Harvard Graduate School of Design

  • MA


48 Quincy Street
United States

About Us

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.

Description of Programs:

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.

Master in Design Studies - The MDes program is non-studio, post-professional research-based program designed to enable students with specialized interests to pursue advanced studies through coursework and independent study in one of eight concentration areas. 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 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.

Master in Architecture - Architects draw upon knowledge and experience gained from the past while adapting to the changing needs of the modern world. 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 Design Engineering prepares the next generation of leaders to create transformative solutions that positively impact society. The integrated fields of design and engineering are uniquely positioned to address challenges that involve interactions of natural, social, and informational systems. The design engineering toolkit encompasses multi-layered, analytical approaches, networked objects and environments, soft and hard infrastructures, and strategic plans, all of which can be applied to address grand challenges and mitigate threats to our built and natural environment.