Students may study for a PhD degree in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Urban Planning. These three degrees are administered by a standing committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the Faculty of Design.

The program is intended for persons who wish to enter teaching and advanced research careers in the History and Theory of Architecture, Architectural Technology, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Form from Antiquity to the Present; or The Analysis and Development of Buildings, Cities, Landscapes, and Regions with an emphasis on social, economic, technological, ecological and infrastructural systems. (The PhD Program does not prepare students for licensing as design practitioners in any of these fields. For information on professional programs, please contact the Graduate School of Design’s Admissions Office.)

Track in Architectural Technology

The PHD Program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning announces an additional track in Architectural Technology. Doctoral research undertaken in this area will have the aim of advancing the state of knowledge in green building, and will typically include issues related to computation and simulation, environmental concerns, and energy performance. A background in architecture and/or engineering-related fields is required. In addition to a highly interdisciplinary curriculum that includes theoretical and empirical approaches, especially the history and philosophy of technology, the student will be associated with the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, which will provide the intellectual context for this research. The student will also be a member of our PHD cohort and will be expected to fulfill the same requirements (such as the Discourse and Methods seminar). For more information, please contact Professor Ali Malkawi.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must have completed a four-year bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. A professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning is recommended but not required. Students from other countries must demonstrate an excellent command of spoken and written English. To be eligible for admission, applicants must also show evidence of distinguished academic work in the field or closely related fields, or distinguished work in the intended area of concentration. Applications from underrepresented minorities are particularly welcome.

All applicants are required to indicate a proposed major subject of study at the time of initial application. These proposed areas of study should be congruent with the interests and expertise of at least one member of the PhD Standing Committee.

While the GRE test is not required for admission, the application must include the following: official transcript(s); three letters of recommendation; a statement of purpose that gives the admissions committee a clear sense of intellectual interests and strengths; a writing sample or samples (no more than 20 pages). This can be a paper written for a course, journal article, and/or thesis excerpt (please respect the page limit of 20 pages). The writing sample should preferably focus on a subject related to architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning. Please note: Unless a specific justification is provided by the applicant, design portfolios are not typically considered as part of the application.

For more information about the PhD program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, please visit the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Apply to the PhD program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.


Antoine Picon, G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology

Associated Faculty

Eve Blau, Adjunct Professor of the History and Theory of Urban Form and Design
Giuliana Bruno, Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University
Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, History Department, Harvard University
Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism
Edward Eigen, Senior Lecturer in the History of Landscape and Architecture
Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Director, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory
Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School
Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design
Ali Malkawi, Professor of Architectural Technology
Erika Naginski, Robert P. Hubbard Professor of Architectural History
Alina Payne, Alexander P. Misheff Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Department of History of Art + Architecture, Harvard University
Christine Smith, Robert C. and Marian K. Weinberg Professor of Architectural History
Sarah M. Whiting, Dean, and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture