MArch I and MArch I AP students are required to fulfill the following distributional electives:

8 units of Advanced History electives
4 units of Global Culture and Diversity electives
4 units of Professional Practice electives

MArch II students are required to fulfill the following distributional electives:

units of Technologies of Visualization and Fabrication electives
4 units of Professional Practice electives
4 units of Discourse and Techniques electives

Please note that some courses may count toward the satisfaction of two distributional elective requirements for MArch I students. For example, a 4-unit course HIS course is listed as fulfilling both the advanced history and global culture and diversity requirement. In this case, the course can count toward the fulfillment of both the advanced history and global culture and diversity  requirements, but the course units will only be counted once towards the fulfillment of your overall units requirement. However, a course cannot be counted towards both a required course (e.g. SCI 6121) and a distributional elective requirement (e.g. professional practice). Please note that MArch II students cannot satisfy more than one distributional elective requirement with a single course.

To see a listing of courses that meet the distributional requirement for the current academic year perform an advanced course search in the my.Harvard course catalog and filter by the appropriate elective tag from the “Distributional Electives” section on the left-hand menu.

MArch I Distributional Electives Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

MArch II Distributional Electives Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

Distributional Elective Area Heads

The following faculty oversee the Architecture distributional elective areas:

Advanced History: Michael Hays
Global Culture and Diversity: Eric Howeler
Professional Practice: Jacob Reidel
Technologies of Visualization and Fabrication: Scott Cohen
Discourse and Techniques electives: Scott Cohen

Waiving and Substitutions

Distributional electives cannot be waived in the same way as some other program requirements. Courses taken prior to enrollment, such as in an undergraduate program or other graduate degree, are not eligible to count towards distributional elective requirements, as distributional requirements are in place to shape the breadth of the student experience while in the MArch program. In some cases, a cross-registered course offered through another school and taken during your time enrolled in the MArch program may count.

Please note that students cannot substitute a distributional elective with an independent study.

If you believe you are eligible to substitute a distributional elective requirement via another course taken during your time enrolled in the program, especially one taken outside the GSD, please contact the Program Coordinator, Nicole Lasko. Please see the MArch waivers and substitution info page for further details.

Distributional Area Descriptions and Course Archives

To see if a course taken in a previous semester is eligible to fulfill a distributional elective requirement, please refer to the lists below.  A course must be listed during the term in which it was taken in order to fulfill a distributional elective requirement. 

Advanced History Archive

Global Culture and Diversity Archive

Professional Practice Archive

Technologies of Visualization and Fabrication Archive

Discourse and Techniques Archive

These lists provide information on previous years’ distributional electives. Please note that a course which fulfilled a distributional elective in a previous term will not automatically fulfill the elective in future terms as course content can change. Courses are evaluated each term and tagged in the my.Harvard course catalog accordingly. For the most up-to-date elective information, please reference the my.Harvard course catalog.