GSD campus buildings reopened to Harvard University ID holders beginning August 16, 2021. The health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus, is our top priority. We are committed to maintaining an excellent quality of education through this unprecedented situation.

The goal is to return to “normal” instruction for the fall 2021 semester. We are planning for a primarily in-person semester, while factoring in public health and space restrictions, as well as federal and state government and University guidance. The school is developing contingency plans should fully in-person instruction become inadvisable. Please see the 2021-2022 Academic Year Planning Page for the latest school and University-wide updates in preparation for the start of the year.

All GSD faculty, researchers, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) continues to be available to administer the vaccine to members of the Harvard community. Please visit the University’s vaccine webpage for more information.

COVID testing will remain a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to track and limit the coronavirus within our community. All University affiliates who are authorized to be on campus are required to be tested at their assigned cadence. Please refer to the University’s testing & tracing page for information on the latest cadences for the Harvard community members who will be on campus.

If you are coming to Harvard from an international location, you must receive a negative COVID-19 test three or fewer days prior to your arrival in the US. Please consult your airline’s specific policies regarding this.

In order to monitor progress toward full vaccination within our community, please send a clear copy of your completed vaccination card to HUHS at HUHS keeps this information secure and confidential. People vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit this information, since it is already recorded.

As President Bacow announced on May 5, to reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all students who will be on campus this fall; exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons only. Students should plan to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall semester, meaning that at least two weeks have passed since the final dose of an FDA-authorized or approved vaccine (currently Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) or vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford). You can read more about the requirement and how to submit documentation on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website.

For international students and any others unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before the fall, the University plans to offer vaccination on arrival. Please note, however, that these students may be subject to additional requirements, such as more frequent testing, until they are considered fully protected by a vaccine.

Given that we do not currently have social distancing requirements and after further consideration, large lectures have been permitted to be held in person at the discretion of the instructor starting on September 16th. Therefore, some large lectures will meet in person while some will be taught largely remotely. Importantly, all courses will incorporate some degree of required in-person learning. Faculty teaching courses that do not meet fully in person after September 15th will need to include the details of their course format, classroom meeting plans, and required in-person learning component in their course syllabus.

As previously announced, all courses were held virtually through September 15 to avoid overcrowding rooms during our more hectic shopping period. Exceptions to this requirement are all studios and all introductory pro-seminars, including the four MDes Domain pro-seminars, which will all meet in-person from the first day of classes. Students should check their Course Canvas site for details. Second year MDes cohorts will also have required weekly in-person meetings with their area heads, and students will be notified of the specific time and place.

All services offered by the Office of Student Affairs continue normal operations, including student affairs, financial aid, career services, enrollment functions, and admissions. For questions, please email the appropriate contact on the Office of Student Affairs webpage. Students with questions about processing their I-20 should contact Sean Conlon. For departmental-related questions, students should contact their respective department staff as they normally would for questions or assistance.

Resources for Students

Access to Buildings

Course Enrollment Guide – Fall 2021

Emergencies that are University-Related

Fabrication Lab

Frances Loeb Library

Harvard University COVID-19 Website

Harvard University Housing

Harvard University Health Services COVID-19 Information and Resources

Leave of Absence Requests

Student Employment and Payroll Information

Testing and Tracing

Vaccine Information

Virtual Events and Public Programs


FAQs: All Students

General Questions

When will the GSD Re-Open Gund Hall?

On Monday, August 16, all GSD campus buildings officially reopened to all Harvard University ID holders, according to the hours below:

• GSD Affiliates
Access from 5am to 2am, seven days per week, to Gund Hall, 485 Broadway, 7 Sumner, and 40 and 42 Kirkland (20 Sumner has its own schedule and generally closes overnight)

• Harvard Affiliates
Access to GSD buildings will mirror open hours of the Loeb Library (which will open on August 23)

• First Responders
(including HUPD, FMO, Custodial, Security, & LEMT – Local Emergency Management)
Access to all GSD properties 24 hours per day, seven days per week

Visit the Building Services webpage for updates regarding building access.

What will the fall 2021 semester look like?

The health, safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. It will depend on the virus, advice from infectious disease experts, and other factors including travel restrictions, social distancing protocols, etc. We will provide details of changes based on the latest information.

