GSD campus buildings reopened to Harvard University ID holders beginning August 16, 2021. The health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus, is our top priority. We are committed to maintaining an excellent quality of education through this unprecedented situation.

The goal was to return to “normal” instruction for the fall 2021 semester. For spring 2022 we are planning for a primarily in-person semester, while factoring in public health and space restrictions, as well as federal and state government and University guidance. The school is developing contingency plans should fully in-person instruction become inadvisable. Please see the 2021-2022 Academic Year Planning Page for the latest school and University-wide updates in preparation for the continuation of the year.

All GSD faculty, researchers, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) continues to be available to administer the vaccine to members of the Harvard community. Please visit the University’s vaccine webpage for more information.

COVID testing will remain a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to track and limit the coronavirus within our community. All University affiliates who are authorized to be on campus are required to be tested at their assigned cadence. Please refer to the University’s testing & tracing page for information on the latest cadences for the Harvard community members who will be on campus.

If you are coming to Harvard from an international location, refer to the student arrival protocols page. Also, please consult your airline’s specific policies regarding testing.

In order to monitor progress toward full vaccination within our community, please send a clear copy of your completed vaccination card to HUHS at [email protected]. HUHS keeps this information secure and confidential. People vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit this information, since it is already recorded.

As President Bacow announced last spring, to reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all students who will be on campus this year; exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons only. Students should plan to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus for the spring 2022 semester, meaning that at least two weeks have passed since the final dose of an FDA-authorized or approved vaccine (currently Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) or vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford). You can read more about the requirement and how to submit documentation on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website.

Please note: for the spring semester, Harvard will require COVID-19 boosters for all members of our community who are eligible, including students, faculty, and researchers. Please take time to schedule your booster as soon as possible by visiting or If you have not received your booster by the time you arrive to campus, you can schedule an appointment at one of HUHS’s upcoming booster clinics. Once you have received your booster, please report it to HUHS. You can find detailed instructions for submitting your verification on the Verify Your Booster webpage.

For international students and any others unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine, the University will offer vaccination with an mRNA vaccine to all Harvard affiliates with a Harvard ID. Please note, however, that these students may be subject to additional requirements, such as more frequent testing, until they are considered fully protected by a vaccine.

At the GSD, all services offered by the Office of Student Affairs continue normal operations, including student affairs, financial aid, career services, enrollment functions, and admissions. For questions, please email the appropriate contact on the Office of Student Affairs webpage. Students with questions about processing their I-20 should contact Sean Conlon. For departmental-related questions, students should contact their respective department staff as they normally would for questions or assistance.

Resources for Students

Access to Buildings

Course Enrollment Guide – Fall 2021

Emergencies that are University-Related

Fabrication Lab

Frances Loeb Library

Harvard University COVID-19 Website

Harvard University Housing

Harvard University Health Services COVID-19 Information and Resources

Leave of Absence Requests

Student Employment and Payroll Information

Testing and Tracing

Vaccine Information

Virtual Events and Public Programs


FAQs: All Students

January 2022

In a letter to the Harvard Community on January 4th, the Office of the President outlined university-wide planning for the spring 2022 semester. You can read it in full on the Updates & Community Messages page of the Harvard Coronavirus website.

One key piece of information heading into the new semester is that Harvard will require COVID-19 boosters for all members of our community who are eligible, including students, faculty, and researchers. Please refer to the Vaccine Information page for the latest guidance and resources.

Information about how this shift to remote work for the first three weeks of January will affect the GSD is as follows:

  • At this point, students should not plan to return to campus until January 24th. If you are staying in the Cambridge area, or have not yet departed for the holidays, and you have materials at your desk that you need, you may visit campus briefly to retrieve those materials, but you may not work in GSD buildings, including the Fab Lab and Loeb Library.
  • All academic activities planned for the first three weeks of January will need to shift online, including all J-term courses and any pre-term workshops or orientations, which now won’t be able to use the Fab Lab and will have to plan accordingly. As planning for this shift continues, more information will be shared by individual departments and programs. Patrons will not be able to work in Loeb Library, but the librarians will provide access to physical and digital materials as well as other services. More information about how to make library requests remotely is forthcoming. The Fab Lab will be closed throughout this three-week period, and printing and plotting services will be unavailable. The Help Desk will continue to offer their expert assistance online (HarvardKey credentials are required to access their web page and services).
  • Campus buildings will re-open at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 3rd, but campus activity should be minimal between January 3 and January 24.

