For Students Entering Fall 2021

For requirements for students entering in previous years, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

A candidate will be recommended for the Master in Architecture as a professional degree upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 140 units. MArch I students pursue the following seven semester course of study:

First Semester

  • 8 units GSD 1101 First Semester Architecture Core Studio: PROJECT
  • 2 units GSD 2121 (M1) Architectural Representation I
  • 2 units GSD 2122 (M2) Architectural Representation II
  • 4 unitsGSD 4122 Buildings, Texts, and Contexts: Between Origins and Modernity: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Architecture
  • 2 units GSD 6121 (M1) Environmental Systems I
  • 2 units GSD 6122 (M2) Environmental Systems II

Second Semester

  • 8 units GSD 1102 Second Semester Architecture Core: SITUATE
  • 4 units GSD 4223 Buildings, Texts, and Contexts: Modernism and its Counter-Narratives
  • 2 units GSD 6125 (M3) Building Simulation
  • 2 units GSD 6126 (M4) Materials
  • 4 units GSD 6227 Structural Design I

Third Semester

  • 8 units GSD 1201 Third Semester Architecture Core Studio: INTEGRATE
  • 4 units GSD 6123 Construction Systems
  • 4 units GSD 6229 Structural Design II
  • 4 units Digital Media Requirement** or Distributional or General Electives***

Fourth Semester

  • 8 units GSD 1202 Fourth Semester Architecture Core Studio: RELATE
  • 4 units GSD 4121 Buildings, Texts, and Contexts: Modernity's Antecedents and Alternatives
  • 4 units GSD 6230 Cases in Contemporary Construction
  • 4 units Digital Media Requirement** or Distributional or General Electives***

Fifth Semester

  • 8 units Option Studio*
  • 4 units GSD 7212 Foundations of Practice
  • 8 units Distributional or General Electives***

Sixth Semester

  • 8 units Option Studio*
  • 4 units GSD 9203 Thesis Prep Course (or pre-approved alternative)****
  • 8 units Distributional or General Electives***

Note:  The department encourages students to take electives that support thesis interests during their sixth semester.

Seventh Semester

  • 12 units GSD 9301 Independent Design Thesis
  • 8 units Distributional or General Electives****


*A minimum of one Option Studio must be offered through the Department of Architecture.

**A 4-unit Digital Media Requirement course must be taken in the third or fourth semester. Offerings may vary by year.

***Students are required to fulfill the following distributional electives:

8 units of advanced history electives
4 units of global culture and diversity
4 units of professional practice electives

An approved list of distributional electives is posted  in the myHarvard course catalog each term. Please note that some courses may count toward the satisfaction of two distributional electives. For example, an advanced history course may also fulfill a global culture and diversity requirement. For more information, please visit the MArch Distributional Electives page.

General electives may be fulfilled through any course at the GSD or cross-registered courses at Harvard schools, MIT or the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.

****Students are required to take GSD 9203 in their sixth semester; however, an alternative thesis prep course may be approved by petition to the department.

Requirements for students entering in fall 2020
Requirements for students entering in fall 2019
Requirements for students entering in fall 2018
Requirements for students entering in fall 2017
Requirements for students entering in fall 2016

If you entered in an earlier year and are uncertain of your program requirements, please contact the Department of Architecture.