In approach to the fall semester we intend to provide in-person instruction, should circumstances allow. We are also planning for scenarios that would require us to provide hybrid options, if necessary. The planning process for all scenarios we are considering is ongoing and comprehensive, and as always, the safety of our community is our first priority. Updates on fall 2021 plans are continuously shared as soon as possible and posted on the 2021-2022 Academic Year Planning Page

Are there changes to the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) plan for Academic Year 2021-2022?

Please refer to UHS's site regarding changes: Academic Year 2021-2022 Plan Changes page

Will my academic accommodations be impacted by the ongoing climate?

The Dean of Students and Student Accommodations Coordinator are working with students with academic accommodations to ensure that they are able to access their course content and instruction. Visit the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.

Will the fall term schedule be the same as what is listed on the website.

Yes, the fall academic calendar is the same.  Note that on Wednesday, September 1, the GSD will be following a Monday class schedule.  For example, if you are enrolled in a class that meets on Mondays, you will instead meet for the first time on Wednesday, September 1.

Can course loads be reduced and billing be on a per-course basis?

GSD programs are full-time, and it is not possible to reduce course loads.

I received a loan as part of my financial aid package. Can I decline only the loan, or at least part of the loan?

You are free to decline or reduce the loan. Please reach out to

For students who are in Boston, will there be any campus activities?

There will be many GSD and Harvard-wide virtual activities this fall.

Given that our campus buildings will be accessible only to university ID holders and given the requirements for this, the school’s public programs and all other events planned by individual departments, programs, offices, and student groups will often need to happen virtually.

We will communicate information about changes in any policies for events on our GSD campus as they are implemented.

Will GSD offices be open with staff available in person?

At this time, we are happy to welcome a number of staff back to campus beginning this fall to support in person teaching and learning. All GSD offices will continue to operate full-time Monday through Friday, but some staff will continue to work remotely while others will return to campus or work a hybrid schedule. GSD staff began transitioning back to campus in a phased approach starting in late August.

Are there new collaborative spaces for students with limited in-person contact?

One virtual way for students to connect and collaborate is through the “GSD Now Trays” feature. A Tray is a collaborative space shared by at least two people (up to as many as you like), where work can be shared, or course readings, notes, or messages can be exchanged by contributors. By default, the Trays are “public,” in that their contents are visible to the rest of the school—this is in the spirit of the trays in Gund Hall, where one can wander and get a sense of the work coming out of various studios just by noticing the models and drawings and imagery that accumulates as the semester progresses. Trays can also be directly “related” to specific courses. Students may like to create a Tray for their collective work for a course, to share with the rest of the school. You can find out more about Trays here.


What changes will be present in the physical classroom?

This semester, we are implementing assigned seating in GSD courses; having information about where and how close students and faculty were sitting in a shared space is important for contact tracing efforts and will help accelerate the work of HUHS.

GSD faculty will be recording seat assignments in seating charts, and you are expected to sit in the same seats throughout the semester. Seating charts will be updated if your instructors change the seating arrangement for your course. Should you need to sit in a specific location or at a specific distance, please make yourself known to Kelly Wisnaskas (, as with all accommodations concerns.


Eating and Drinking in GSD Buildings

Face masks are required for anyone inside a GSD campus building, and consumption of food in meetings or in spaces shared by multiple people is not allowed. We have added tables and chairs on the patios and in a number of outdoor spaces for eating and socializing.

Pulling down a mask briefly to take a sip from a drink is consistent with current guidance. Masks should be pulled up when not actively drinking.

Will Chauhaus be open?

Chauhaus will remain closed for the semester, but as of now, campus dining options will be available nearby at the Science Center.

FAQs: Housing and Moving

Will Harvard Housing be available?

Harvard Housing does have availability for the fall semester, including some fully furnished units available for short-term leases.

Details about how to submit an application, selecting a unit, and lease information are available on their website.

You can also contact with questions.

Will the GSD assist students in securing housing?

The GSD does not secure housing for students, but we do provide information. Options for housing would be available through Harvard University Housing. Students can also find independent rentals in nearby local communities and connect with each other through the GSD Housing Facebook Group.

Availabllity of GSAS dorm rooms in the fall will be impacted by public health guidelines.

FAQs: Health Services and Health Care

What is the difference between the Student Health Fee and the Student Health Insurance Plan?

