wintersession program

Program Overview

Wintersession programs are offered each year across more than 20 subject areas including arts, athletics, health and wellness, career services and alumni networking. Most programs are free of charge; a few include small fees. Programs vary in length from one hour to multiple days and from purely recreational to intensive introspection, training or learning

Current Program Listings

Below is the 2017 Wintersession offerings by category. Please check back often; this list will be updated as programs are approved. Please note that enrollment for many programs is limited.

Please check here for unofficial Wintersession programming.


First-Year Enrichment Program
January 13 (9 am-7 pm), January 18 (5 pm-9 pm), January 19 (9 am-9 pm)

The First-Year Enrichment Program (FEP) is a 2.5-day program providing a structured opportunity for students to reflect on their first term at Harvard and look ahead. FEP is designed to help you strengthen the foundation you have built so far at Harvard, make the most of the spring semester, and develop your plans and goals for now and into the future. Through interactive sessions, participants will assess personal values to determine how to focus energy and time while at Harvard and develop skills to better manage academic and personal priorities, all in the setting of a small group of peers. The program includes workshops on topics such as getting organized, public speaking, reflecting on friendship at Harvard, concrete strategies for personal wellness, and academic reading skills. All participants will be matched for an individualized follow-up advising consultation with either their Resident Dean of Freshmen or a counselor from the Bureau of Study Counsel. Whether your fall semester was great, difficult, challenging, or all of the above, consider attending FEP as you build your Harvard experience.

Speaking With Power, Passion and Purpose
January 16-19, 1-4 pm

Whether you are already a confident speaker or get major butterflies when you think of opening your mouth, this class will take you to a higher level!  We will draw from the world of the theatre to develop our expressiveness, flexibility and creative imagination.  This class will be fun and interactive, and we will create a safe, supportive environment for you to take risks and grow! What you can expect to get from this course: 1. Practice in presenting yourself and your ideas powerfully, whether in prepared or impromptu remarks 2. Introduction to theatre techniques including improvisation, vocal and physical awareness 3. Techniques you can use in interviews or any important presentation 4. Strategies for influencing your audience 5. Increased ability to use stories to convey messages and build a strong relationship with your audience 6. Practice giving and receiving actionable feedback
RSVP and information:

Thesis 101: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (but Were Afraid to Ask) about Writing a Senior Thesis in the Social Sciences
January 18-20, 10 am-4 pm, CGIS Knafel

Attention future senior thesis writers:  Want to make your senior thesis process more manageable and less stressful? Want to learn how to apply for summer research and travel funding? Want catered lunches during Wintersession? This is a free, 3-day thesis-writing workshop where you’ll learn about

  • formulating a thesis topic
  • conducting research
  • designing empirical studies
  • applying for grants
  • troubleshooting common problems
  • and much, much more!

Brought to you by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard.
Information and RSVP: or email Katie at with any questions!

Ethnic Studies: Past, Present, and Future
January 20, 9 am–5 pm

A two-day workshop that aims to support and encourage student and faculty research pertaining to Asian American, Native, Pacific Islander, Latinx, and Arab American studies and the study of Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights by sharing information, building community, and advocating for greater academic resources. The workshop will cover a range of questions, across a timeline and between Harvard and its peer institutions, from the origins to the innovative frontiers of ethnic studies. Toward the end of the workshop, the conversations will inform the strategy to increase resources, awareness, and academic support for ethnic studies, given that over 44 years and 11 proposals, there currently exists neither a concentration nor a department in ethnic studies at Harvard.
RSVP and information:


Arts, Creativity and Medicine
January 18, 1-5 pm

Can looking at art change the way one sees a patient? Can music be used therapeutically in neurologic disorders? Can reflection and narrative writing enhance empathy? This afternoon of workshops and discussions will be led by Harvard Medical School faculty, residents and medical students who are also practicing artists and musicians. We will focus on an investigation of creativity and its relationship to medical practice. Bring your questions, ideas, and examples of how the arts and humanities can intersect and enhance medical practice. Sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School, in association with the Office for the Arts at Harvard.

