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Our Community

Join a diverse group committed to rigorous liberal arts study on the peer-learning model.

2 HILR members sitting on couch in discussion

HILR Participants must be able to attend class on our Cambridge campus.  If you’re a retired or semi-retired individual residing in the Greater Boston area, we welcome your application.

The most important criteria for admission are:

  • Intellectual curiosity
  • A breadth of interests
  • The capacity to participate actively and collegially in our community
  • The potential to contribute to the program, especially through course leadership

A previous connection to Harvard University is not necessary.

Admission seasonApplication deadlineNotification of decision
Fall 2024 start Monday, April 8, 2024Early May, 2024
Spring 2025 start TBATBA

The application for Fall 2024 closed on April 8, 2024. Please check back in mid-August for the application for Spring 2025.

Program Perks and Privileges

For a fee of $525 per semester, program participants enjoy the following:

Academic Privileges

  • Enrollment in HILR courses (up to three per semester)
  • Eligibility for an HILR scholarship for one open enrollment Extension School course per semester

Activities and Events

  • Admission to HILR speaker events and concerts
  • Participation in HILR extracurricular activities
  • Access to events open to the Harvard Community

Discounts and University Access Privileges

  • Harvard University Library Special Borrower privileges
  • 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, the Dunlop Library, a colloquium room with a grand piano, and common spaces for informal meeting and collaboration.

Requirements for New Program Participants

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, you must be able to start in the upcoming semester and able to meet the enrollment requirements outlined below, in order to take up the offer.

  • In the first semester, you must enroll in classes for the full 12 weeks.
  • In the second semester, you must enroll for at least a half semester (exceptions are made for medical issues or family emergencies).
  • In the first three years, you may take up to a one-semester leave of absence. But to retain your place in the program, the full semester fee is still due when taking a nonmedical leave of absence. 

How to Apply

The application for Fall 2024 closed on April 8, 2024. Please check back in mid-August for the application for Spring 2025.