Spring 2022

Update from Dean Sarah M. Whiting on January 20th, 2022

Dear GSD Community:

While cases of COVID-19 are beginning to decline at the national level in the U.S., some regions of the U.S. and many other countries around the world are still experiencing an Omicron surge. Given the circumstances, and to help ease our transition into the start of the semester, I’m writing to announce that all spring GSD courses except studios will now be held remotely for the first two weeks of the semester, until February 7, when we expect all courses to resume in-person meetings.

Studios may meet in person or remotely at the discretion of individual instructors. Studios that are held in person will need to accommodate any students who cannot be present on account of quarantine or travel restrictions (provided they are well enough to do coursework, of course), using one of the hybrid carts or other technologies enabling remote instruction. Regardless of whether a studio is held in person or remotely, students enrolled in the studio will be allowed to work on campus at their desks, if they choose, during this time.

During the first two weeks of the semester, those on campus will be able to access the Loeb Library as well as the Fab Lab. Specific opening times will be updated on their respective web pages by next Monday (see here for the Loeb Library, and here for the Fab Lab). As a reminder, only HUID holders will be able to access our buildings until February 7th.

Masking continues to be required for anyone inside GSD campus buildings, as is compliance with the university’s vaccination and booster requirements (read more about those requirements here). Beginning with the first day of classes, KN95 masks will be available upon request at the donut in Gund Hall. I strongly recommend using a KN95 mask of your own or one provided by the school. We have an initial supply of 500 KN95 masks, so please request only one for yourself for now. More are on order but have not yet arrived. Surgical masks will continue to be available throughout GSD buildings. Double masking with a surgical mask as the first layer, covered with a cloth mask, is also very effective. Please make sure that your masks are not loose and that they always cover your nose as well as your mouth.

You should take a Color covid test (available at the Quincy Street entry to Gund) 24-48 hours prior to entering our buildings. Testing continues to be required of everyone who is regularly on campus. Please check the updated information detailing all university testing cadences here. Many of you also will have seen the news, but those of you currently located in the U.S. may now request rapid home tests, courtesy of the federal government.

General Questions

Who can currently access Gund Hall when it reopens?

All GSD campus buildings will be open to all Harvard University ID holders, according to the hours below:

• GSD Affiliates
Access from 5am to 2am, seven days per week, to Gund Hall, 485 Broadway, 7 Sumner, and 40 and 42 Kirkland (20 Sumner has its own schedule and generally closes overnight)

• Harvard Affiliates
Access to GSD buildings will mirror open hours of the Loeb Library

• First Responders
(including HUPD, FMO, Custodial, Security, & LEMT – Local Emergency Management)
Access to all GSD properties 24 hours per day, seven days per week

Visit the Building Services webpage for updates regarding building access.

What will the Spring 2022 semester look like?

The health, safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. It will depend on the virus, advice from infectious disease experts, and other factors including travel restrictions, social distancing protocols, etc. We will provide details of changes based on the latest information.

In approach to the spring semester we intend to provide in-person instruction. We are also planning for scenarios that would require us to provide hybrid options, if necessary. The planning process for all scenarios we are considering is ongoing and comprehensive, and as always, the safety of our community is our first priority. Updates on spring 2022 plans are continuously shared as soon as possible and posted on the 2021-2022 Academic Year Planning Page

What is the status of university-related travel?

Please see the university coronavirus travel guidance page for the latest information and policies.

Are there changes to the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) plan for Academic Year 2021-2022?

Please refer to UHS’s site regarding changes: Academic Year 2021-2022 Plan Changes page

Will my academic accommodations be impacted by the ongoing climate?

The Dean of Students and Student Accommodations Coordinator are working with students with academic accommodations to ensure that they are able to access their course content and instruction. Visit the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.

Will the spring term schedule be the same as what is listed on the website.

Yes, the spring academic calendar is the same.

Can course loads be reduced and billing be on a per-course basis?

GSD programs are full-time, and it is not possible to reduce course loads.

I received a loan as part of my financial aid package. Can I decline only the loan, or at least part of the loan?

You are free to decline or reduce the loan. Please reach out to [email protected].

For students who are in Boston, will there be any campus activities?

There will be many GSD and Harvard-wide virtual activities this spring.

Given that our campus buildings are currently accessible only to university ID holders and given the requirements for this, the school’s public programs and all other events planned by individual departments, programs, offices, and student groups may often need to happen virtually.

We will communicate information about changes in any policies for events on our GSD campus as they are implemented.

Will GSD offices be open with staff available in person?

A number of staff will be back to campus at the start of the semester to support in-person teaching and learning. All GSD offices will continue to operate full-time Monday through Friday, but some staff will continue to work remotely while others will return to campus or work a hybrid schedule.

Are there new collaborative spaces for students with limited in-person contact?