CANCELLED - Design and Deep Time: How the Things We Make Evanesce and Endure
January 17-19 (11 am-3 pm), January 20 (11 am-5 pm)

What objects made today will be useful, beautiful, or meaningful in ten thousand years? Will they be the bridges, buildings, and landscapes we contrive at great effort and expense? The stories we tell, the art we make? Our digital technology? Or something a simple as a tool or a toy?  Participants in the Design and Deep Time workshop will explore time's enormity in several ways. We'll look at texts and other media that contend with the challenges of long-durational thinking; we'll visit collections of Harvard's museums to contemplate time-traveling objects. And crucially, we'll engage in critical and experimental making, as students prepare final projects that act as "looks-like" prototype for objects that evanesce and endure in expressive ways. Your project might be a paper model, a piece of digital media, or a sculptural object—we'll spend the week using our hands to think with, learning along the way some art and design techniques that can enable creative research in many fields. Design and Deep Time will be great for anyone interested in art, architecture, landscape, the environmental humanities, and experimental making. And while the subject is heady, the workshop will be playful and the outputs will be rich. No previous experience required.

January 12 (6-8 pm), January 14 (10 am-5 pm), January 17-20 (10 am-5 pm)

In this five-day workshop, students will go through the process of designing a set for a chosen play. This intensive will give students insight into the design process as well as give them an introduction to the skills utilized by designers such as hands on skills in model making, drafting and drawing. Students will also explore the digital tools used in drafting and image manipulation. The session will conclude with a presentation of the final design to invited guests.

FOLD / CUT / WEAVE with Alex Timmer
January 12 (6-8 pm), January 14 (10 am-5 pm), January 17-20 (10 am-5 pm)

This intensive will focus on the production of three-dimensional space through the manipulation of two-dimensional material. The students will use CNC technology and analog techniques to fold, cut, weave, and twist sheet material into spanning structures. We will work as a group to study how these techniques can address circulation, sequence, proportion, scale and other architectural concepts. Through a series of exercises exploring basic modeling techniques; we will discover the spatial and atmospheric effects of their design decisions through iterative model making. Drawing, collage, and photography will be used to analyze and develop these designs.

Harvard Art Development Festival
January 15-January 20, 10 am-5 pm (with a presentation on the evening of January 21)

This Theatre, Dance, and Media-sponsored Wintersession festival will be a lab for the development of new artistic works. Projects will be selected by a panel of TDM faculty and students to undergo a development process, but this program is open to all students regardless of concentration. These projects could be plays, dance pieces, musicals, devised work, or anything else a student would like to submit for development in this creative space. The purpose is not to create a final production, but to create an environment for “messy art making,” a place where pieces can be developed and revised without the pressure of production. Festival participants will be assigned to work as actors/dancers/singers on one or two of the projects chosen for development; they would act as observers for the workshops of the works of which they are not a part, so that every workshop includes both observers and participants. All workshops will be open to the public.
For project creators: Please email a 1 page cover letter explaining how your project would benefit from this workshop to Please also submit a supplementary sample that represents the project you hope to develop. This can be a 10-15 page sample of written work, a description of ideas to explored in a devised piece, or a representative video of the work you wish to develop. If you have any questions about what to submit, please contact us.  For performers: Please email a 3-5 minute video sample demonstrating the performative skills that you have in acting, dancing, and/or singing to This video could be of a past performance, though it does not necessarily need to be - feel free to film a new video that represents you as a performer.
Apply and information:

January 12 (6-8 pm), January 14 (10 am-5 pm), January 17-20 (10 am-5 pm)

Internationally renowned artist and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Teresita Fernandez is presently working with the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA) to create a major temporary public art installation in Harvard Yard in the fall of 2017. Through this intensive, students will work with the artist and examine questions such as, “how can we use democracy as a verb rather than a noun?”; “what does it mean to imbue a built structure with democratic practices and research?”; and “how do we begin to measure and acknowledge invisible or marginalized individuals and groups as part of our research and design process?”  While the art project will culminate in a built, temporary artwork, the artist sees the research and development also leading to a “social structure” superimposed on the physical structure.  This intensive will be integral to the planning and development of the artwork in all its manifestations.
More information:

The Magic Flute and Javanese Shadow Theater
January 18-20, 1-4 pm, gamelan room in the basement of the SOCH

This course explores the traditions and practices of Javanese shadow theater through the story of "The Magic Flute" - and vice versa. Using Lotte Reiniger's short animated film "Papageno" as a source of inspiration, we will devise our own version of "The Magic Flute." We will perform the roles with Javanese shadow puppets and we will play the music on Harvard's very own gamelan, Si Betty. Absolutely no experience necessary! Whether you love theater, are a budding story-teller, have a fascination for puppets, want to learn a musical instrument from scratch, or would like to find out more about familiar or new artistic practices and their oft unexpected but compelling cross-cultural resonances, come join us! Everyone is welcome!

