Registration is held each fall and lasts through the first day of classes. At that time, new students receive information about the process for adding and dropping courses, the GSD Student Handbook, and brochures on health insurance and University Health Services. They also receive their program description and should refer to it to determine the requirements for completion of a particular program of study. Presentations of studio options projects and selected courses are also held during this period. In addition, information on resources at the GSD and throughout Harvard is distributed. A student who registers after the official registration date listed in the Academic Calendar will be assessed a late fee of $15, plus another $30 for each additional week the registration is late, up to a maximum fine of $150.
At the beginning of each term, students must enroll in their courses. A student who enrolls after the due date will be assessed a late fee. See information in Add/Drop fees in the following section. As enrollment in courses is an official part of registration, failure to enroll by the designated deadline in a given term may result in cancellation of registration for that term. A student must receive the program director’s approval on an add/drop petition if total credits exceed 20. Students enrolling in more than 24 credits will be charged additional tuition. MDes students enrolling in more than 20 credits will be charged additional tuition.
Petition to Add/Drop Courses
To make changes in enrollment by dropping a course after enrolling, a student simply drops the course online. With the exception of limited enrollment courses, courses may be added online until the add/drop deadline for full term courses. After that date they can only be added via the Petition to Add/Drop Courses. Likewise, all limited enrollment courses must be added with a Petition to Add a Limited-Enrollment Course, which can be found in my.Harvard. The instructor must sign the petition to add a course. This procedure applies to courses taken at the GSD, in other faculties at Harvard, and at other schools by cross-registration. A $15 fee is charged for each petition filed, regardless of the number of changes on the petition, beginning one week after online enrollment is due. A $30 fee is charged for each course petition filed after the add/drop deadline specified in the Academic Calendar for that semester ($15 fee plus $15 late fee).
A grade of WD (withdrawal) will be automatically entered on the student’s transcript for courses dropped after the add/drop deadline. The last day to withdraw from a course is the last day of classes for that module or semester. Students are responsible for all course work after that date. Petitions to drop a studio are seldom approved and must be discussed with and approved by the program director and the Dean of Students.
Studio Option Lottery
Enrollment in a studio option is determined by means of a lottery. This universal lottery allows eligible students to indicate their preferences for studio options offered by their department only, or from those offered by all three departments. Students in the MArch I, MLA I, and MUP programs may take a maximum of 16 credit units, and students in the post-professional programs may take a maximum of 24 credit units of studio options with the exception of MArch II, at 32. (See degree requirements online for each program for limits on studio options that can be taken outside the department.) By participating in the lottery, a student makes a commitment to enroll and remain in the assigned studio. Those students who split will not have the use of a desk during the semester in which they do not enroll in studio or thesis.
Harvard Summer School
A student may obtain credit toward the fulfillment of a degree at the GSD for a maximum of two courses (8 units) completed in the Harvard Summer School. In order to be considered, the course(s) must be enrolled in after matriculation at the GSD. The student must receive a passing grade in each course taken in order to receive this credit. Courses taken through the summer school meet degree requirements but not residency requirements. If you are interested in taking Summer School courses please reach out to your Program Coordinator to ensure the courses will fit into your degree.
GSD students who wish to audit a course should make arrangements directly with the instructor. Please note that audited courses are not recorded on transcripts and do not count towards your graduation totals. GSD students wishing to audit courses outside of the GSD should speak to the Registrar’s office the host school about policy and procedures for auditing.