One virtual way for students to connect and collaborate is through the “GSD Now Trays” feature. A Tray is a collaborative space shared by at least two people (up to as many as you like), where work can be shared, or course readings, notes, or messages can be exchanged by contributors. By default, the Trays are “public,” in that their contents are visible to the rest of the school—this is in the spirit of the trays in Gund Hall, where one can wander and get a sense of the work coming out of various studios just by noticing the models and drawings and imagery that accumulates as the semester progresses. Trays can also be directly “related” to specific courses. Students may like to create a Tray for their collective work for a course, to share with the rest of the school. You can find out more about Trays here.


What changes will be present in the physical classroom?

In the fall, we implemented assigned seating in GSD courses; having information about where and how close students and faculty were sitting in a shared space was important for contact tracing efforts and helped accelerate the work of HUHS.

GSD faculty recorded seat assignments in seating charts, and students were expected to sit in the same seats throughout the semester. Seating charts were updated if your instructors changed the seating arrangement for your course. For spring 2022, should this policy continue, and you need to sit in a specific location or at a specific distance, please make yourself known to Kelly Wisnaskas ([email protected]), as with all accommodations concerns.


Eating and Drinking in GSD Buildings

Until February 7th, the current Omicron surge forces us to revert to our previous policy prohibiting eating in GSD buildings, except in individual offices with the door closed.

Previously, as of October 22, 2021, policies on consumption were revised. Food was allowed to be consumed inside GSD campus buildings according to the criteria below, which Harvard Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) had vetted after further assessment of GSD campus buildings.

  • Consuming food at desks and personal workspaces (including cubicles and other types of shared workspaces) will be permitted, provided that there is at least six feet between you and other persons and that face coverings are promptly donned when approached by anyone. Masks must be worn while one is not actively eating.
  • You must have consent from anyone sitting or located at an adjacent desk or workspace.
  • For those who can’t eat at their desks or personal workspaces on account of space constraints or because their neighbors do not consent, a few common spaces will be made available for eating: Chauhaus, room 1H in 40 Kirkland, room 1E in 42 Kirkland, and outdoor heated spaces. Anyone without an assigned desk or personal workspace can also make use of these spaces. To ensure that these spaces are available to those who need them, there is a 15-minute time limit on their use.
  • Consumption of food remains prohibited in all other shared spaces, including classrooms, the Loeb Library, and lounges.
  • The “quick sip” rule for consuming beverages remains in effect for wherever drinks are otherwise not ordinarily prohibited. If you are taking a sip from a beverage, lower your mask to take a sip and then replace it.

To report incidents of food consumption that don’t meet the criteria above, please send a note to Saf[email protected]. Please only send a brief description of the incident, including day, time, and location, and do not include individuals.’ names, since these reports are only being used for ascertaining the success of this program.

Will Chauhaus be open?

Chauhaus will remain closed for the semester. Yet as of now, campus dining options will be available nearby at the Science Center and a food truck will be parked in the back of Gund many days during the week, selling coffee and snacks.

FAQs: Housing and Moving

Will Harvard Housing be available?

Harvard Housing does have availability for the spring semester, including some fully furnished units available for short-term leases.

Details about how to submit an application, selecting a unit, and lease information are available on their website.

You can also contact [email protected] with questions.

Will the GSD assist students in securing housing?

The GSD does not secure housing for students, but we do provide information. Options for housing would be available through Harvard University Housing. Students can also find independent rentals in nearby local communities and connect with each other through the GSD Housing Facebook Group.

Availabllity of GSAS dorm rooms in the spring will be impacted by public health guidelines.

FAQs: Health Services and Health Care

What is the difference between the Student Health Fee and the Student Health Insurance Plan?

This Student Health Fee fee covers most provider visits at any of the HUHS campus clinics, and includes x-rays and physical therapy. Primary care providers are available at each of our Harvard campus clinics. Note that Your annual physical must be scheduled with your Harvard University Health Services primary care physician team.

The Student Health Insurance Plan is administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and is designed to complement the health care provided through the Student Health Fee at HUHS. It covers hospital, specialty care, labs/radiology and has a prescription drug benefit. This plan provides coverage throughout the United States and abroad.

For a comprehensive comparison, please refer to the HUSHP Program Handbook for AY2022.

What changes have been made for the coming Academic Year?

HUSH has returned to pre-COVID waiver options, with the expectation of a return to on-campus studies for the 2021-2022 academic year.

In the event that there is a sudden unexpected shift in the dynamics related to on-campus studies, HUSHP may adjust these eligibility options. An email communication would be sent out.

For information on further changes, please see the Academic Year 2021-2022 Plan Changes page.

Will we still need to pay for health care coverage for the fall semester?