Programmable Kinetic Sculpture
Participants should attend January 17 (9am-11am) for introductory session.  Lab will be open January 17-20 (9 am-6 pm) - you may come and go as you wish during those hours.  Please attend the final event on January 20 (2-3 pm).

Do you want to make moving art? Are you curious about making things move with simple computer programs? Come to the Physics teaching labs, and create interactive kinetic sculpture programmed with Arduino microcontroller boards. No previous programming or electronics experience is necessary - we will have parts and programs to get you started so that you can concentrate on whatever aspect of this activity inspires you. If you do have such expertise, there are still plenty of learning and opportunities for you as well. The group of participants, limited to about twenty, will meet on Tuesday morning for a two-hour introduction, demonstrations, and idea generation. By the end of the first day, participants will define a project, to be carried out individually or in a group. The lab will be open for the rest of the week, with mentors on hand to advise and help. Students will have supervised access to a range of fabrication tools, including laser cutter, 3D printers, CNC milling machines, electronics components and circuit board fabrication. On Friday afternoon, we will come together again as a group to show and discuss what has been done.

Workshop: Handmade Mugs
January 17-20, 2-5 pm

Whether it is for morning coffee, noon soup, or evening hot chocolate, if you want to exchange the Styrofoam and paper versions for a handmade, ceramic mug, this workshop, taught by Office for the Arts at Harvard Ceramics Program instructor Zac Mickelson, is for you. Along with being introduced to the potter’s wheel, you will also acquire basic skills in hand forming basic shapes – like a mug! This is a great opportunity to try clay and to gain an excellent foundation for further exploration.  This workshop is for students of all levels.  A special session will be arranged for you to glaze your work during the Spring Term.

Workshop: Printmaking on Clay
January 17-20, 10 am-1 pm

In this workshop taught by Kathy King, Director of Education for the Ceramics Program at the Office for the Arts at Harvard, a variety of printmaking techniques will be explored as applied to the ceramic medium as a means of personal expression. From the graphic to the painterly, techniques will include traditional printmaking techniques such as mono-printing, silk screening and stenciling onto plaster slabs to use with clay rather than the traditional paper and press. These colorful slabs of clay can then be prepared as wall-hung tiles or shaped into simple vase or cup forms.  Historic and contemporary examples of printmaking techniques on ceramics will provide inspiration. Instruction will be provided January 17th, 18th and 19th with a supervised “open studio” on the 20th. A special session will be arranged for students to glaze their work during the Spring Term.


Get Help Planning Your Summer
January 20, 11 am-12 pm

Study abroad, research, internships and more....Summer can include SO MUCH! Join us to get the facts on how to arrange a SUMMER study abroad or undergraduate research opportunities, where to look for internships, how to meet employers, and why funding might play a part in your next summer experience. Let our experienced staff tell you more.

Site Visit - MIT Lincoln Laboratory
January 17, 11 am-1 pm

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has been in existence for 65 years and employs some of the nation’s best technical talent to support system and technology development for national security needs. The Laboratory conducts research and development pertinent to national security on behalf of the military services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the intelligence community, and other government agencies. Projects undertaken by Lincoln Laboratory focus on the development and prototyping of new technologies and capabilities to meet government needs. A strong emphasis is placed on the transition of systems and technology to the private sector. The Laboratory is designated a Department of Defense (DoD) Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) and a DoD Research and Development Laboratory. OCS invites you to join this visit to learn more about the Laboratory’s work in 10 mission areas and opportunities for students. You’ll learn about representative projects and the Laboratory’s recent work in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief as well as tour through many of the Laboratory’s areas.
Note: Non-US Citizens will be asked by MIT Lincoln Labs to provide first and last name, passport number, and country of citizenship which is required by MIT Lincoln Labs for a pre-visit security check. Pre-registration required. Meet at OCS.
Information and RSVP:

