A photo of students sitting in the GSD backyard, a grassy area between Gund Hall and adjacent GSD buildings, populated with colourful chairs.

Applicants to the PhD program 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 necessary. For students planning to pursue the Architectural Technology track within the PhD program, a background in architecture and/or engineering is required. For more information, please contact Professor Ali Malkawi.

To be eligible for admission, applicants must also show evidence of promising academic work in their field of interest or in closely related fields. Students from outside the United States must demonstrate an excellent command of spoken and written English. Applicants from underrepresented and historically marginalized communities are particularly welcome and highly encouraged to apply. To attend a virtual information session, click here.

All applicants must indicate a proposed major area of study at the time of their initial application. These proposed areas of study should be congruent with the interests and expertise of at least one Graduate School of Design faculty member associated with the PhD program.

While the GRE is not required for admission, applications must include the following:

  • Unofficial transcript(s).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A statement of purpose that gives the admissions committee a clear sense of the student’s intellectual interests and strengths and conveys their research interests and qualifications.
  • A short personal statement.
  • A writing sample or samples (totalling no more than 20 pages, not including references). This can be a paper written for a course, journal article, and/or thesis excerpt. The writing sample should preferably focus on a subject related to architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning.
  • Please note that unless a specific justification is provided by the applicant, design portfolios are not typically considered as part of the application.

Applications to the PhD program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning are received through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For more information on the application process, requirements, and its timeline, visit their website.

If you have additional questions, please contact Margaret Moore de Chicojay, the PhD program administrator and a key point of contact for incoming and current students.

Harvard Griffin GSAS and Harvard GSD do not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry or any other protected classification.