Massachusetts law requires that any full-time or part-time student enrolled in an institution of higher learning in Massachusetts participate in a qualifying student health insurance program or in a health plan of comparable coverage, even if they are learning remotely. All Harvard students are automatically enrolled in the Harvard University Student Health Program and charges are applied to the student account. The Student Health Insurance Plan provides a critical safety net to ensure that all students, regardless of location, have access to quality and affordable healthcare. The student will need to decide by the deadline whether to keep or waive the Student Health Insurance Plan with comparable coverage.

Please see the rates for AY 2021-22 on the HUSHP rates and plans page.

For the Spring 2022 semester, the deadline to waive student health insurance coverage is January 31, 2022. The late waiver deadline is March 31. For information about the waiver application and fees, please see the University waiver eligibility and application page

When will coverage begin?

Coverage for the spring 2022 term will begin on February 1st.

Will CAMHS services be available?

Yes, Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are available. Please see this Message from CAMHS Chief Barbara Lewis, MD.

Did I still need to provide immunization information by January 3rd?

Students arriving on campus for Spring 2022 are strongly encouraged to upload their required immunization records to the HUHS Patient Portal as soon as possible. Non-submission and/or missing required immunizations will place a hold on your account and you will not be able to fully register for classes.

For details and updates, as well as information about flu vaccinations, please refer to HUHS Immunization Compliance Information.

You can also email questions to [email protected]

Will Face Masks be required?

The GSD is requiring mask use while indoors. The current guidance from the University is that masks will be required for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks outdoors, but all community members are expected to have masks with them at all times, to ensure compliance with the indoor masking requirements across the GSD and University campuses. For more information, please see the Health & Wellbeing page on the University website.

Where can I find wellness resources?

Mental health and wellness resources located on the GSD’s Engage site.

FAQs: Vaccinations and Testing

What circumstances require a flu vaccination?

Last year Massachusetts required flu vaccination by December 31, 2020 for all students enrolled in colleges and universities in the state. Students in Harvard University classrooms, living in Harvard University dorms, or living in Harvard University Housing, regardless of age, were required to be compliant with State and Harvard University immunization requirements.

For the 2021-22 Academic year Harvard University requires all enrolled students to have an annual flu vaccine. The flu vaccine must be received on or after July 1, 2021.

Students will be able to receive a flu shot from HUHS by making an appointment and there will be on-campus clinics as well. Documentation of flu shots received outside of HUHS should be uploaded to the HUHS patient portal. After a deadline, if you have not yet received your flu vaccination, registration holds will be placed on your student account. These holds will remain until all requirements are fulfilled. Review your immunization compliance status in the HUHS Patient Portal. For more info about vaccination compliance, visit and the HUHS website here.

Will the university provide COVID-19 vaccinations?

HUHS will hold COVID vaccine clinics in January at HUHS (75 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge). Vaccine appointments are open to all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and HUHS patients and can be scheduled through the HUHS patient portal with your HarvardKey. More information, including scheduling instructions, clinic dates and times, and FAQs, can be found on the HUHS vaccine webpage.

We strongly advise COVID vaccination for all members of our community as soon as you are eligible. A high vaccination rate in our community is fundamental to our planning for a return to in-person learning and activity.

We encourage all members of the GSD community to make plans to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible, whether you are local to Cambridge or currently residing abroad. Please visit the University’s vaccine webpage for further information. While Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) continues to be prepared to administer vaccine to increasing numbers of our community as the State of Massachusetts makes more vaccine available to us, we advise each member of our community to make plans for vaccinations beyond the HUHS purview.

HUHS continues to closely monitor the Governor’s vaccine plan. Please note that the state relies on the federal government to provide vaccine, and HUHS depends upon the state to provide vaccine to Harvard. We will notify community members when the vaccine is available more broadly.

For those of you living in Massachusetts, pre-register here and check your eligibility at the Commonwealth’s covid-19 vaccine site.

Will a booster be required?

For the spring semester, Harvard will require COVID-19 boosters for all members of our community who are eligible, including students, faculty, and researchers. Details on this are as follows:

  • Schedule Your Booster: Please take time to schedule your booster as soon as possible by visiting or If you have not received your booster by the time you arrive to campus, you can schedule an appointment at one of HUHS’s upcoming booster clinics.
  • Verify Your Booster Status:  Once you have received your booster, please report it to HUHS. You can find detailed instructions for submitting your verification on the Verify Your Booster webpage.

When is the Booster deadline?

Monday, January 31 is the deadline to meet the University’s booster requirement for all community members who are eligible.

After getting vaccinated, what is my next step?

Community members are advised to complete their vaccination as soon as possible and submit verification of vaccination to HUHS. Visit the University’s Verify Your Vaccine webpage to learn how to submit your verification.

