Payment of charges for any given term must be made before students are permitted to register for that term. Term bills for the Fall semester will be sent via e-mail in mid-July and payment will be due on August 10. Term bills for the Spring semester will be sent via e-mail in mid-December and payment will be due on January 1. Payments should be made online or directly to Student Receivables, Smith Campus Center, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Students must pay full tuition for at least the minimum number of terms of residency required by the degree program. Restrictions are placed on the awarding of degrees and diplomas, participation in commencement, and on the release of transcripts until all indebtedness to the university is satisfied.

Upon request, the university will permit students to pay their bills for the academic year in eight monthly installments. There is a service charge of $35 per term for this payment option.

Students using the monthly payment option must pay any back balance plus one-quarter of their charges for a given term before they will be permitted to register for that term. GSD students who are negligent in making their monthly payments during one semester will not be permitted to use the option in subsequent semesters.

Activity Fee

The Activity Fee supports GSD Student Forum and student organization activities.


Personal needs and tastes vary so only very general estimates of living costs (all in U.S. dollars) can be given. The following expenses term bill charges and estimated living expenses are offered by the GSD for planning purposes. The term bill charges are fixed for an academic year, and the estimated living expenses are considered as an average minimum cost for a single student; adjustments should be made for families and other special requirements. The student activity fee supports GSD Student Forum and student organization activities.

Costs are computed for the academic year only, approximately 36 weeks which includes interim vacation periods. No allowance is included for long-distance travel to or from the students home or for any summer and vacation expenses.

Budgets for 2017-2018 Academic Year

Master’s Programs Budget
Master in Design Engineering Budget
Doctor of Design Budget

Tuition for Less-Than-Full-Time Enrollment

Students who have received written authorization from the program director and the Office of Student Services to enroll on a part-time basis will pay tuition according to the following schedule:

Studio, or thesis, and 2 nonstudio courses (16 units): full tuition
Doctoral thesis (16 units): full tuition
Studio and 1 nonstudio course (12 units): three-fourths tuition
Masters thesis (12 units): three-fourths tuition
Studio or 2 nonstudio courses (8 units): one-half tuition
1 nonstudio course (4 units), or fee for doctoral/master’s thesis extension: one-fourth tuition

Leave of Absence/Withdrawals Tuition Charges

Any student who is granted a leave or withdraws from the university after registration will be held responsible for tuition charges according to the following schedule:

Fall 2017 Term

  • Leaves on or before September 13: no tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before October 5: one-fourth tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before November 3: one-half tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before December 1: three-fourths tuition charge
  • After December 1: full tuition charge

Spring 2018 Term

  • Leaves on or before February 5: no tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before February 23: one-fourth tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before March 26: one-half tuition charge
  • Leaves on or before April 23: three-fourths tuition charge
  • After April 23: full tuition charge

Eligibility for all Financial Aid Awards

Students must be registered at least half-time in a degree program. To be eligible for federal aid and GSD grant, students must follow the requirements for satisfactory academic progress (see Grades site). In addition to those policies, students must adhere to the policies listed in the GSD Financial Aid Handbook. The Financial Aid Handbook is distributed to aid recipients and can be found in the internal financial aid system. Students must apply each year for financial aid; continuing student applications and instructions are distributed during the spring semester.

Additional information, including detailed explanations of aid sources, is available on the GSD Financial Aid website.

Graduation and Commencement Participation

The Office of Student Services maintains the following policy in regard to participation in commencement ceremonies. Students who have not fulfilled their degree requirements, or have an outstanding financial obligation to the university, will not be allowed to walk in commencement exercises.

For students who have fulfilled their degree requirements but have outstanding obligations to the university, the following policies apply:

Students whose outstanding term bills are less than $500, or who have outstanding library books or fines, telephone bills will have their diplomas withheld by the GSD. Their names will be listed in the Harvard commencement program, and they will be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, but they will receive an empty envelope. The GSD will release diplomas to these students upon notification from the Student Billing Office that their term bills are cleared or upon notification from other offices. NOTE: Students with outstanding term bills greater than $500 will have their degrees withheld by the university, and they will not eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies.