Student Organizations at the GSD

Student organizations are an essential part of life at the GSD, supporting both academic inquiry and social community. Participating in student organizations is a way for GSD students to connect with like-minded peers and help shape the public life of the school. Student organizations are supported financially through the Student Activities Fee and are subject to oversight by both the GSD Student Forum and the office of Student Life.

Please review the Student Organizations Handbook on Engage to learn more about student organizations at the GSD. If you have difficulty accessing the PDF document or need it in a different format for accessibility, please contact [email protected].

Connecting with Student Organizations

Information about GSD student organizations is available on Engage, the student activities hub. The Engage list of active Student Organizations has the most up-to-date information, including leadership, contact information, and upcoming events. Note that some information and events will only be visible to logged in Harvard community members.

Starting or Renewing a Student Organization

Before starting a new organization, please review the list of student organizations at the GSD, as there may already be an established organization with the same or similar focus.

Potential new organizations may request recognition at any time but should be aware that mid-year registrations may take longer to process, and that some resources, including funding opportunities, may not be available to later-registering organizations.

To start or renew an organization, you will need to fill out an application. Student Organizations apply to register or renew through our student activities platform, Engage. Organizations can prepare for their applications by thinking through several questions:

  • Organization Leadership: Each organization will need to designate two primary officers: Treasurer and Events Liaison (which can be held by the primary or secondary contacts if desired).
  • Organization Mission Statement: Existing organizations can choose to keep their current statement but are encouraged to update to reflect any change in focus, goals, and plans for the new year.
  • What activities is your organization planning? Student organization activities can range from small regular meetings up to major conferences produced in partnership with GSD administration. Most organization events are small gatherings, lectures, and discussions, with a few symposia, conferences, and other ambitious plans often becoming collaborations between multiple organizations. Please note that all events, even online ones, will still need to go through the events planning and approval process.
  • Does your organization have any funding needs to maintain its operations or carry out its proposed activities? Organizations will have the option to make funding requests. Keep in mind that typically the amounts requested generally far exceed the funds available. See below for guidelines on what kinds of expenses can be funded.

Please address questions about student organizations or the registration process to [email protected].