This Student Health Fee fee covers most provider visits at any of the HUHS campus clinics, and includes x-rays and physical therapy. Primary care providers are available at each of our Harvard campus clinics. Note that Your annual physical must be scheduled with your Harvard University Health Services primary care physician team.

The Student Health Insurance Plan is administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and is designed to complement the health care provided through the Student Health Fee at HUHS. It covers hospital, specialty care, labs/radiology and has a prescription drug benefit. This plan provides coverage throughout the United States and abroad.

For a comprehensive comparison, please refer to the HUSHP Program Handbook for AY2022.

What changes have been made for the coming Academic Year?

HUSH has returned to pre-COVID waiver options, with the expectation of a return to on-campus studies for the 2021-2022 academic year.

In the event that there is a sudden unexpected shift in the dynamics related to on-campus studies, HUSHP may adjust these eligibility options. An email communication would be sent out.

For information on further changes, please see the Academic Year 2021-2022 Plan Changes page.

Will we still need to pay for health care coverage for the fall semester?

Massachusetts law requires that any full-time or part-time student enrolled in an institution of higher learning in Massachusetts participate in a qualifying student health insurance program or in a health plan of comparable coverage, even if they are learning remotely. All Harvard students are automatically enrolled in the Harvard University Student Health Program and charges are applied to the student account. The Student Health Insurance Plan provides a critical safety net to ensure that all students, regardless of location, have access to quality and affordable healthcare. The student will need to decide by the deadline whether to keep or waive the Student Health Insurance Plan with comparable coverage.

Please see the rates for AY 2021-22 on the HUSHP rates and plans page.

For the Fall 2021 semester, waivers were accepted through July 31. The late waiver deadline is September 30. For information about the waiver application and fees, please see the University waiver eligibility and application page

When will coverage begin?

Coverage for the fall term will began August 1st.

Coverage for the spring 22 term will begin on February 1st.

Will CAMHS services be available?

Yes, Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are available. Please see this Message from CAMHS Chief Barbara Lewis, MD.

Did I still need to provide immunization information by June 11, 2021?

Students arriving on campus for Fall 2021 are strongly encouraged to upload their required immunization records to the HUHS Patient Portal as soon as possible. Non-submission and/or missing required immunizations will place a hold on your account and you will not be able to fully register for classes.

For details and updates, as well as information about flu vaccinations, please refer to HUHS Immunization Compliance Information.

You can also email questions to

Will Face Masks be required?

The GSD is requiring mask use while indoors. The current guidance from the University is that masks will be required for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Outdoors, unvaccinated individuals are still expected to wear masks if they cannot maintain distance from others. Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks outdoors, but all community members are expected to have masks with them at all times, to ensure compliance with the indoor masking requirements across the GSD and University campuses. For more information, please see the Health & Wellbeing page on the University website.

Where can I find wellness resources?

We have updated mental health and wellness resources located on the GSD’s Engage site.

FAQs: Vaccinations and Testing

What circumstances require a flu vaccination?

Last year Massachusetts required flu vaccination by December 31, 2020 for all students enrolled in colleges and universities in the state. Students in Harvard University classrooms, living in Harvard University dorms, or living in Harvard University Housing, regardless of age, were required to be compliant with State and Harvard University immunization requirements.

For the 2021-22 Academic year Harvard University requires all enrolled students to have an annual flu vaccine. The flu vaccine must be received on or after July 1, 2021.

Students will be able to receive a flu shot from HUHS by making an appointment and there will be on-campus clinics as well. Documentation of flu shots received outside of HUHS should be uploaded to the HUHS patient portal. After a deadline, if you have not yet received your flu vaccination, registration holds will be placed on your student account. These holds will remain until all requirements are fulfilled. Review your immunization compliance status in the HUHS Patient Portal. For more info about vaccination compliance, visit and the HUHS website here.

Will the university provide COVID-19 vaccinations?

HUHS will hold COVID vaccine clinics on a weekly basis at HUHS (75 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge). Vaccine appointments are open to all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and HUHS patients and can be scheduled through the HUHS patient portal with your HarvardKey. More information, including scheduling instructions, clinic dates and times, and FAQs, can be found on the HUHS vaccine webpage.