Site Visit - Arnold Worldwide
January 18, 12-2 pm

“Arnold Worldwide is a global creative agency delivering services across all communication touch points – advertising, digital, promotions, direct, design and branded content." Clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, Fidelity Investments, The Hershey Company, Jack Daniel’s, New Balance, Ocean Spray, Progressive, University of Phoenix, and many others. If you've ever seen a Progressive, Bruins, or McDonald’s commercial, chances are it was created by Arnold Worldwide. OCS invites you to trek to their Boston office and see where all the action happens. Meet representatives from the client and creative teams, see where deals are made and ideas are generated, and learn about what opportunities may exist for you. Pre-registration required. Meet at OCS.
Information and RSVP:

Site Visit - Massachusetts General Hospital
January 19, 8 am-12:30 pm

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) employs over 25,000 people and has a research budget of over $800 million. Thousands of Harvard College students and alumni have had volunteer experiences, summer jobs, and post-graduate jobs at the MGH.  The MGH is the largest of the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals with over a thousand beds. It is the oldest and largest hospital in New England and has the largest hospital-based research program in the world. OCS invites you to come get a glimpse of this hospital and its opportunities. We will attend medical grand rounds, meet representatives from the volunteer and research departments, learn about global health initiatives, take a tour of the Ether Dome, and visit the Paul Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation. Please join us for this fast-paced and informative visit. Pre-registration required. Meet at OCS.

Information and RSVP:

Site Visit - The Bridgespan Group
January 19, 11 am-12:30 pm

"The Bridgespan Group is a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations, and philanthropists to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need.  We are passionate about helping to find solutions to ensure equal opportunity and core human and civil rights. To achieve these objectives, we concentrate our efforts on four broad fields: education; children, youth, and families; public health; and global strategy development. Our services include strategy and philanthropy, leadership development, and developing and sharing insights-all with the goal of scaling social impact. What we learn from collaborating closely with social sector leaders, we share broadly to advance social change." OCS invites you to trek to Bridgespan's Boston Office to explore your interest in nonprofits, philanthropy, and social impact. During the visit, we will hear from Bridgespan alumni and staff about how they carry out their work and mission, take a tour of the office, and learn more about opportunities in this meaningful and impactful field. Pre-registration required. Meet at OCS.
Information and RSVP:

Site Visit – WGBH
January 20, 9 am-1 pm

WGBH informs, inspires, and entertains millions of people throughout New England -- at home, at work, in the classroom, in movie theaters, and more. Boston's last remaining independent TV station, WGBH offers a range of productions (among them, Greater Boston, Basic Black, and La Plaza) that focus on the diverse local community. WGBH 89.7, Boston's NPR arts and culture station, offers a rich menu of classical, jazz, blues, spoken word, and more. WGBH is the leading producer of PBS prime-time programs (Nova, Masterpiece, Frontline, Curious George, Arthur, WGBHNews, The World, The Takeaway) and online content, a major producer for public radio, and a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities. OCS invites you to trek to their Boston office to learn about how they produce their wonderful programming; view their studios; hear from alumni who work in media, marketing, production, and journalism; and find out about internship and full-time opportunities. Pre-registration required. Meet at OCS.
Information and RSVP:

Site Visit - Google Cambridge
January 20, 2-4 pm

At Google Cambridge, they think BIG! The Cambridge office is a hub for both engineering and sales, located in a hotspot for startups and bright minds. Google Cambridge contributes to such high-visibility products as Search, YouTube, Chrome, Android, Image Search, Google Play for Education, and Newsstand. Google has also extended their creative reach into the community through programs like Citizen Schools, where Googlers engage in educational activities with local children. OCS invites you to get “Googley” and explore the wonderful and innovative world of Google Cambridge. If you are into design, engineering, computer science, and sales, this is a great exploratory experience for you.
Information and RSVP:

Media, Sports, and Brand Marketing NYC Trek
January 13, 9 am-3 pm

Three organizations! One Trek!
New York, NY

National Basketball Association (NBA)
645 Fifth Avenue, Olympic Tower, New York, NY
9:00-10:30 am
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. It has 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States.

Home Box Office (HBO)
77 W 66th Street (at Columbus Ave.), New York, NY
If you have heard of award-winning, critically acclaimed original television series such as True Blood, Game of Thrones, Entourage, Boardwalk Empire, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos, then you know HBO! Home Box Office, Inc is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc. and the world's most successful TV service, providing two-television services, HBO and Cinemax, to approximately 127 million subscribers worldwide.

