5 Linden Street
The Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC) supports students in their learning and development as they engage in the educational opportunities at Harvard. The BSC’s mission is based on a “whole person” educational/ developmental model which recognizes that, in the lives of students, the intellectual social, and personal are inseparable: we bring all of who we are to our learning endeavors, and learning itself transforms us. Students from a wide range of backgrounds benefit from the opportunities for skill-building and reflection that the BSC provides.
BSC services are available to Harvard College undergraduates and to graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Kennedy School. BSC services are private, in keeping with FERPA and Harvard University policies. Services include:
Conversation with a BSC academic counselor is an opportunity for students to connect with their sense of authentic motivation and purpose; to explore how they can approach their studies effectively and meaningfully; to reconsider their assumptions about learning and life direction; and to discern choices that feel true to their values and goals. Academic counseling helps students to attend to practical skill building (e.g., reading, note making, exam taking, prioritizing, writing, speaking up in class, remembering) and to reflect on how they are making sense of their intellectual, social, and personal experiences. BSC academic counselors can also help students navigate and connect with other campus resources as needed.
Workshops and discussions
Workshops and discussions provide opportunities for support, skill-building, and problem-solving in areas related to academic life and learning (e.g., time management, procrastination, perfectionism, cultural adjustment, participating in classroom discussion, senior thesis writing, dissertation writing, making the most of reading period, and preparing for exams). BSC academic counselors are available to develop and facilitate custom workshops for departments, courses, or student groups.
One-on-one or small-group peer tutoring is available through the BSC in almost any subject or course. Most peer tutors are undergraduates who have received an A- or better in the course for which they tutor. Peer tutors are trained and supervised by the BSC. Financial aid is available for eligible Harvard College students.The BSC welcomes collaborations with faculty regarding the peer tutoring for their courses. (Note: Harvard College undergraduates may not accept compensation for peer tutoring in Harvard courses without the permission of the Dean of the College; see the Handbook for Students.)
ESL peer consultation
Peer consultation is available for students who speak English as a second language. ESL peer consultation provides assistance for developing speaking and listening skills, understanding local idioms, learning more about U.S. and Harvard cultures, or practicing for oral presentations. ESL peer consultants, trained and supervised by the BSC, are undergraduates who have strong interest in working with students from other cultures and who speak at least one language other than English. Most consultees are graduate students. Financial assistance is available for eligible GSAS students and through programs in some other graduate schools.
The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies
The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies is a non-credit mini-course designed to help students develop skills to read more mindfully, efficiently, and effectively. FAS faculty, teaching fellows, and residence staff may enroll in the course at no charge. The fee for Harvard College and GSAS degree candidates is $25; all others $150 (subject to change). Visit the BSC website for the course schedule and registration information.
Located in the BSC reception area and online, the Cranium Corner is a library of handouts on topics related to study strategies and student life. The online Cranium Corner also includes links to other resources.
Consultation and Reflective Practice
BSC academic counselors provide individual and group consultation to the Harvard community - students, faculty, deans, resident tutors and proctors, teaching fellows, coaches, parents, administrators, and members of student organizations - about any issue related to students’ learning and development. Reflective practice opportunities provide occasions to reflect upon the assumptions, beliefs, values, and mindsets that inform and influence the choices we make in our work.
The first floor of 5 Linden Street is wheelchair accessible.