Becoming a Member

If you’re a retired or semi-retired individual who lives in the Greater Boston area, we welcome your application.

The most important criteria for admission are:

  • Intellectual curiosity

  • A breadth of interests (career, volunteer experiences, avocations)

  • The capacity to participate actively and collegially in our community

A previous connection to Harvard University is not necessary.

To apply, simply complete our online application form.

The application period for Spring 2019 is now closed.  Currently accepting applications for Fall 2019.  Apply by April 7, 2019. After we review your application, we will contact you regarding next steps beginning in the second half February 2019.

Admission season

Application deadline

Notification of decision

   Fall 2019 start 

April 7, 2019

End of May 2019

Spring 2020 start


End of November 2019

Membership Perks and Privileges

For a current annual fee of $900, members enjoy the following:

Academic Privileges

  • Enrollment in up to three courses each semester

  • Access to January intersession courses, taught by external faculty,  for a nominal tuition fee

  • A special $50 tuition rate for one Harvard Extension School course each semester

Activities and Events

  • Admission to HILR events and lectures around Harvard University  

  • Access to extracurricular activities

Discounts and University Access Privileges

  • A Harvard University Libraries special borrower’s card for $5 a year

  • Free admission to the Harvard Art Museums

  • Eligibility to ride the Harvard shuttle buses

  • Discounted parking rate at Harvard’s Everett Street garage

Our Location

Our community gathers for courses and activities at our historic building at 34 Concord Avenue in Cambridge, Mass.

Situated amid a beautifully landscaped quad, the renovated building houses 10 classrooms, a computer room, a lunchroom and café, the Dunlop Library, a colloquium room with a grand piano, and common spaces for informal meeting and collaboration.

Membership Requirements

Participation Requirements for New Members

Before you apply, we ask that you consider if it’s the right time in your life to make the commitment. Once accepted into the program, HILR members are expected to start participating the following semester.

  • In the first semester, members must enroll in classes for the full 12 weeks.

  • Thereafter, members enroll for at least 1.5 semesters for the first two years of membership or forfeit their place in the program (exceptions are made for medical issues or family emergencies).

  • If members take an optional leave of absence (i.e., nonmedical or emergency), they still pay the full annual fee to retain their place in the program.

These policies are designed to support our extensive curriculum and depth of programming, both of which rely on a stable community of members.

If you have questions, please contact us at +1-617-495-4072 or