350 Hudson St, New York, NY
1:00-3:00 pm (Lunch will be provided)
PepsiCo is one of the world's leading food and beverage companies with over $63 billion in net revenue in 2015 and a global portfolio of diverse and beloved brands that includes Pepsi, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Lay’s chips. Additionally, PepsiCo has a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes 22 brands that in 2015 each generated more than $1 billion in estimated annual retail sales.
Pre-registration required.
Information and RSVP:


CS50 Bootcamp with HSA
January 13-20, 9 am-5 pm

Picks up where CS50 leaves off, a crash course on front-end and back-end software development for desktop and mobile.
RSVP information coming soon


Drawing Animals
January 17, 2-4 pm, Harvard Museum of Natural History Lobby

Have you ever wished you could practice drawing inside the natural history museum? Are you not confident in your drawing skills? Come learn some basic drawing techniques in a fun and non judgmental setting. We'll use graphite pencils to explore elements of art such as lines, shapes and colors. Bring your sketches of a fruit bat, pink fairy armadillo, lion or platypus back to decorate your walls! No prior experience needed and all materials will be provided.
RSVP by emailing Wendy at

Gems and Jewelry
January 19-20, 1:30-4:30 pm

Rubies, amethyst and topaz! Ever wonder how gems are created and selected? Explore gemology with Raquel Alonso Perez, Curator, Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard. Get crafty in the second half of this hands-on program by making your own bracelet or necklace out of gemstone beads and wire.  Learn basic wire wrapping techniques to create your piece of jewelry to keep. No prior experience needed and all materials will be provided.
RSVP: Email with name and Harvard affiliation (undergrad year, grad student, other) to register.


Symposium on the Future of Computation in Science and Engineering:
Data, Dollars, and Algorithms: The Computational Economy
January 19

The symposium will explore how access to copious streams of data and powerful computing resources are transforming our understanding of economic activity—and how those same tools are changing the nature of the economy itself. Visit

Robotics-Circuits, CAD, and Coding Workshops
January 19-20, 1-5 pm

Are you interested in robots? Did you want to learn more about how they are created or even build some of the basic robotics components yourself? Whether you have no experience or loads of experience, this winter session workshop led by the Harvard Undergraduate Robotics Club will guide you through basic robotic design (for beginners) and more intense design (for more experienced). We will teach coding (arduino), computer aided design (CAD), and circuit design while also giving the chance to learn more about how to prototype and build a wide array of robots. During these sessions there will also be time to build and prototype your own basic robot parts! This is a great opportunity to get involved with hands-on engineering at Harvard-whether you are a senior studying computer science, or a freshman studying history! We will help you get started!



January 18, 10 am-5 pm
co-sponsor by the Harvard Alumni Association

Focusing on the murder set-piece—the centerpiece of the thriller film—visual storytelling can be reduced to its most basic narrative requirements. Over the course of two days, film and TV director/writer/producer Rodman Flender '84 will work with students to give them a deep understanding of the tools needed to create tension and suspense on a visceral, physical and psychological level by examining and comparing murder scenes from the silent era through contemporary releases; assembling the elements to create a short murder set-piece; and shooting and assembling the scene with desktop-editing software. Participants must provide a camera, or a phone with a camera, and a laptop for transferring captured media; familiarity with video editing software such as iMovie is helpful but not required. Rodman Flender's credits include Dimension TV’s "Scream, the TV Series,” HBO’s “Tales From the Crypt” and Califilm’s "The Unborn.”
Information and RSVP:

January 19-20, 10 am – 4:30 pm

co-sponsor by the Harvard Alumni Association

This four-part workshop taught by TV, film and theater director Claudia Weill '69 is an intensive introduction to directing narrative by examining the new “Golden Age” of American television. Each session—“Directing Subtext: Physicalizing the Story,” “Staging: Turning Psychology Into Behavior,” “Moving the Camera: Why, When and How” and “The Protagonist and Subjectivity”—will start with discussion of an aspect of directing, illustrated by clips from TV shows. In order to assimilate this lesson, students will then direct a short scene. Although this workshop requires no previous experience in directing, it is also extremely useful to working directors because of its’ distillation of film fundamentals. Claudia Weill's credits as a director of film include “Girlfriends,” “It’s My Turn” and “The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir"; on TV, “Sesame Street,” “Girls,” “thirtysomething” and “My So-Called Life”; and in theater for the Williamstown Theater Festival, Sundance, Public Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and Irish Repertory Theatre.