We strongly advise COVID vaccination for all members of our community as soon as you are eligible. A high vaccination rate in our community is fundamental to our planning for a return to in-person learning and activity.

We encourage all members of the GSD community to make plans to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible, whether you are local to Cambridge or currently residing abroad. Please visit the University’s vaccine webpage for further information. While Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) continues to be prepared to administer vaccine to increasing numbers of our community as the State of Massachusetts makes more vaccine available to us, we advise each member of our community to make plans for vaccinations beyond the HUHS purview.

HUHS continues to closely monitor the Governor’s vaccine plan. Please note that the state relies on the federal government to provide vaccine, and HUHS depends upon the state to provide vaccine to Harvard. We will notify community members when the vaccine is available more broadly.

For those of you living in Massachusetts, pre-register here and check your eligibility at the Commonwealth’s covid-19 vaccine site.

After getting vaccinated, what is my next step?

Community members are advised to complete their vaccination as soon as possible and submit verification of vaccination to HUHS. Visit the University’s Verify Your Vaccine webpage to learn how to submit your verification.

Will there be COVID testing available for GSD students?

Please see the University's Testing & Tracing page for the latest resources and requirements for COVID-19 testing.

Yes, you should activate your COVID testing account in COLOR. You are required to test your first day back on campus, if possible. To check vaccination status and testing cadence log into Crimson Clear (see below for when this will be noted).

Regardless of your residential status, you must test three times during your first week on campus, according to this schedule:

  • Take a COVID-19 test on the day of your arrival (as noted above), on day 4 or 5 after arrival, and 1 week after your arrival date.

Your normal testing cadence will be noted in Crimson Clear AFTER these three initial tests.

Test kits will be available locally from the Quincy St. entrance to Gund Hall (no ID card will be required for pick-ups), with the nearest drop bin located in the Science Center lobby (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.).  The Science Center is the large structure about 100 yards south of Gund Hall, on a large plaza next to Harvard Yard.  We would recommend that you pick up three test kits during your first visit to Gund Hall so that you do not have to go back several times during that first week.  Do not activate your first test kit, and subsequent ones, until you have it in-hand, and you are ready to drop it off within one hour.

You will continue to pick up your test kits at the GSD as you follow your normal testing cadence as well.

For technical questions about creating your Color account, email

For more information on unobserved PCR testing, setting up a Color account, and administering tests:

Much of the above information can be found on the returning to campus site.

For further information while away from campus, please also see HUSHP (COVID-19) Health Insurance FAQs. If your question is not directly addressed by their responses, there is contact information at the end of the FAQs.

Also, The city of Cambridge began offering free, daily COVID-19 testing with expanded locations at the beginning of November 2020 for residents. Please refer to their website for details.

What testing schedule will be required for GSD students?

As of September 2nd, the current testing cadences are listed below. All updates on testing and tracing will be issued by Harvard University Health Services.

· All Students upon arrival for the fall semester must take (3) tests initially; test on day of arrival, day 4 or 5 after arrival, and 1 week after arrival

· After three consecutive negative tests, regular testing cadence noted in Crimson Clear will start

For testing cadence updates contact, Sean Conlon:

If I am in contact with someone who has tested positive, what can I do?

Please direct any questions about exposure to a student or colleague who has tested positive for COVID-19 to the Contact Tracing Team at HUHS, by email or phone at 617-496-2288. When emailing, please be concise but include all relevant details, including the infected person's identity; how, when, where, and for how long exposure occurred; and who you are, including your contact information (preferably your mobile number). The Contact Tracing Team monitors email and voicemail 7 days a week from 8am – 12 midnight EST, and will respond to all questions as soon as they are able. Please do not contact other individuals or areas of HUHS. Reaching out to the Contact Tracing Team is the most efficient and fastest way of getting answers to your questions and other valuable guidance.

FAQs: Obtaining a Harvard ID

How can I obtain my Harvard ID card?

For those of you who began your degree programs in Fall 2020 or Fall 2021, you will be able to pick up your ID card during the dates and times listed below. The pickup location will be in front of the GSD, on Quincy St., underneath the overhang. It is also the Quincy St. entrance to Gund Hall where COVID testing kits will be available for pick-up, as noted above. Please be sure to have activated your COLOR account before picking up your test kits. If you started your program prior to Fall 2020 you should already have an ID card. If it has been misplaced, you will need to go to the ID office satellite location on the ground floor of the Smith Center in order to acquire a new one.

