GRE and TOEFL scores: GRE scores can be self-reported on the application. These scores will suffice until we receive the official scores from ETS. Please be sure to have scores sent to the GSD’s institution code, 3455. In the case that you sent your score to code 3451, please resend immediately as we cannot access scores sent to other institution codes. As long as you sent your score to code 3455 before January, we have likely received it and are currently working to match it to your account. 

Please note that we do not accept the IELTS in place of the TOEFL.

A final decision cannot be made without GRE and TOEFL scores. It takes 10 – 15 days for the GSD to receive scores after you take the exam. If we receive scores by mid-January, we will make every effort to make the scores available for review. We cannot, however, guarantee that any materials received after the deadline will be reviewed.

Portfolio: The 30-page limit refers to individual pages in your PDF file, not spreads. If you wish for certain pieces of content to be viewed at the same time, we suggest putting that content on the same page, which would count as one page. We recommend converting spreads into single pages because it is unlikely that the committee will view the portfolio as spreads. A title or cover page does not count towards the page limit.

Note: We do not accept hard copy application materials. 

Education Section: This part of the application is reserved for institutions where you received or will receive degrees. If you did a study abroad program, took classes at a community college, or transferred from another institution, you can highlight these experiences in your resume if appropriate and upload supporting documentation in the “Additional Documents” section.


Recommendations: If your recommender has not received the system-generated email from us, it may have gone into their spam folder. The email will come from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, admissions@gsd.harvard.edu. We suggest that you ask your recommender to add the email address to their safe senders list and then resend the email.

Email reminders may be sent from the Recommendation section of the application if you have not yet submitted your application. If your application has been submitted, you can send the reminder from your application status page. If a recommender continues to have problems receiving the recommendation email, please send us the name of the recommender and we will send the email from one of our email addresses.

Letters of recommendation should be submitted by the deadline. If that is not possible, please make sure that all recommendations are submitted as close to the deadline as possible. You should submit your application by the deadline regardless of whether all recommendations have been submitted.

If you are reapplying, recommendations can be imported from previous applications. To import a submitted recommendation, go to the Recommendations section and choose the appropriate person from the dropdown menu. We encourage applicants who are reapplying to have at least one new letter of recommendation.

Payment of Application Fee
The application fee must be paid in order for your application to be reviewed. Under the ‘Review' section of the application, click ‘Finalize Application and Pay,' then follow instructions for payment. Payment must be paid by credit card only. When entering your card information, please be sure that your address matches the billing address on your credit card account. If your payment gets rejected more than once, please use a different credit card.

Financial Aid Information
Please make sure that financial_aid@gsd.harvard.edu is on your safe sender list so that the financial aid email that will be sent in January does not go into your spam folder.  This email will include instructions on how to complete the GSD Financial Aid Application. Be sure to open and read the message carefully so that you don't miss any deadlines!  If you apply on time, financial information will be available at the same time as your admission decision. Please note that admissions committees do not consider financial status when making admission decisions.

Decisions: Admission decisions will be communicated by email only in early March. We do not give out decisions over the phone.  You will receive an email with “Harvard GSD Decision Update” in the subject line.