Barre Above Certification
January 21, 9 am-5 pm

The Barre Above™ certification will teach you everything you need to implement a successful barre program anywhere - Fusing the worlds of pilates, yoga, aerobics, and elements of the strengthening exercises dancers do, Barre Above delivers a results-driven workout that will sculpt your students' bodies, get them into amazing shape, and have them coming back for more. As a Barre Above instructor, you'll learn the correct way to teach barre that is fun and totally unique for your students. he Barre Above certification is an 7-hour in-person certification workshop. You'll receive everything you need to begin teaching classes the very next day.

Fitness Assesment
January 16-19, 10 am – 12 pm, the MAC

In this assessment, we’ll assess your weight, body composition, Body Mass Index (BMI), upper body strength, core endurance, and flexibility. You’ll see how you compare to national averages, and get recommendations for the areas in which you could improve. There are 8 spots available for each session.

Learn to Lift
January 17 and January 19 (2-3:30 pm)

Learn to Lift is a great way to understand the essentials of strength training, as well as develop a new routine that follows the proper structure of a good exercise program. These classes will incorporate the principles of functional strength training and its benefits. These sessions will be fun and relaxed; all levels of fitness are encouraged to participate.

Mindfulness Retreat
January 16-21

This five day overnight retreat will take place in North Andover, Ma at the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center. On this retreat we will explore mindfulness, through formal meditation periods and relational mindfulness activities. Together, we will develop our skills of focused concentration, introspection, compassion, and insight. The emerging science of mindfulness suggests that mindfulness can help build emotional resilience, inner strength and well-being. Retreat practice helps us develop the flexibility to be present, kind, and skillful whether we are alone or interacting with others. Each day will primarily be held in silence and will include sitting and walking meditation, small group activities, movement and free time. Please come prepared to participate in all aspects of the retreat with curiosity and a willingness to engage with challenge. Bus transportation will be provided.
Information and RSVP:

Benefit Celebration: Fostering Communities of Light
January 20

Please join us for an opportunity to practice, discuss and join in community. In the face of immense ongoing change in our lives and work, this event provides a space to celebrate and cultivate light amongst one another, all are welcome to attend. Sponsored by CHA Center for Mindfulness & Compassion. Pre-registration required.
RSVP and information:


Common Purpose Global Leadership Experience Boston
January 17-20

Develop your leadership skills to help influence the future of the world, as well as establish a genuinely global network. Along with your fellow participants, you will play a part in tackling the biggest issues facing business, governments and society today. A GLE gives you real and practical experiences, instils in you a global perspective and challenges you to adapt and thrive in diverse situations. It equips you with the tools you need to lead change, now and in the future. As a participant, you will explore this major world Challenge from a local perspective. You will meet visionary leaders from global businesses, governments and international not-for-profit organisations to help you and your fellow participants understand the Challenge and find creative ideas to solve it. Best of all, you won’t be alone; you will build your connections and make new friends – and the solutions and knowledge you all build will be passed to participants on other GLEs around the world.


Original research laboratory: Genetics of Organelle Function in Budding Yeast
January 14-15 (9 am-6 pm) and January 17-22 (9 am-6 pm)

Biologists from cancer researchers to food scientists use knowledge from cell biology to improve society, but how do we obtain this knowledge in the first place? In this course, students will seek new insights into the biology of cells—specifically regarding organelle function—using the modern toolbox of the yeast cell biologist. Through lab sessions and daily lab meetings, students will develop technical, analytical and communication skills that will prepare them for long-term projects in Harvard research labs and serve them generally in the life sciences.
RSVP and information:

Perspectives on Mental Illness
January 16-21, times vary

In this weeklong workshop, launched by the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Conte Center at Harvard in 2013 and now run in partnership with the Harvard Brain Science Initiative, we will explore the topic of mental health through multiple lenses -- ranging from basic science and medicine to artistic and personal perspectives. Registration is required. There is a cap of 25 students.


CSA Sponsored Laser Tag
January 21, 8-11 pm

Before the busy spring semester starts, CSA hopes to bring together the Harvard community for a night of both bonding and letting loose. This will be accomplished by running around in the dark, shooting each other with laserguns.
RSVP information coming soon

Harvard College in Asia Program Conference
January 16-21, 10 am -6 pm

HCAP brings together Harvard students and delegates from 9 top universities in Asia for a weeklong conference in January. The conference structure provides a unique combination of global discussion, cultural immersion, and structured bonding. This year's conference theme is "Mind, Body, and Society: Global Health Challenges of the 21st Century." The conference will highlight health issues from across the world as we discuss how each one of us is impacted by the communities that we live in. Topics will range from mental health to healthcare access to public health coverage in the media. Over the course of the week, Harvard students and delegates will have the opportunity to hear from experts in various fields of global health and work on a case study specific to one of the countries represented by our foreign delegates.