Will there be COVID testing available for GSD students?

Yes, you should activate your COVID testing account in COLOR.

Please see the University’s Testing & Tracing page for the latest resources and requirements for COVID-19 testing.

For technical questions about creating your Color account, email [email protected]

For more information on unobserved PCR testing, setting up a Color account, and administering tests:

Test kits will be available locally from the Quincy St. entrance to Gund Hall (no ID card will be required for pick-ups), with the nearest drop bin located in the Science Center lobby (6 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.).  The Science Center is the large structure about 100 yards south of Gund Hall, on a large plaza next to Harvard Yard.  We would recommend that you pick up three test kits during your first visit to Gund Hall so that you do not have to go back several times during that first week.  Do not activate your first test kit, and subsequent ones, until you have it in-hand, and you are ready to drop it off within one hour.

You will continue to pick up your test kits at the GSD as you follow your normal testing cadence as well.

For further information while away from campus, please also see HUSHP (COVID-19) Health Insurance FAQs. If your question is not directly addressed by their responses, there is contact information at the end of the FAQs.

Also, The city of Cambridge began offering free, daily COVID-19 testing with expanded locations at the beginning of November 2020 for residents. Please refer to their website for details.

What testing schedule will be required for GSD students?

For reference, Fall 2021 testing cadences are listed below. All updates on testing and tracing will be issued by Harvard University Health Services.

· All Students upon arrival for the fall semester must take (3) tests initially; test on day of arrival, day 4 or 5 after arrival, and 1 week after arrival

· After three consecutive negative tests, regular testing cadence noted in Crimson Clear will start

For testing cadence information contact, Sean Conlon: [email protected]

If I am in contact with someone who has tested positive, what can I do?

Please direct any questions about exposure to a student or colleague who has tested positive for COVID-19 to the Contact Tracing Team at HUHS, by email or phone at 617-496-2288. When emailing, please be concise but include all relevant details, including the infected person’s identity; how, when, where, and for how long exposure occurred; and who you are, including your contact information (preferably your mobile number). The Contact Tracing Team monitors email and voicemail 7 days a week from 8am – 12 midnight EST, and will respond to all questions as soon as they are able. Please do not contact other individuals or areas of HUHS. Reaching out to the Contact Tracing Team is the most efficient and fastest way of getting answers to your questions and other valuable guidance.

FAQs: Obtaining a Harvard ID

How can I obtain my Harvard ID card?

Dates and times to obtain a Harvard ID, if you are in need of one, will communicated as the semester approaches.

If you started your program prior to Fall 2020 you should already have an ID card. If it has been misplaced, you will need to go to the ID office satellite location on the ground floor of the Smith Center in order to acquire a new one.

To pick up your ID card, you will need to bring a form of government-issued picture ID with you for us to compare against the photo you uploaded to the photo ID application. We will not be able to provide you with your ID card if you forget to bring this form of identification. This includes but is not limited to a passport, a driver’s license, etc. A prior college or university ID card will not be accepted.

For those who are asked by third parties to provide your student ID card for discounts on services or products, but are not able to pick up your ID card, we suggest using the internal directory, Harvard Connections, for proof of your student status. All active affiliates at Harvard have access to Harvard Connections. It stores a photo and current role status that you can access from your phone or computer. Harvard Connections is accessed using HarvardKey.

Note: Students do not have active ID cards while they are on Leave of Absence.

FAQs: Library

What sort of library access will students have?

The Frances Loeb Library reopened to Harvard students, faculty, and staff on August 23 for the fall semester and will open again at the start of the spring term.

Please visit the Library’s main page for the latest updates.

In addition, the Harvard Library system and the Frances Loeb Library at the GSD have an especially robust set of online resources. To further learning, The Loeb Library has expanded digitization of its holdings for use beyond the immediate needs of courses.

What type of access can the library provide to aid distanced study?

You can request items utilizing Scan and Deliver from Frances Loeb Library, Lamont, Widener, Tozzer, Yenching, and the Harvard Depository.

Please see the Access and Borrowing page for details on all of the services to view the physical collections while outside of the building.

Did the school digitize library resources more extensively for the remote semesters (and beyond)?

The GSD has extensive digital collections including archival materials, and is continuing, along with the university at large, to expand these databases. The GSD also has a number of research guides that can assist in exploring online resources, such as the visual collections guide.

Additionally, Loeb Library accepts requests from GSD faculty and students for reference scans of material located in Special Collections for classes or research. These collections include the Materials Collection, Rare Book Collection, and some Archival Collections.

Does Harvard collaborate with any other university libraries for students to have access to their resources?