To pick up your ID card, you will need to bring a form of government-issued picture ID with you for us to compare against the photo you uploaded to the photo ID application. We will not be able to provide you with your ID card if you forget to bring this form of identification. This includes but is not limited to a passport, a driver’s license, etc. A prior college or university ID card will not be accepted.

Pick-up dates and times after September 1 will be announced later.

For those who are asked by third parties to provide your student ID card for discounts on services or products, but are not able to pick up your ID card, we suggest using the internal directory, Harvard Connections, for proof of your student status. All active affiliates at Harvard have access to Harvard Connections. It stores a photo and current role status that you can access from your phone or computer. Harvard Connections is accessed using HarvardKey.

Note: Students do not have active ID cards while they are on Leave of Absence.

FAQs: Library

What sort of library access will students have?

The Frances Loeb Library reopened to Harvard students, faculty, and staff on August 23.

Please visit the Library's main page for the latest updates.

In addition, the Harvard Library system and the Frances Loeb Library at the GSD have an especially robust set of online resources. To further learning, The Loeb Library has expanded digitization of its holdings for use beyond the immediate needs of courses.

What type of access can the library provide to aid distanced study?

You can request items utilizing Scan and Deliver from Frances Loeb Library, Lamont, Widener, Tozzer, Yenching, and the Harvard Depository.

Please see the Access and Borrowing page for details on all of the services to view the physical collections while outside of the building.

Did the school digitize library resources more extensively for the remote semesters (and beyond)?

The GSD has extensive digital collections including archival materials, and is continuing, along with the university at large, to expand these databases. The GSD also has a number of research guides that can assist in exploring online resources, such as the visual collections guide.

Additionally, Loeb Library accepts requests from GSD faculty and students for reference scans of material located in Special Collections for classes or research. These collections include the Materials Collection, Rare Book Collection, and some Archival Collections.

Does Harvard collaborate with any other university libraries for students to have access to their resources?

Please refer to the Loeb Resources & Services page for updates on BorrowDirect and Interlibrary loan (ILL) services.

What type of library access is available to alumni?

Those who have graduated from the GSD will have alumni access to a limited number of the library’s online resources, available from the Alumni Resources webpage.

For information about additional Harvard Library borrowing options for alumni, contact the Harvard Library Privileges Office at

FAQs: Career Services

How do I get access to CREATE?

CREATE is the curated GSD Career Portal providing 24/7 access to internships, jobs, career workshops, events, fellowships, and all things dedicated to your career. Incoming student accounts will be active on 8/16. For directions and other pertinent information on CREATE, please visit our website.

How do I get access to the Alumni Network?

Students can access our curated GSD Group on LinkedIn, as well as the Harvard Directory. Your HarvardKey, the university's unified online user credential, uniquely identifies you to Harvard IT applications and services to grant you access to university resources. As a result, it will give you access to the Harvard Alumni Association database as well. Other alumni connections can be found on the GSD Alumni Relations website.

Can students get career advice from afar?

The Career Services office uses a number of formats for career advising. GSD students can meet virtually with a career counselor to review career options, plan a search strategy, prepare materials such as resumes and cover letters, get feedback on LinkedIn profiles, portfolios and practice interviewing skills and career pitches. Incoming students will be able to schedule an appointment through CREATE.

Casual Conversations with GSD Alumni are scheduled to provide informal advice on ways to develop your career, and Career Workshops cover such topics as networking, developing your portfolio, job search strategies, effective interviewing, and salary negotiation skills. Career Fairs are held to promote summer opportunities and to recruit graduating students for full-time opportunities. Get a head start on your career and visit the Career Document Library within the CREATE portal to check out the recordings of our 2020-21 events

When will the Career Services office open?

The Career Services staff will be back in person at the beginning of Fall 2021. However, our services, including advising and events will remain virtual throughout the fall semester.

How can I find out about TA/RA positions that are available?

Some ​TA and RA positions are shared on Student-Announce or in CREATE. Many faculty prefer to invite students they have worked with in class to become a TA or RA. First-year students may need to wait until they have made connections with faculty – second semester.

Where can I view positions?

Jobs are shared by Career Services on the Student Announce listserv. Once a job is advertised, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

You can also check with the Student Employment Office to learn about additional job opportunities across Harvard University.

Regarding employment, do you recommend maintaining part-time jobs? Or instead, do you recommend a full-time commitment?

This is a question that individuals need to answer for themselves. Students often work during the academic year, so it is definitely possible to balance work and school, depending on how many hours you would need to commit. (As a guide, students working at the GSD have a ceiling of 8 hours/week to ensure that their work does not interfere with their courses.) Be sure to have a conversation with your employer beforehand to set expectations.

FAQs: Technology

Can the GSD provide software licenses and workshops for programs to ensure that all students have the necessary software programs to continue as needed online (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud, Rhino+Vray, etc.)?

Yes. We provide licenses, including Adobe Creative Cloud full-suite licenses, to all students free of charge.

Will GSD provide extra technical support given that some coursework for fall may be done digitally (i.e. enhanced VPN, help from IT when setting up programs, problems with computers, etc.)?

This semester the Computer Resources Help Desk will be favoring remote support over face-to-face communications. So, if you are seeking Technical Support please reach out to us in one of the following ways.

Email. When you email your message is fed directly into ServiceNow; the technical support database we share with Harvard University IT. ServiceNow will generate an auto-reply back to you with a reference number for your ticket. If your issue cannot be solved remotely we will arrange to meet with you in person.

Live Chat. When you initiate a Live Chat during business hours, someone from the Help Desk will reply (Edwin, Johann, Mark, or myself). Soon this service will be extended into the evening and on weekends when we hire student workers. We hope Live Chat will provide an easy way to get quick answers to quick questions.

Phone. You can call us by dialing 617-496-3810. We are using a softphone, so when you make a call it may be answered by someone working remotely.

You can find Contact Information, including the Live Chat option here

What platforms and tools are expected to be set up on what recommended/required computer systems in order to run necessary software?

Each student is expected to have a suitably powerful laptop capable of running Windows. Please see the GSD Web / Resource Center for answers; see also Computer Recommendations / Resource Center.

Is software access active beyond graduation for alumni?

Software privileges cannot be extended when they are packages that are tied to student status.

FAQs: Fabrication

What access will students have to fabrication resources during the fall semester?

As long as teaching and learning continue to be conducted in-person, the GSD fabrication facilities will be open to in-person use this fall term beginning Tuesday, September 7th. However, the Lab expects to operate with 50% of the normal student Technical Assistant (TA) team given that the number of returning TAs was greatly diminished by remote teaching and learning. As a result, students may find that more equipment is out of service long, response time to requests is longer, and other time- and capacity-based constraints are more restricted.

The Lab is implementing a new online job submittal system to help manage demand of some equipment areas of the Lab. Students are advised to install and become familiar with Microsoft Teams in preparation for use of this system.

Access to fabrication facilities on the GSD campus is described in more detail on the Fabrication Lab website.

Completion of online training is required of students before accessing Lab resources. Training courses will became available on August 23rd and can be completed anytime thereafter, but it is recommended that students completed training by September 3rd to avoid disruption to access.

For the 2021 Academic Year, the GSD’s Fabrication Lab developed a forum on making. Students can use the platform to ask questions and offer comments about a range of topics related to modeling and making. This Fabrication Lab also hosts a model database where you can view models made by GSD students in the past, read a brief description of the model, how it was made, and what materials it was made with. Users can search the site using the tags library. The resource is meant to open up a conversation and create an archive about different model-making techniques and practices. All are encouraged to submit new work to build upon the diversity of materials and techniques represented.

For students with a non-design background, how can you ensure we will have the training in fabrication we need for Core, etc. when we come back in the fall?

Core faculty across the school are well aware of the need for relevant workshops when in-person instruction resumes and are working with the Fabrication Lab and Digital Media Workshops to provide support.

FAQs Leave of Absence

If I find the fall semester too challenging, will I be able to take a Leave of Absence?

A student must have been enrolled for at least one semester prior to taking a leave, so you cannot take a leave of absence prior to having completed at least one full semester. But if you are finding it challenging, please reach out to your program director, academic advisor, or the dean of students for individual guidance.

When is the Leave of Absence deadline for spring 2022?

The school will set a Leave of Absence (LoA) deadline of November 10 to enable finalization of course offerings for the spring.

Petitions for leaves after the November deadline will only be considered for medical reasons.

Note, you will not be considered a student when taking a leave of absence, and therefore may lose access to certain benefits available to enrolled students, such as eligibility to fulfill student employment at the GSD and elsewhere at Harvard.

Please see the Leave of Absence page for the latest details.

How will the process for Leave of Absence work for the spring semester?

The departments will confirm your leave and send the signed petition back to you within one week after the petition deadline. You will then need to forward the completed petition to the registrar, Sean Conlon, If you are an international student, you will also need to provide Sean with the HIO leave form.

Everyone should be aware, however, that the number of leaves will result in a bubble – a larger than typical number of enrolled students. To accommodate that bubble, in upcoming years we will likely have to extend studio space beyond Gund and 485 Broadway to the Sumner and Kirkland houses as well. Please bear this in mind as you envision your returns.

Can I rescind an approved Leave of Absence for the spring semester?

The window to rescind your approved leave is two weeks from the November 10 deadline. If you wish to do so, please contact Sean Conlon.

If I take a Leave of Absence for the spring semester, am I still eligible for an on-campus job?

For students who are taking a Leave of Absence for the spring term, the date of separation with the GSD is the last day of thesis reviews in December. Students who take a leave in the spring will not be able to work at the GSD in the spring or summer time periods.

Students on leave in the spring, who plan to return in the fall, will be eligible to begin on-campus work on the first day of fall classes.

Please refer to the LoA page for the latest guidance.

FAQs: Other Harvard and MIT-Related Questions

Will students still have an opportunity to take courses at other schools across Harvard?

There are no plans to limit the existing ability for cross-registration among Harvard schools, MIT, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Will MIT be online for the Fall 2021 semester? How will cross-registration with MIT work?

Please refer to the MIT Website to see plans for the Fall. The process of cross-registering into MIT courses, as well as other Harvard courses, will remain the same as it has always been in my.harvard. Students will add courses to their Crimson Carts during the registration period and will submit petitions to add those courses based on each school’s open enrollment date.

MIT will require proof of vaccination in order to enroll in their courses. You will be provided with more information concerning this at the time that you submit your petition to the MIT instructor to enroll in their course.

Will GSD students still have the option to audit courses?

Yes. Students have always had the option of auditing up to 20 units of coursework. However, some schools or courses do not allow auditors, and so the option remains dependent on instructor preferences. Students do not register as auditors at the GSD and some other schools. Students should contact the instructor to obtain their permission and they will be granted guest access to the course Canvas site.

Can first-year students audit courses while on Leave of Absence?

The school cannot accommodate doubling the teaching of core courses, both in terms of available faculty and in terms of available space. Restricting audits when a student is on LoA is a Harvard-wide policy, but all lectures and events are accessible.

Cross-Registration Information


For other Harvard courses, you will add them to your Crimson Cart as you will do for GSD courses. Please note that each school has their own start and end dates for when you can submit petitions to enroll in their courses. Here are the dates for each school:

GSD = 9/1 – 9/17

FAS = 8/27 – 10/4

Business School = 8/25 – 9/2

Chan School = 8/12 – 9/9

Divinity School = 8/16 – 9/17

Education School = 8/17 – 9/21

Kennedy School = 8/30 – 9/14

Law School = 9/4 – 9/13

In addition, many schools have other back-end processes that must take place before the other registrar’s office will officially enroll you in one of their courses. For example, the Business School will wait to see how many of their students enroll in a given course so that they can see how many spaces are available for non-HBS students. The Kennedy School runs a bidding process for their students, again, to see how many open seats there are for a course before they take the final step of enrolling you in it. On the other hand, here at the GSD and at the College, if it’s a lecture course you are submitting an enrollment for, you will be immediately added to it, as we have no back-end processes for these courses, nor do we require the instructor to approve your petitions.


Please note that some Harvard schools will be using slightly altered class meeting schedule during the first day of classes on Wednesday, September 1. The GSD will hold Monday classes on that first Wednesday as a result of the federal holiday (Labor Day) on Monday the next week. In addition:

FAS/GSAS (College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) = Wednesday, September 1 will follow their Monday course meeting schedule.