Adams House/FDR Foundation Global Citizenship Program - Beyond Tomorrow 2 -Creative Citizenry for a Resilient Future
January 21-22, 8:30 am-5:00 pm

This two day Conference will continue the Adams House/FDR Foundation’s exploration of Global Citizenship. In partnership with Camino Arts, a Latino arts initiative, we will be asking the question: “How can global citizens use the power of the arts and humanities to address the challenges that confront our communities and our planet today and threaten our very existence in the future?" We will highlight creative thinkers in fields as diverse as ancient Mayan culture to space exploration. They will share with us their examples of non-linear, creative leaps that have influenced their work; identify sources of their inspiration; and show us how to better harness imagination and curiosity in our own fields of endeavor. And to provide additional proof that thinking outside-the-box can make for incredible results, conference attendees will participate in hands-on workshops that in a space of an hour, will introduce them to a new creative lens to see the world.
RSVP and information:

Planning the Resistance: An Activist Gathering to Prepare for the Trump Presidency
January 13 and January 17-19

Feeling helpless since Trump's election? Want to join the resistance? This event will bring together activists from across Harvard to think about how to move forward during the Trump presidency. Various student groups and community organizations will run workshops to explain their work, lead discussions, or teach skills. We will focus on active learning so that it doesn't feel like class. The purpose of this event is to build solidarity between different activists or cultural groups, teach knowledge and skills that will be useful, and discuss priorities.

Behind the Scenes at the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture
January 19, 1:30-3 pm

Join us for a rare opportunity to tour the incredible collections that are held behind-the-scenes at the world-renowned FAS research museums!

  • Harvard Semitic Museum: Collections from the Near East including Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, and Tunisia.
  • Harvard University Herbarium: Home to more than 5 million plant specimens including surprises like a lichen added into a mummy wrapping and plants collected by Henry David Thoreau. 
  • Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard: Marvel at the Hamlin gem collection, gold nuggets, and the Massachusetts state mineral, just some of the 400,000 objects in the collection.
  • Museum of Comparative Zoology: While there are over 21 million animal specimens housed in the MCZ, this tour will focus on the bird and fossil collection.
  • Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Celebrate the 150th birthday of the museum and peek at some of the 99.99% of the collection not on display. 

Pre-registration required. Questions can be directed to Wendy Derjue-Holzer at Please note: You may sign up for only one of the five museum tours offered.


Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association (HCURA): 2016 National Collegiate Research Conference 
January 19-21

Join 200 of the top undergraduate researchers from around the country for the 2017 National Collegiate Research Conference, the largest student-run undergraduate research conference in America! Don't miss your chance to present your research at Harvard to the top experts in your field.
Information and apply:

iGEM BioDesign Bootcamp
January 14-21

The iGEM BioDesign Bootcamp will help participants build a solid foundation in essential life-science research techniques through an intensive laboratory component and theoretical introduction guided by Professor Neel Joshi. Students will learn how to design and construct DNA, incorporate that DNA into a living organism (the common model bacterium Escherichia coli) and assay the functionality of their genetic "program". Along the way, participants will develop widely applicable skills like pipetting, laboratory safety, sterile technique, experimental design, data analysis and interpersonal communication in a technical setting.  Additionally, participants will build proficiency in ubiquitous domain-specific lab protocols like PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), DNA purification, bacterial culture, and cloning. In parallel with this lab work, students will be introduced to critical concepts in synthetic biology including the Central Dogma, genetic regulatory elements, synthetic DNA, and biological "Parts". Participants will also engage in brainstorming sessions guided by the teaching staff, including Prof. Joshi, focused on current literature in synthetic biology and potential project design for iGEM. The program will prepare students who are interested in competing in the iGEM competition next summer. If participants desire additional research opportunities, they will be put in contact with the iGEM club, undergraduate research courses like LS100-r, and Harvard laboratories working in synthetic biology. No prior experience necessary.


