There's never been a more exciting time to be LDS at Harvard!
LDSSA Trip to Fresh Pond!
Thinking about applying to Harvard? Arrange a campus visit.
We’re happy to show you around campus and have you stay with us. E-mail Hailey James, the LDSSA president, in advance so we can arrange accommodations.
This video about the importance of education, which was produced by the Church in 2012, features some of our very own Harvard LDSSA members, including our bishop, Roger Porter (Dunster House Master), and Nikki Kapu, a senior in the class of 2014.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's it like to be an LDS student at Harvard?
Harvard is a great place to be a Latter-day Saint! Harvard has a long tradition of having Mormons on its campus; many great members of the church have studied and/or taught here, including John A. Widstoe, Kim Clark, Robert D. Hales, and Henry B. Eyring. It is a fantastic place to build and strengthen a testimony and get a world-class education. The administration and other Harvard students are very respectful of LDS students' standards. Most Harvard students and faculty already have had LDS acquaintances, co-workers, and friends here on campus. If you stick to who you are, you will thrive here.
How many LDS undergraduates are there at Harvard?
Harvard averages between thirty and forty-five LDS undergraduates. Most years we welcome around ten freshman from all over the world. We're excited to have them! It is always a diverse group supportive of one another. There are also many Mormon students at Harvard’s graduate schools.
Where do LDS Harvard students attend church?
Undergraduates attend the Mt. Auburn Ward in the Cambridge stake -- made up of about 150 undergrads from MIT, Tufts, Boston University, Boston College, New England Conservatory, and other area schools. The meetinghouse is less than a ten minute walk from Harvard Yard. There are three singles wards that meet at that chapel, attracting singles from all over the greater Boston area. The ward holds regular activities, sponsors monthly trips to the Boston Temple, and holds weekly family home evening groups, one of which meets at Harvard. The ward is exceptionally diverse in terms of peoples background and interests, and you will have the support of committed members with strong testimonies. Its a great place to meet people, make friends, and find people to date.
Are there Institute classes available nearby?
Yes. Multiple Institute classes are held on Harvard's campus every week. In addition, the Institute teaches a number of other classes at the local meetinghouse. The Institute also holds regular activities, dances and service projects. Take a look at the our calendar or at the home page of the Boston Institute of Religion for more information.
What kind of activities does the Harvard LDSSA have?
The LDSSA sponsors a number of activities every year. We have an annual fall ice cream bash, Christmas Fireside, and a winter retreat. We also hold regular forums featuring some of Harvard's LDS faculty, including Pulitzer Prize-winning History Professor Laurel Ulrich and Kennedy School Professor Roger Porter. Harvard offers a wealth of activities, and LDS students often get together informally to take advantage.
What are the LDSSA members like?
We're a diverse bunch of guys and girls from all over the U.S. Many of us have served missions. Our concentrations (majors) range from Philosophy to Neuroscience to Art History to Engineering. Some of us play on sports teams, and were all involved in extracurricular activities from orchestras to choirs to service organizations. We're really friendly and enjoy getting together for good, clean fun.
Can I arrange to have an LDS roommate?
Freshmen are assigned rooms without regard to religion, but it has happened in the past that LDS freshmen have been roommates with each other. In any case, Harvard Yard is a cozy environment, so you are never far from other LDS students. After freshman year, students may choose their roommates. It is very common that LDS students room together sophomore to senior years.
What do I do if I want to serve a mission?
Harvard is great about helping students who want to serve missions before they've graduated. Students desiring to serve missions simply inform their Freshman Dean (if leaving after their freshman year) or Senior Tutor (if later) of their decision and arrange for a leave of absence. Altogether, it takes about thirty minutes to make the necessary arrangements to go on a mission (and less paperwork than dropping a class!). Returning to Harvard after a mission is equally easy. Students are assigned to upper-class houses near the end of freshman year and usually submit housing preferences to those houses that will be honored when the student returns. There is absolutely no stigma associated with taking time off. Many non-Mormon students take time off to pursue their own special interests. Most members of the Harvard community agree that the time off makes for better students when they get back.
How many LDS students are there at Harvard compared to other Ivy League schools?
From what we understand, Harvard has the most LDS students out of all the Ivy League schools. They have great programs too, though!
How can I get in touch with you?
Email us! Please, we’d love to hear from you and answer your questions. Email any of the executive board members listed on the contact page or send one to our president, Hailey James: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the social life like as a Harvard undergrad?
Whatever your particular interests, Harvard itself and Boston in general offer more they could do in four years time! Harvard students are generally very outgoing, and the student body is so diverse that you’ll easily be able to find a group of friends. You can always find something to do on the weekends. The truth is that Harvard students are often so involved in their activities of choice that they spend their weekends doing athletics, music, theater, etc. When they have free time, most students at Harvard prefer a night at the theater, Fenway Park, just hanging out or even, maybe, studying. Harvard also has a number of really fun campus-wide dances each semester as well. Weekends do not have to be expensive. There are lots of free and low-cost events in the area.
If I want to visit campus, can I stay with an LDS student?
Absolutely! We’d love to have you stay with us! Email us ahead of time, and we will arrange it.
How can I get a Harvard application?
Information about what is required for a complete application can be found
Good luck, we hope to see you here in Cambridge!