HDS (Harvard Divinity School) = Wednesday, September 1 will follow their Monday course meeting schedule.

HKS (Harvard Kennedy School) = Friday, September 3 will follow their Monday/Wednesday course meeting schedule.

HLS (Harvard Law School) = Upper level classes, which are the only ones open to cross-registration, will begin on Tuesday, September 7, not Wednesday, September 1. There will be no alteration to their schedule on that date.

GSE (School of Education) = First day of classes will be Tuesday, September 7, not September 1. There will be no alteration to their schedule on that date.

MIT = First day of classes will be Wednesday, September 8. There will be no alteration to their schedule on that date.


In regard to courses at MIT, you can add them to your Crimson Cart just as you would any other course in the catalog. To search for them, click on the Non-Harvard link in the Browse Courses area. MIT courses will begin on September 8. Please note that you will be required to follow the same COVID protocols that MIT students are being asked to follow. Upon being approved for a course by an instructor, your information will be uploaded to COVID Pass (MIT’s in-house COVID monitoring system). MIT is requiring that all students provide proof of COVID vaccination. You will need to acquire an MIT ID card and sign-up for an MIT computing account (Kerberos) as you will need the ID card to swipe into buildings and you will utilize your Kerberos account in order to upload proof of vaccination. More information regarding these processes will be sent to you when you are approved by an MIT instructor to enroll in their course.

For more information on the process at MIT, please consult their site:

International Students & International travel

Students with visa questions should contact the Harvard International Office, or visit their newly updated FAQ section, which provides answers to many questions about visas, COVID-19, and online learning for international students. Please continue to regularly check the HIO site for the most up-to-date information.

How does the vaccine requirement apply to arriving from outside the US?

International students and scholars are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, if it is available in your country. All vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet the University’s vaccine requirement. Harvard advises seeking whatever vaccine is available to you locally, so that you can be protected as soon as possible. The list of vaccines authorized by WHO is updated regularly.

If you are already vaccinated, you do not need to get any additional vaccines right now. If the vaccine you received is not authorized by WHO by the time you arrive, HUHS will offer you an FDA-authorized vaccine. If you are unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before the fall, the University will offer vaccination with an mRNA vaccine on arrival to all Harvard affiliates with a Harvard ID. Visit the University’s Vaccine Information webpage to learn more about planning your vaccine. We recommend pre-booking your appointment before your arrival so you have a clear plan in place. Guidelines and recommendations are continually updated based on research and this recommendation may change as we get closer to the start of the fall semester. It is important to stay updated by reading all communication coming from Harvard about the vaccine requirement, available at the HUHS page.

International faculty and scholars should also check the university’s comprehensive campus access for international students and scholars page for information and guidance regarding Covid testing for entry into the US and related information about returning to campus.

What are the requirements for international travel?

Required Documents to Travel
In order to travel to another country and reenter the United States (U.S.), you must present the required documents per your visa type. You must also present the required COVID-19 documentation to enter the U.S.

Please go to the HIO travel page for the list of required documents to travel and reenter the U.S.

How do I Obtain a Travel Signature on my F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019?
In addition to the required documents listed in the link above, students, student interns, and scholars on F and J visas need to have a valid travel signature on their F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019. The travel signature on your F-1 Form I-20 or J-1 Form DS-2019 cannot be more than 12 months old at the time of your reentry to the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for a 12-month period from the date they were last signed, or until your program end date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019, whichever is earlier.

If you have already received a travel signature from the Harvard International Office (HIO) this fall, it is not necessary to obtain an additional signature. Electronic travel signatures on F-1 Forms I-20 are accepted. The J-1 Form DS-2019 cannot be signed electronically. If your J-1 is sponsored by Fulbright (IIE), you must obtain a travel signature directly from Fulbright. If Fulbright issued your DS-2019 and you plan to travel over the winter holidays, you should contact IIE now to obtain the required travel signature.

You must bring your printed Form I-20/Form DS-2019 and passport to obtain the travel signature. Students who are accompanied by F-2 or J-2 dependents should bring their dependents’ Forms I-20/Form DS-2019 and passports.

H-1B, O-1, TN, and E-3 status holders do not need a travel signature from the HIO. Please refer to the HIO website to confirm the documents required to travel as an H-1B, O-1, TN or E-3 visa holder.