Please refer to the Loeb Resources & Services page for updates on BorrowDirect and Interlibrary loan (ILL) services.

What type of library access is available to alumni?

Those who have graduated from the GSD will have alumni access to a limited number of the library’s online resources, available from the Alumni Resources webpage.

For information about additional Harvard Library borrowing options for alumni, contact the Harvard Library Privileges Office at [email protected].

FAQs: Career Services

How do I get access to CREATE?

CREATE is the curated GSD Career Portal providing 24/7 access to internships, jobs, career workshops, events, fellowships, and all things dedicated to your career. Incoming student accounts are active as of 8/16/2021. For directions and other pertinent information on CREATE, please visit our website.

How do I get access to the Alumni Network?

Students can access our curated GSD Group on LinkedIn, as well as the Harvard Directory. Your HarvardKey, the university’s unified online user credential, uniquely identifies you to Harvard IT applications and services to grant you access to university resources. As a result, it will give you access to the Harvard Alumni Association database as well. Other alumni connections can be found on the GSD Alumni Relations website.

Can students get career advice from afar?

The Career Services office uses a number of formats for career advising. GSD students can meet virtually with a career counselor to review career options, plan a search strategy, prepare materials such as resumes and cover letters, get feedback on LinkedIn profiles, portfolios and practice interviewing skills and career pitches. Incoming students will be able to schedule an appointment through CREATE.

Casual Conversations with GSD Alumni are scheduled to provide informal advice on ways to develop your career, and Career Workshops cover such topics as networking, developing your portfolio, job search strategies, effective interviewing, and salary negotiation skills. Career Fairs are held to promote summer opportunities and to recruit graduating students for full-time opportunities. Get a head start on your career and visit the Career Document Library within the CREATE portal to check out the recordings of our 2020-21 events

When will the Career Services office open?

The Career Services staff was back in person at the beginning of Fall 2021. However, services, including advising and events remained virtual throughout the fall semester. Please check back for spring 2022 updates.

How can I find out about TA/RA positions that are available?

Some ​TA and RA positions are shared on Student-Announce or in CREATE. Many faculty prefer to invite students they have worked with in class to become a TA or RA. First-year students may need to wait until they have made connections with faculty – second semester.

Where can I view positions?

Jobs are shared by Career Services on the Student Announce listserv. Once a job is advertised, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

You can also check with the Student Employment Office to learn about additional job opportunities across Harvard University.

Regarding employment, do you recommend maintaining part-time jobs? Or instead, do you recommend a full-time commitment?

This is a question that individuals need to answer for themselves. Students often work during the academic year, so it is definitely possible to balance work and school, depending on how many hours you would need to commit. (As a guide, students working at the GSD have a ceiling of 8 hours/week to ensure that their work does not interfere with their courses.) Be sure to have a conversation with your employer beforehand to set expectations.

FAQs: Technology

Can the GSD provide software licenses and workshops for programs to ensure that all students have the necessary software programs to continue as needed online (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud, Rhino+Vray, etc.)?

Yes. We provide licenses, including Adobe Creative Cloud full-suite licenses, to all students free of charge.

Will GSD provide extra technical support given that some coursework for spring may be done digitally (i.e. enhanced VPN, help from IT when setting up programs, problems with computers, etc.)?

This semester the Computer Resources Help Desk will again be favoring remote support over face-to-face communications. So, if you are seeking Technical Support please reach out to us in one of the following ways.

Email. When you email [email protected] your message is fed directly into ServiceNow; the technical support database we share with Harvard University IT. ServiceNow will generate an auto-reply back to you with a reference number for your ticket. If your issue cannot be solved remotely we will arrange to meet with you in person.

Live Chat. When you initiate a Live Chat during business hours, someone from the Help Desk will reply (Edwin, Johann, Mark, or myself). Soon this service will be extended into the evening and on weekends when we hire student workers. We hope Live Chat will provide an easy way to get quick answers to quick questions.

Phone. You can call us by dialing 617-496-3810. We are using a softphone, so when you make a call it may be answered by someone working remotely.

You can find Contact Information, including the Live Chat option here

What platforms and tools are expected to be set up on what recommended/required computer systems in order to run necessary software?

Each student is expected to have a suitably powerful laptop capable of running Windows. Please see the GSD Web / Resource Center for answers; see also Computer Recommendations / Resource Center.

Is software access active beyond graduation for alumni?

Software privileges cannot be extended when they are packages that are tied to student status.

FAQs: Fabrication

What access will students have to fabrication resources during the spring semester?

