find affordable housing elsewhere in Boston or in Cambridge.


Harvard University also provides a few options for on-campus housing, and can be applied for online.




Boston is often referred to as "the walking city," and a car is not needed to get around the Greater Boston Area easily.

  • MBTA - Boston public transportation system offering subway, bus and commuter rail service to get from point A to B. DMS students are eligible for the GSAS Discounted MBTA Semester Pass Program.
  • Shuttle Services
  • Bicycling


Student Organizations


Things to Do


  • In addition to a long list of renowned institutions such as the Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts; Boston itself is a museum, with hundreds of historical sites, an exciting range of architectural styles, and ethnically diverse neighborhoods offering an international flavor.
  • Sports fans can follow the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, or the Red Sox. Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is only a short walk from Harvard Medical School.
  • The Charles River offers an afternoon of sailing, kayaking, or windsurfing.
  • A network of parks known as the "Emerald Necklace" winds from Kenmore Square, through Olmsted Park, past Jamaica Pond, to the 265-acre Arnold Arboretum, which is both a city park and a Harvard research facility.
  • Walden Pond and the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge in Concord are within biking distance.
  • There are many beaches around the coast and on Cape Cod.  Ample and affordable skiing, hiking, and camping are available in the Berkshires, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. All are accessible in day trips.
  • Faneuil Hall, located near the waterfront and famous North End, is one of the first urban historic shopping districts where you’ll find an assortment of shops and restaurants.
  • For over 130 years, the Swan Boats have been a part of the Boston experience. They grace the waters of the Boston Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the United States. Famed in the stories Make Way for Ducklings and The Trumpet of the Swan, the Swan Boats are the only boats of their kind in the world.
  • The vibrant Boston theater scene includes more than a dozen performance venues in the Downtown Boston Theatre District, where you can enjoy top productions ranging from popular Broadway-type musical shows to avant-garde experimental productions, along with opera, dance, comedy shows, and everything in between.




Division of Medical Sciences

Harvard Medical School

260 Longwood Avenue

T-MEC 435

Boston, MA 02115

(617) 432-0162


view map of the Longwood Medical Area


© 2014 by the President and Fellows of
Harvard College