The GSD offers an exciting setting for interaction and the exchange of ideas through a combination of disciplines—architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design—together with the research of our studio-based as well as Design Studies and Doctoral programs. Working in collaboration with colleagues in other schools at Harvard and beyond the University, our programs have a social dimension aimed at the construction of alternative and sustainable futures, engaging in the ethical and political realm through such topics as rapid urbanization, resource scarcity, and the after-effects of disasters. By recalibrating the relationship between tradition and innovation, knowledge and imagination, the Harvard Graduate School of Design is poised to lead design’s global cause.
Master in Architecture - The MArch programs are rich in diversity, creativity, and scholarship. Guided by a distinguished international faculty prominent across the breadth of the field, students are challenged to consider many different approaches to design. Instruction and research encompass design theory as well as visual studies, history, technology, and professional practice.
Architects draw upon knowledge and experience gained from the past while adapting to the changing needs of the modern world. Together with visiting design critics and theorists from around the world, architecture faculty and students explore a range of design investigations, expand knowledge, and confront the challenges of the contemporary built environment. As new ways of thinking in the profession have emerged, the demands on design grow increasingly complex and require new interpretation. The GSD educates committed individuals who assume leadership roles in shaping the built environments.
Master in Landscape Architecture - Through the art, science and culture of landscape architecture, students possess a swift and sure means of affecting the greater contemporary world. They are called upon to create, reclaim, and restore landscapes that respond to the broad range of human habitation in a diversity of geographical, ecological and cultural contexts. In particular, population centers in industrialized and developing countries continue to expand; new sources of energy and water are sought opening up remote, large and fragile land areas; and population displacement, pollution, disease, and climate change increasingly influence the nature of the global landscape. Candidates in the MLA degree program work with an internationally recognized faculty, and explore the multiple ways that landscapes positively contribute to the complexities of the contemporary city, to a more equitable distribution of ecological and environmental resources, and to the creation of better futures across all regions of the world.
Master in Urban Planning - Urban planners play a central role in fostering a productive, sustainable, and equitable built environment. The built environment encompasses private and public buildings, transportation and other infrastructure, and public spaces, all arrayed spatially as land-use and form-based patterns fundamentally affecting the quality of human experience at work, home, and play. Harvard's program draws on the strength of the department, school, and university in four overlapping areas: Sustainable development, International planning, Social and critical concerns, and Urban design. Students must choose at least one concentration area or design their own concentration in consultation with the program director.
Urban Planning concentration areas: Environmental Planning, History and Theory, Housing and Neighborhood Development, International Planning, Real Estate and Urban Development, Transpiration and Infrastructure, Urban Analytics, Urban Design
Master of Architecture in Urban Design - As a post-professional studio based program, MAUD combines intense design instruction, extensive applied research, and knowledge of urban history and theory. Taking advantage of the remarkable international makeup of the faculty and student body, the MAUD program establishes a common intellectual ground among architects who have a strong interest in engaging the practice and theory of contemporary urbanism. The program leading to the MAUD is intended for individuals who have completed a five-year undergraduate professional program in architecture, and MArch, or equivalent.
The MAUD program at the GSD engages multiple design topics that cut across a variety of scales and urban scenarios both within the North American context and in multiple international settings. The program’s studio components focus on speculative design strategies that explore inventive design procedures within a diverse set of urban conditions.
Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design - Jointly administered with the Department of Landscape Architecture, the program leading to the MLAUD is intended for individuals who have completed a five-year undergraduate professional degree in landscape architecture, an MLA, or equivalent.
The MLAUD program at the GSD engages multiple design topics that cut across a variety of scales and urban scenarios both within the North American context and in multiple international settings. The program’s studio components focus on speculative design strategies that explore inventive design procedures within a diverse set of urban conditions.
Master in Design Studies - The MDes program is non-studio, post-professional research-based program that uses novel and alternative methodologies in a collaborative, immersive, and multimedia environment of students, researchers, scholars, and practitioners. Cross-disciplinary by nature, the program is customized by designing a course of study that builds upon the traditional elements of the GSD curriculum alongside Harvard resources such as the Harvard Kennedy School, School of Public Health, Harvard Business School, and a variety of research labs and initiatives.
Design Studies concentration areas: Art, Design and the Public Domain; Critical Conservation; Energy and Environments; History and Philosophy of Design and Media; Real Estate and the Built Environment; Risk and Resilience; Technology; Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology.
Master in Design Engineering - The MDE program is a unique collaborative degree between the GSD and the John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). As our world faces increasingly complex, often unpredictable dilemmas of consequence to human lives and environments, including rapid urbanization, ecological changes, and resource scarcity, and their negative impact on sociocultural dynamics, these and other problems demand innovative, multi-faceted solutions that transcend disciplines and scales. By training a new generation of innovators who operate both creatively and analytically, think strategically, and collaborate broadly, the MDE program develops graduates capable of leading change and advancing novel, real-world solutions. The integrated fields of design and engineering are uniquely positioned to address the world's toughest challenges and this two-year program prepares the next generation of leaders to create transformative solutions that positively impact society.
Design Discovery: A six-week summer program at the Harvard GSD welcomes a mix of college students, young professionals, career-changers, and retirees who have an untapped passion for design or are considering a career in design or planning, and exposes them to the methods, concepts, and personalities of design education. Deeply immersed in a culture that is both challenging and rewarding, students experience what education and work are like in the design and planning professions.
The GSD offers an exciting setting for interaction and the exchange of ideas through a combination of disciplines—architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design—together with the research of our studio-based as…