The academic load at the GSD is intense, but language barriers, stress, and other academic concerns can be reduced with the appropriate support.

Academic Services

Academic Writing Services

This free service is available to all GSD students through Frances Loeb Library. Sessions are an hour in length, and students can sign up for one session per week. Writing tutors are GSD students that have been selected for their strong writing skills and desire to collaborate with their peers to improve their writing. Canvas (the web-based course management software at Harvard) is used to manage appointment sign-ups and writing submissions, as well as housing a wealth of information to aid students in the writing process. All currently enrolled GSD students have access to this page at for this service. Look for a course titled “Academic Writing Services.” Contact Sarah Dickinson for more information.

Graduate Student Learning Support

Sometimes students come to the GSD who have previously been able to compensate for an undiagnosed learning disability. During studies here, problems may surface that ultimately lead to diagnosis of a learning disability, as well as subsequent treatment and counseling. The GSLS can provide neuropsychological assessment and strategic assistance with learning difficulties and, when appropriate, referral for neurological testing. Learning specialists can also work with students experiencing problems in executive functioning, time management and other academic issues. All students must first be referred by the Dean of Students. To request a consultation, contact Laura Snowdon.


Program Directors

Each program has a director who oversees administrative aspects of the program. Program directors are students’ main point of contact for issues such as taking a leave of absence or pursuing a concurrent degree. The program director’s signature is often required on petitions for these circumstances and for other official business. They’re available to discuss any academic concerns and to resolve academic conflicts.

MArch I, I AP: Jon Lott
MArch II: Jennifer Bonner
MLA: Gareth Doherty
MUP: Ann Forsyth
MAUD: Felipe Correa
MLAUD: Felipe Correa and Chris Reed
MDes: John May and Kiel Moe
MDE: Martin Bechthold and Woodward Yang
DDes: Martin Bechthold
PhD: Erika Naginski

Academic Advisors

Academic advisors are faculty members assigned to students to assist them in meeting the requirements of their degree programs. Advisor assignments for new students are posted outside the students’ respective program offices during the orientation week. If you don’t know or wish to change who your advisor is, speak with your program coordinator.

Program Coordinators

The role of the program coordinators is to provide students with assistance in navigating their degree program requirements and to orchestrate day-to-day program administration. They are the primary point of contact between students and the department.

Architecture: Ryan Jacob
Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, and Urban Design: Sarah Hutchinson
Master in Design Studies and Doctoral Programs: Liz Thorstenson
Master in Design Engineering: Janessa Mulepati

Personal Advising

Laura Snowdon and John Aslanian are available to discuss any concerns or difficulties a student has while at the GSD. Both have a wealth of knowledge about the school and the area, and are here to help guide you toward healthy choices and positive outcomes. Stop by Gund 422 or send them an email to set up an appointment.