Harvard Medical School’s faculty, staff, and students are accorded many technical and informational resources for the purpose of performing the work necessary in support of the School’s Mission. These resources, including but not limited to, computing devices and software, scientific equipment, email accounts, and access to informational systems. These are the property of Harvard University and not of the individual student, staff, or faculty member. For purposes of this policy, “email” is defined to include all Harvard-provided electronic services encompassing email, calendaring, contacts, contact management, mailing lists, and list management. All information published within these systems is the property of Harvard University and is not to be used or redistributed for non-Harvard purposes. The primary requirement for an HMS email account is a formal relationship to HMS, as defined below. This pertains to all students, staff, and faculty. When students, staff, and faculty are in a joint role or have more than one job position at Harvard (such as both student and staff), they will have only one HMS email account.


All HMS support and administrative staff qualify for an email account. Some HMS email accounts require pre-authorization. 

Staff employees in the groups below do not automatically receive an HMS email account. However, any of these employees may request an HMS email account by filling out the self-service Email Application form once their HMS account has been established. 

  • LHT employees 
  • Temporary employees 


All faculty who have a primary academic appointment in a Basic or Social Science Department, postdocs, and research associates qualify for automatic email account establishment. Faculty who are appointed through Clinical Departments at Affiliated Institutions generally do not qualify for an “hms.harvard.edu” email account. Exceptions may be granted for legitimate business reasons, such as faculty who have significant administrative roles at HMS, have a primary academic appointment at HMS, or submit grant applications through HMS. Requests for such email accounts should be directed to the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs at ofa@hms.harvard.edu which will evaluate the request with stakeholder input and will make a decision along with the HMS Chief Information Officer.


All registered students in HMS programs qualify for HMS email. Email addresses will be set up for incoming classes as soon as they reach pre-matriculant status. Cross-registered students and Exchange Clerks do not qualify for HMS email accounts. 

Departmental accounts

Departments often need generalized accounts for receiving communications that are not tied to specific individuals. Specified individuals within each department are authorized to request these accounts by sending an email to itservicedesk@hms.harvard.edu. Passwords for these accounts will expire annually. Authorized individuals must submit a request to the service desk or their CSR to have the password reset. Departmental Accounts will be reviewed on a periodic basis, and terminated if they are no longer in use. 

Guest accounts

In addition to students, faculty, and staff, Harvard also utilizes the services of contract consultants and other invited users who may conduct work on behalf of HMS. In such circumstances, an HMS employee or quad-based faculty member must serve as a sponsor to request email access for individuals with legitimate business requirements. Access will be provisioned for a 6-month renewable term. Sponsors are required to notify HMS IT at the end of the contract term so that the account may be deactivated.  Guest Accounts will be reviewed on a periodic basis, and terminated if they are no longer in use.  

Change in eligibility

Should an individual’s circumstances change such that he or she is no longer eligible for an “hms.harvard.edu” email account, HMS reserves the right to terminate the email account. 

Separation from Harvard Medical School and impact on email accounts

There are a variety of ways in which faculty, staff, students, consultants, and invited users separate from Harvard Medical School.

Staff, faculty, and postdocs

Email accounts for staff, faculty, and postdocs are deactivated immediately upon separation from Harvard Medical School. The HMS exit process will automatically deactivate access to the HMS email system and all other HMS-provided services and systems including any further forwarding service. Individuals requiring an automatic email reply beyond a termination date should contact the HMS IT Service Desk at itservicedesk@hms.harvard.edu or 617-432-2000 for assistance.  

Graduation from HMS and Student alumnae

Students remain eligible to have email accounts until they graduate or cease to be registered without approved leave. Students who graduate from Harvard Medical School will have their email accounts terminated in the last week of August, regardless of when in the academic year graduation occurs. 

Invited users and consultants

The sponsor of the invited guest account is required to terminate the access of the consultant and/or invited user when the relationship terminates. When invited users or consultants terminate from HMS, their HMS email and other IT services accounts will be terminated the day their contract ends.

Retirement from HMS

Staff and faculty who retire from HMS are not eligible for an HMS email account with the exception of faculty with a primary academic appointment in a Basic or Social Science department who become EmeritusUpon becoming emeritus the current “hms.harvard.edu” email account may be transitioned to a new email account with an address of “emeritus.hms.harvard.edu”. Emeritus status is determined by the HMS Office of Faculty Affairs. 

Leave of absence

When a student, faculty, or staff member is officially on a leave of absence, the email account will remain active during the leave. 

  • Faculty and staff must have a “Leave of Absence” action with an end date processed in the PeopleSoft system. If the faculty or staff member terminates from HMS at the end of the leave, the email account will also terminate as of the end of the leave.
  • Students on leaves of absence must have a “Leave of Absence” or “Registered: Other Degree Program” recorded in the registrar system.