As long as teaching and learning continue to be conducted in-person, the GSD fabrication facilities will make every effort to be open to in-person use, in-line with the start of the term. However, last fall the Lab expected to operate with 50% of the normal student Technical Assistant (TA) team, given that the number of returning TAs was greatly diminished by remote teaching and learning. As a result, students may find that more equipment is out of service long, response time to requests is longer, and other time- and capacity-based constraints are more restricted.

The Lab has implemented a new online job submittal system to help manage demand of some equipment areas of the Lab. Students are advised to install and become familiar with Microsoft Teams in preparation for use of this system.

Access to fabrication facilities on the GSD campus is described in more detail on the Fabrication Lab website.

Completion of online training is required of students before accessing Lab resources. Training courses became available on August 23rd and can be completed anytime thereafter, but it is recommended that students completed training before the start of the semester to avoid disruption to access.

For the Academic Year, the GSD’s Fabrication Lab developed a forum on making. Students can use the platform to ask questions and offer comments about a range of topics related to modeling and making. This Fabrication Lab also hosts a model database where you can view models made by GSD students in the past, read a brief description of the model, how it was made, and what materials it was made with. Users can search the site using the tags library. The resource is meant to open up a conversation and create an archive about different model-making techniques and practices. All are encouraged to submit new work to build upon the diversity of materials and techniques represented.

For students with a non-design background, how can you ensure we will have the training in fabrication we need for Core, etc. when we come back in the spring?

Core faculty across the school are well aware of the need for relevant workshops when in-person instruction resumes and are working with the Fabrication Lab and Digital Media Workshops to provide support.

FAQs Leave of Absence

If I find the spring semester too challenging, will I be able to take a Leave of Absence?

A student must have been enrolled for at least one semester prior to taking a leave, so you cannot take a leave of absence prior to having completed at least one full semester. But if you are finding it challenging, please reach out to your program director, academic advisor, or the dean of students for individual guidance.

When is the Leave of Absence deadline?

Please see the Leave of Absence page for the latest policies and details.

How does the process for Leave of Absence work?

The departments will confirm your leave and send the signed petition back to you within one week after the petition deadline. You will then need to forward the completed petition to the registrar, Sean Conlon, [email protected]. If you are an international student, you will also need to provide Sean with the HIO leave form.

Everyone should be aware, however, that the number of leaves will result in a bubble – a larger than typical number of enrolled students. To accommodate that bubble, in upcoming years we will likely have to extend studio space beyond Gund and 485 Broadway to the Sumner and Kirkland houses as well. Please bear this in mind as you envision your returns.

Note, you will not be considered a student when taking a leave of absence, and therefore may lose access to certain benefits available to enrolled students, such as eligibility to fulfill student employment at the GSD and elsewhere at Harvard.

Can I rescind an approved Leave of Absence?

The window to rescind your approved leave is two weeks from the deadline. If you wish to do so, please contact Sean Conlon.

How does a Leave of Absence impact my eligibility for an on-campus job?

Students currently on leave in the fall, who plan to return in the spring, will be eligible to begin on-campus work on the first day ofclasses.

For students who are taking a Leave of Absence, the date of separation with the GSD is the last day of thesis reviews.

Please refer to the LoA page for the latest guidance.

FAQs: Other Harvard and MIT-Related Questions

Will students still have an opportunity to take courses at other schools across Harvard?

There are no plans to limit the existing ability for cross-registration among Harvard schools, MIT, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Will MIT be online for the Spring 2022 semester? How will cross-registration with MIT work?

Please refer to the MIT Website to see plans for the spring. The process of cross-registering into MIT courses, as well as other Harvard courses, will remain the same as it has always been in my.harvard. Students will add courses to their Crimson Carts during the registration period and will submit petitions to add those courses based on each school’s open enrollment date.

MIT will require proof of vaccination in order to enroll in their courses. You will be provided with more information concerning this at the time that you submit your petition to the MIT instructor to enroll in their course.

Will GSD students still have the option to audit courses?

Yes. Students have always had the option of auditing up to 20 units of coursework. However, some schools or courses do not allow auditors, and so the option remains dependent on instructor preferences. Students do not register as auditors at the GSD and some other schools. Students should contact the instructor to obtain their permission and they will be granted guest access to the course Canvas site.

Can first-year students audit courses while on Leave of Absence?

The school cannot accommodate doubling the teaching of core courses, both in terms of available faculty and in terms of available space. Restricting audits when a student is on LoA is a Harvard-wide policy, but all lectures and events are accessible.

