Overview

A permanent file is created for each student upon matriculation to the GSD. This file usually contains the student’s application, registration forms, study cards, transcript, and copies of all correspondence to the student. Access to this file is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment (see below). When a student graduates, his or her file is transferred to the Harvard University Archives for permanent storage. All contents of the file are the property of the GSD and will not be returned or forwarded to another party.

Education Records

The Graduate School of Design (GSD) routinely maintains records for its students that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include records such as permanent and local addresses, admissions records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements and progress toward the degree, records of disciplinary actions, letters of recommendation, and other correspondence with or concerning the student.

Access

To be useful, students’ records must be accurate and complete. The officials who maintain them are those in charge of the functions reflected in the records and the offices where the records are kept. These ordinarily include the Registrar of the GSD, as well as academic program offices. All students have access to their own education records and may contribute to them if they feel there is need for clarification. Students wishing access to their education records should contact the GSD Registrar. Ordinarily, students are asked to submit a written request that identifies the specific record or records he/she wishes to inspect. Access will be given within 45 days from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to him or her. Students also are not permitted to view letters and statements of recommendation to which they waived their right of access, or that were placed in their file before January 1, 1975. Students should direct any questions they have about the accuracy of records to the person in charge of the office where the records are kept. If questions still remain, the matter may be referred to the Dean of Students. Should it be necessary, a hearing may be held to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of records in those cases where informal discussions have not satisfactorily settled the questions raised.

Transcripts

Student transcripts are maintained permanently in the GSD Office of Student Services. An official copy of a GSD transcript will be released on written request by the student; it will normally be prepared within three working days of the request. Official transcripts will not be provided for graduates who have not resolved all term bill debts. Transcripts may be obtained in person (with the ‘Issued to Student’ notation) or mailed to a designated address. The Office of Student Services may issue copies of GSD transcripts only; requests for copies of transcripts from another institution must be made to that institution.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Student consumer information is available to all students and can be found in the GSD Financial Aid Handbook or on the Financial Aid website at https://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/gsd-resources/financial-aid/financial-aid-handbook.html.