Harvard Life

Student life at Harvard Medical School is a celebration of diversity. It is the coming together of extraordinarily talented individuals from a wide variety of ethnic, cultural, social, and educational experiences and backgrounds who share an intense ambition to be leaders in everything they do. It is about discovering a culture of support that respects difference and an abundance of resources to nurture talent. It is about being inspired by a history of innovation to transform potential into achievements that can make a difference in the world. The commitment to the intellectual and professional growth of our every member of our community is reflected in the depth of faculty, academic, research, professional, personal, and social support services that HMS offers.

Celebration of Diversity

The Student Affairs Office and Office of Recruitment & Multicultural Affairs foster an inclusive environment that is supportive of students from diverse backgrounds and that deeply enriches life at HMS. Students may join a large number of identity groups, including NAHO (Native American Health Organization), LAHMS (LGBT and Allies at HMS), and Harvard chapters of SNMA, LMSA, and APAMSA. Each spring our first-year class produces FABRIC, a show that demonstrates the School’s – and students’ – commitment to diversity, unity, and equity. Watch the whole show here.

Culture of Support

Every aspect of an HMS education is designed to encourage collaboration rather than competition. In the required preclerkship and principal clinical years at HMS, students are graded on a pass/fail basis, a structural strategy that allows them to focus on becoming leaders in improving patient care rather than focusing on class rank. A program dedicated to promoting wellness in the HMS community has been launched by the Dean for Students and Dean for Medical Education. The Academic Societies provide a community-based approach to learning and ensure students benefit from the full range of HMS advising resources and support services.

Harvard University

Students at HMS are encouraged to take advantage of the resources of the larger Harvard University community. Many of the organizations, facilities, and activities located at Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses welcome the participation of medical students. The Harvard Graduate Council, a University-wide organization, sponsors activities that bring together students from all of Harvard’s graduate programs.

Harvard University is organized into 10 principal academic units, or faculties. These faculties oversee the operation of the 11 Harvard Schools. The work of a number of allied institutions and University-wide initiatives further expand Harvard’s academic reach. HMS students are encouraged to explore Harvard’s academic resources to examine medicine from an interdisciplinary perspective.

HMS Resources

HMS students have access to a myriad of resources, including 16 clinical teaching facilities, a plethora of cutting-edge laboratories, HSPH resources, and Boston’s rapidly expanding biomedical community.

HMS History

Timeline of Discovery

History of Harvard Medical School