Cross-Registration Information


For other Harvard courses, you will add them to your Crimson Cart as you will do for GSD courses. Please note that each school has their own start and end dates for when you can submit petitions to enroll in their courses. Dates for each school will be posted below, when confirmed:

GSD = 1/22 – 2/4 

FAS = 1/12 – 2/4

Business School = 1/19 – 1/25

Chan School = 1/6 – 2/3 

Divinity School = 1/12 – 2/4 

Education School = 1/13 – 2/11

Kennedy School = 1/21 – 2/1

Law School = 1/19 – 1/28

In addition, many schools have other back-end processes that must take place before the other registrar’s office will officially enroll you in one of their courses. For example, the Business School will wait to see how many of their students enroll in a given course so that they can see how many spaces are available for non-HBS students. The Kennedy School runs a bidding process for their students, again, to see how many open seats there are for a course before they take the final step of enrolling you in it. On the other hand, here at the GSD and at the College, if it’s a lecture course you are submitting an enrollment for, you will be immediately added to it, as we have no back-end processes for these courses, nor do we require the instructor to approve your petitions. Note that there are no add/drop fees associated with non-GSD courses (unless you miss the host school’s deadline, in which case they may impose their own fee).


Please note that some Harvard schools may use slightly altered class meeting schedule during the first day of classes. Please check back for updates.


In regard to courses at MIT, you can add them to your Crimson Cart just as you would any other course in the catalog. To search for them, click on the Non-Harvard link in the Browse Courses area. MIT courses will begin on January 31. Please note that you will be required to follow the same COVID protocols that MIT students are being asked to follow. Upon being approved for a course by an instructor, your information will be uploaded to COVID Pass (MIT’s in-house COVID monitoring system). MIT is requiring that all students provide proof of COVID vaccination. You will need to acquire an MIT ID card and sign-up for an MIT computing account (Kerberos) as you will need the ID card to swipe into buildings and you will utilize your Kerberos account in order to upload proof of vaccination. More information regarding these processes will be sent to you when you are approved by an MIT instructor to enroll in their course.

For more information on the process at MIT, please consult their site:

International Students & International travel

Students with visa questions should contact the Harvard International Office, or visit their newly updated FAQ section, which provides answers to many questions about visas, COVID-19, and online learning for international students. Please continue to regularly check the HIO site for the most up-to-date information.

How does the vaccine requirement apply to arriving from outside the US?

International students and scholars are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, if it is available in your country. All vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet the University’s vaccine requirement. Harvard advises seeking whatever vaccine is available to you locally, so that you can be protected as soon as possible. The list of vaccines authorized by WHO is updated regularly.

If the vaccine you received is not authorized by WHO by the time you arrive, HUHS will offer you an FDA-authorized vaccine. If you are unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before the fall, the University will offer vaccination with an mRNA vaccine on arrival to all Harvard affiliates with a Harvard ID. Visit the University’s Vaccine Information webpage to learn more about planning your vaccine. We recommend pre-booking your appointment before your arrival so you have a clear plan in place. Guidelines and recommendations are continually updated based on research and this recommendation may change as we get closer to the start of the fall semester. It is important to stay updated by reading all communication coming from Harvard about the vaccine requirement, available at the HUHS page.

Please note: for the spring semester, Harvard will require COVID-19 boosters for all members of our community who are eligible, including students, faculty, and researchers.

International faculty and scholars should also check the university’s comprehensive campus access for international students and scholars page for information and guidance regarding Covid testing for entry into the US and related information about returning to campus.

What are the requirements for international travel?

Required Documents to Travel
In order to travel to another country and reenter the United States (U.S.), you must present the required documents per your visa type. You must also present the required COVID-19 documentation to enter the U.S.

Please go to the HIO travel page for the list of required documents to travel and reenter the U.S.

How do I Obtain a Travel Signature on my F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019?
In addition to the required documents listed in the link above, students, student interns, and scholars on F and J visas need to have a valid travel signature on their F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019. The travel signature on your F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019 cannot be more than 12 months old at the time of your reentry to the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for a 12-month period from the date they were last signed, or until your program end date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019, whichever is earlier.

If you have already received a travel signature from the Harvard International Office (HIO) this fall, it is not necessary to obtain an additional signature. Electronic travel signatures on F-1 Forms I-20 are accepted. The J-1 Form DS-2019 cannot be signed electronically. If your J-1 is sponsored by Fulbright (IIE), you must obtain a travel signature directly from Fulbright. If Fulbright issued your DS-2019 and you plan to travel over the winter holidays, you should contact IIE now to obtain the required travel signature.

You must bring your printed Form I-20/Form DS-2019 and passport to obtain the travel signature. Students who are accompanied by F-2 or J-2 dependents should bring their dependents’ Forms I-20/Form DS-2019 and passports.

H-1B, O-1, TN, and E-3 status holders do not need a travel signature from the HIO. Please refer to the HIO website to confirm the documents required to travel as an H-1B, O-1, TN or E-3 visa holder.