Chair Massage
January 17-19, 3-5  pm, the MAC

Drop-in for a 10 minute chair massage – a relaxing break that will leave you with a clear mind, rejuvenated body, and an overall feeling of well-being. First come, first serve. No pre-registration required.

CPR Certification
January 18-19, 9:30 am-1:30 pm

Classroom instruction and hands-on training. Participant must demonstrate a proficiency in the material to obtain the certification.  There are 16 spots per day available.

Indoor Skating Party
January 16, 6-10 pm, Bright-Landry Hockey Center

Come down to the Bright-Landry Hockey Center for this indoor ice skating party! Food & refreshments will be served! Ice skates will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. No pre-registration required.

Lifeguard Certification Course
January 16-21, 9 am-2 pm

Participants must pass prerequisites on the first day, and a final test on the last day to obtain the certification. 100% attendance is required for the duration of the course and 10 spots are available.

Ski & Snowboard Trip
January 18, 8 am-6:30 pm

Cruise the slopes of Mt. Sunapee! All levels are welcome, and beginners are encouraged to sign up! Transportation, lift tickets, rentals, and lessons are available at no cost to you! Limited spots available

Squash Clinic
January 20, 12-2 pm

Harvard's Men & Women Varsity Squash coaches will be hosting a free clinic at the Murr Center squash courts. All skill levels welcome! Racquets, balls, and goggles provided. No pre-registration required.

Tennis Clinic
January 17, 1:30-2:30 pm

Come down to the Murr Center's indoor tennis courts for a free walk-in clinic with Harvard's Tennis Professional, Michael Mercier. All skill levels welcome! Rackets and shoes available. No pre-registration required.

Zumba Diva Dance Party
January 17, 12-1 pm, Hemenway Gymnasium

This cardio dance class set to Latin rhythms will feature dances from your favorite Pop Diva's. Come and dance to Beyonce, Britney, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and more! No pre-registration required.

Adirondacks Ice Climbing Trip
January 15-21

Join the Harvard Mountaineering Club on our annual winter ice climbing trip to the Adirondacks (aka the Daks Trip). All experience levels are welcome, but no experience is necessary and the club will provide all relevant gear--if ice climbing sounds cold and crazy, this is the trip for you! Spend the week braving the cold on high vertical ice by day and swapping stories in a cozy cabin by night. When your arms are pumped out and stiff halfway up a climb, you'll learn valuable lessons in processing fear and overcoming adversity. Swing by the Mountaineering Club's weekly meetings at 8pm in Claverly to find out more!

Ballroom Dance Lessons
January 18-19, Adams House Dining Hall
Beginner classes offered 10:00 pm-11:59 pm
Intermediate/advanced classes offered 8:00 pm-10:00 pm

Harvard Ballroom would like to offer free ballroom dance lessons, both for raw beginners, and for people with some dance background. Spanning 8 hours over two nights, the lessons will teach beginners the basics of one dance from each of the 4 ballroom dance styles, and go into more technical details in each style for those with dance experience. The final night is a social dance, focusing on the dances taught at the beginner lessons. No advance registration required

HOC Wintersession Trip
January 15-20

Looking for something adventurous this J-Term? Interested in the Outdoors? Come on the Harvard Outing Club's Wintersession Trip! We spend 6 days at the HOC cabin in New Hampshire doing all manner of fun outdoors trips. Each day our team of experienced, first-aid-certified leaders offers a variety of different activities--whether it's bagging peaks, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or just hanging out playing card games and drinking hot chocolate.
RSVP: Email to receive the google form to sign up


Personal Finance Management
January 18-20, 10 am-1 pm

Your 401(k), taxes, investments, student loan repayments, credit score, and credit report, have long lasting impacts on your goals.  Whether you're job hunting or homebuying, learn to take charge of your finances and stay accountable to your financial plan.  Personal Finance Management provides essential information and skills for a lifetime of successful money management.  The three-day program is offered by Harvard's not-for-profit financial co-op, Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU).  Lunch with served.  Contact Laura Buso with any questions.
RSVP and information:

Synergy Social Enterprise Incubator
January 14-18, 9:30 am-5:30 pm

Harvard Synergy is a social enterprise incubator that challenges students to tackle the social issues that matter to them in transformative ways. Through award-winning entrepreneur speakers, business skill workshops, field trips, opportunities for mentorship, and networking, Synergy walks you through the process of building a social enterprise—from ideation, product design, business development, to investment pitching.
Information and RSVP: