PROGRAMS: Harvard University School of Architecture
Master in Architecture I (MArch I), Professional Degree
The program leading to the Master in Architecture as an accredited professional degree is intended for individuals who have completed the bachelor’s degree with a major other than one of the design professions or with a preprofessional undergraduate major in one of the design professions. The course of study is rigorous and comprehensive, preparing graduates for the full range of professional activities in the field of architecture. It provides a solid intellectual base of knowledge in history, theory, technology, the social environment, and professional practice. Particular emphasis is given to developing mastery of design through an intensive series of design studio courses. As part of the process of developing independent thinking and resolving design issues, students are required to prepare a design thesis to serve as a transition from graduate school to professional practice. To attain registration for professional practice after completion of the degree, a candidate must complete an internship in an architectural office and pass a registration examination. Many students partially complete their internships during the summer while in graduate school.
Admission with No Previous Professional Education
Individuals who have completed a four-year bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in a field other than architecture are eligible for admission to the first term of the professional degree program. Preference for admission is given to individuals who have completed a balanced undergraduate education that includes study in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A minimum of a one-semester, college-level course in calculus or higher-level mathematics and a one-semester, college-level course in physics, preferably in mechanics, is required.
A minimum of two semesters of college-level survey courses in the history of art and/or architecture, preferably covering the ancient to modern periods, is also required. Applicants must achieve a grade of B or better in each of these courses. Please note that while the GSD requires only one semester of each for admission, it is strongly recommended that applicants complete one year of calculus and physics. Preparation in the visual arts is desirable and may include drawing, sculpture, and/or graphics. Courses in the humanities, philosophy, literature, and economics are also recommended but are not required.
Admission with Advanced Standing
Individuals who have completed a preprofessional four-year bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a major in architecture or environmental design may be eligible for admission with advanced standing, subject to the review of the admissions committee. Such applicants will be considered for placement in the third term of the program, thus reducing the required course of study to two-and-one-half years. Applicants who are granted advanced standing must have completed the same preparation in college-level calculus, physics, and history as described in the previous paragraph, as well as undergraduate courses that are roughly analogous to the course of study of the first year of the graduate program, demonstrating high achievement in design.
Early Admission for Students at Harvard College
Qualified undergraduates at Harvard are eligible for early admission into the program and may take all or a portion of the first year of graduate study during their senior year.
For students entering without advanced standing, a minimum of seven terms of full-time study in residence, including thesis, is required. Individuals admitted with advanced standing normally begin with the third term of the program and must complete a minimum of five terms of full-time study in residence. Under special circumstances, students may receive permission to reduce their course load and extend their studies over a longer period of time.
Master in Architecture II (MArch II), Postprofessional Degree
The program leading to the Master in Architecture as a postprofessional degree is intended for individuals who have completed a five-year undergraduate professional program in architecture or its equivalent. The course of study extends the base of knowledge of the professional field through graduate study with particular emphasis on design. Students advance and expand their theoretical and analytical skills by developing a course of study that compensates for weaknesses and enhances areas of strength. A minimum of one-half of the electives in the student’s curriculum must be from courses offered by the GSD. Students in the program may elect to pursue their research interests in an independent design thesis. Students who choose to prepare a thesis must obtain approval of their course of studies from the program director by the end of the first semester of studies and are required to take GSD 9203: Preparation of Design Thesis Proposal for Master in Architecture.
Preparation for Admission
Individuals who have completed a comprehensive five-year professional bachelor of architecture degree or its equivalent, demonstrating high achievement in design, are eligible for admission. Programs leading to postprofessional degrees do not need to be accredited, as applicants would normally have already completed the degree required for certification.
A minimum of three terms of full-time study in residence is required for award of the degree. Under special circumstances, students may receive permission to reduce their course load and extend their studies over a longer period of time.
ABOUT: Harvard University School of Architecture
The Department of Architecture is rich in diversity, creativity, and scholarship. With an international faculty prominent across the breadth of the field, students are exposed to many different approaches to design. Critics and theorists from around the world supplement the faculty, and together, they introduce students to issues and trends in contemporary architectural design.
Central to the school’s philosophy is the commitment to design excellence that demands not only the skillful manipulation of form, but also inspiration from a broad body of knowledge. Instruction and research encompass design theory as well as visual studies, history, technology, and professional practice. The GSD’s information infrastructure provides a foundation for design exploration and communication, offering students new ways to access design references, model buildings, and present ideas. Intelligence, creativity, sensitivity, and a thorough knowledge of the arts and sciences are essential to achieving distinguished architecture.
The educational experience at the GSD is enriched and broadened by close interaction among the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design, as well as by many other resources at Harvard University and MIT. 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. For generations, the GSD has educated committed individuals who have assumed leadership roles in shaping the built environment. Today’s graduates in architecture continue this tradition by answering the challenges posed by contemporary society.
HISTORY: Harvard University School of Architecture
Classes exclusively devoted to architecture began at Harvard in 1893. The Faculty of Architecture acquired graduate school status in 1914. The major design professions were officially united in 1936 to form the Graduate School of Design. The GSD currently offers an array of masters and doctoral degrees, as well as Career Discovery and Executive Education programs. The school’s international faculty provide a broad range of design philosophies and visions. The resources of the GSD and those of Harvard University, including its courses, museums, libraries, and cultural events, are available to all students.
VISIT: Harvard University School of Architecture