Students may study for a PhD degree in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning. An additional track in Architectural Technology is also available. This degree is administered jointly by the Graduate School of Design and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Therefore, students benefit from a dual affiliation with both schools.

The program is mainly geared towards individuals who wish to enter academic teaching and research careers. Students are afforded a high degree of flexibility in their studies, however areas of work are broadly organized into the following areas: the Theory and History of Architecture, Architectural Technology, the Theory and History of Landscape Architecture, and the Evolution of Cities and Regions. 

  • Theory and History of Architecture: 

Students interested in this area typically study buildings, architectural texts, technologies, and their political, social, and cultural contexts through the early modern, modern, and contemporary eras. 

  • Architectural Technology: 

Doctoral research in architectural technology at the GSD aims to advance current  knowledge in green building, for example, and will typically involve issues related to engineering, computation, and digital simulations. 

  • Theory and History of Landscape Architecture

Students whose research focuses on the theory and history of landscape architecture typically investigate the  ways in which the  natural environment has been thought of, represented, and transformed, from the early modern to the contemporary period. 

  • Evolution of Cities and Regions:

Students may be interested in the subject of cities  from a formal standpoint and/or develop an additional emphasis on various social, economic, technological, infrastructural, and ecological dimensions of urban life.

For biographies of current students and more information about their research interests, click here.

After graduation, PhD program alumni typically teach in design schools, or in history or history of art and architecture departments, landscape architecture and environmental studies departments, and urban studies and/or urban planning departments. Some alumni also work in the science, technology, and society domain on governmental and policy issues of particular relevance to their research.


Program Director and Administrator

Antoine Picon, G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology at the GSD is the current director of the program.

Margaret Moore de Chicojay is the PhD program administrator and key point of contact for incoming and current students. Contact: mmoore@gsd.harvard.edu