Living in Boston

Housing

Most PiN students live in shared off-campus housing in walking distance of the Longwood Medical Area, and take Zillow or Craigslist as a starting point for an independent housing search. Students also post housing opportunities and needs on the #classifieds channel in the PiN Students Slack space, and may find it helpful to refer to GSAS Off-Campus Housing, Harvard/MIT housing Facebook groups, and HarvardHousingOffCampus.com, a private market rental site that includes a roommate search option, HUH sublet listings for eligible Harvard affiliates, and other resources.

Some students choose to take part in the Harvard Resident Tutor Program, through which graduate students earn free housing and a limited meal plan in exchange for providing a variety of services to undergraduate students. Other Harvard housing options include:

Transportation

    Parking in Boston is expensive and hard to find, and it can be difficult to rent an apartment that offers parking (particularly in Brookline, where there is no overnight street parking). Students can refer to Harvard Transportation for current information on biking, Harvard shuttles, ordering discounted MBTA passes, campus parking, etc.

    Public transportation

    The subway, buses, and commuter rail that make up the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) - known as the "T" – allow you to travel easily all over the city and suburbs. Harvard students are eligible to recieve a 50% discount on MBTA passes.

    Biking

    Harvard transportation

    Shuttle buses, evening van service, and the Harvard University Campus Escort Program (HUCEP) in Cambridge and the Walking Escort Service in the Longwood Medical Area

    Shuttle buses

    Car & ride sharing

    • Students receive a discount on Zipcar car sharing and on rental cars through the Harvard travel portal, good options for day and weekend trips.
    • Uber and Lyft are popular ride sharing options in Boston.

    Walking

    Boston is a compact city that offers beautiful architecture, landscapes, and serene urban green spaces. Getting around is often easiest on foot, so enjoy the view and stay safe!

    Taxes

    For at least the first two years of graduate study for tax purposes the student stipend is not considered wages. Students will not receive year-end W-4 forms or 1099 forms. Students must log into PeopleSoft to download information necessary for filing taxes. Additionally, students should bear in mind that taxes will not be withheld from their monthly stipend check. Most students will need to file quarterly tax returns with the federal government and with their state of residence (i.e., wherever they intend to file their tax returns). Most students will transition to employee status some time in their third year, at which point they will be asked to fill out a W-2 and taxes will be withheld. Harvard does not advise students on filing taxes. Students should confer with an accountant. Online resources include www.irs.gov (federal tax forms/information) and www.mass.gov/dor (Massachusetts tax forms/information).

    Extra Income Opportunities

    Crowdsourced by PiN students:

    • TA a class after passing your PQE (e.g., MATLAB bootcamp, Rick’s stats course, NB 215, undergrad classes in Cambridge, some medical school classes), with varying levels of commitment and pay. Tari Tan invites students to indicate their interest in TA'ing PiN courses via a survey each year
    • Apply for an external fellowship G1/G2 year (e.g., NSF GRFP, NDSEG), 10% bonus for stipend
    • Apply for a predoctoral fellowship (e.g., NIH F30/F31): budget allocates for a yearly institutional allowance, which can be used to buy a new laptop/tablet, etc., in the first year of the fellowship
    • Alex Shimada-Brand in DMS advises students on external fellowships
    • Outside tutoring with a high-end firm ($60-100/hr)
    • HMS Department of Neurobiology internal fellowships (circulated via the department listserv)

    For international students

    International students are eligible for a limited number of external fellowships, depending on their country of citizenship; examples include Autism speaks, AAUW(American Association of University Women), and Faculty for the Future (international students from developing countries).

    Harvard Discounts

    Harvard students can purchase discounted tickets through Outings & Innings to seasonal attractions (e.g., whale watching, amusement parks, downhill skiing), touring museum exhibits, performing arts and sporting events, and more. Many local businesses offer a discount for Harvard students (e.g., restaurants, gyms, clothing stores). See "Transportation" above for MBTA, bikeshare, and car share discounts. Below is a list of museums that offer free admission to Harvard students with an HUID.

    Museum of Fine Arts

    Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Institute of Contemporary Art

    Harvard Museum of Natural History

    Harvard Art Museums

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

    Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

    Harvard Museum of the Ancient Neareast

    Warren Anatomical Museum

    Museum of African American History

    Commonwealth Museum

    Finance-housing infographic
    Thanks to PiN students Helena Barr and Pablo Reimers for infographic data collection, analysis, and visualization, and to Jingxuan Fan, Anna Jaffe, and David Mazumder for collating additional student finance resources.