For students entering Fall 2020

First Year

2 units          GSD 6121        Environmental Systems 1 (module 1)
2 units          GSD 6122        Environmental Systems 2 (module 2)
2 units          GSD 6125        Building Simulation (module 1)
2 units          GSD 6126        Materials (module 2)
24 units        Electives or Distributional Electives*

Second Year

Coursework Track:
16 units        Electives or Distributional Electives*


Thesis Track:
16 units        Electives or Distributional Electives*
8 units          GSD 9304        Independent Thesis for the Degree Master in Design Studies

*Students are required to take a minimum of 8 units from an approved list of distributional electives.

Distributional Electives

DES-3348 The Idea of Environment
HIS-4395 Environmentalisms
SES-5206 Land Use and Environmental Law
SES-5370  Environment, Economics, Enterprise
SES-5395 Planning for Climate Change
SCI-6241 Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III: Ecology and the Design World
SCI-6244 Climate by Design
SCI-6318 Urban and Town Ecology
SCI-6361  Building Human Interaction** (not offered 2020/21)
SCI-6362 Climate Crisis: Beyond Adaptation & Resiliency
SCI-6364 Thermal Monocoques: An Energy Systems Laboratory* (not offered 2020/21)
SCI-6372 Advanced Topics on Embodied Carbon in Buildings
SCI-6374 Advanced Applications in Sustainable Architecture**
SCI-6466  Optimizing Facade Performance**
SCI-6477  Nano, Macro, Micro**
SCI-6482 Confronting Climate Change: A Foundation in Science, Technology, and Policy

**These courses are especially recommended for students interested in Energy and Environmental issues in buildings.

Recommended Research Methodology Courses
Non-exhaustive list of courses that teach skills of potential relevance to thesis projects

SES-5370 Environment, Economics, Enterprise
SCI-6122 Environmental Systems 2 (module)
SCI-6125 Building Simulation (module)
SCI-6126 Materials (module)
SCI-6338 Introduction to Computational Design
SCI-6361 Building Human Interaction (not offered 2020/21)
SCI-6466 Optimizing Facade Performance
SCI-6472  Visualization
MIT 4.430 Daylighting and Solar Gain Control – High Performance Facades
MIT 4.432/4.433 Modeling Urban Energy Flows for Resilient Cities and Neighborhoods
MIT 4.481 Building Technology Seminar
MIT 4.453/4.s48 Creative Machine Learning for Design

Additional Suggested Electives

SES-5375 Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems
ES-231 or 229 Energy Technology or Survey of Energy Technology (at SEAS)
HLS 2921 Climate Solutions Living Lab at the Harvard Law School (Students – keep an eye open for course application process.)
MIT 4.411J D-Lab Schools
MIT 4.421 Space-Conditioning Systems for Low-Carbon Buildings

Please also see the list of related Harvard University courses here:

Please note that this list is subject to change as course offerings for future semesters have not been confirmed. Please note that courses may have enrollment restrictions, i.e. EE students are NOT guaranteed a spot in these courses.

(Required courses for students who entered in Fall 2017.)

(Required courses for students who entered in Fall 2018.)

(Required courses for students who entered in Fall 2019.)

Students contemplating cross-registering for courses at another Harvard school must abide by the dates and policies of the school in which the course is offered. Priority for enrollment may be given to the other school’s students first before cross-registrations are accepted — enrollment is not guaranteed. See