Beginning in early August, all students, both new and returning, must complete the check-in process in my.harvard. This check-in process is what many students refer to as registration, which is different than adding/dropping courses (see below). This process must be completed by the end of the first day of classes. A student who completes their check-in after the official class start date listed in the Academic Calendar will be assessed a late fee of $15, plus another $30 for each additional week the check-in is incomplete, up to a maximum fine of $150. Students will receive an email outlining the check-in process in late July.

Course Enrollment

At the beginning of each term, students must enroll in their courses. A student who enrolls after the due date will be assessed a late fee. See information in Add/Drop fees in the following section. As enrollment in courses is an official part of registration, failure to enroll by the designated deadline in a given term may result in cancellation of registration for that term. A student must receive the program director’s approval on an add/drop petition if total credits exceed 20. Students enrolling in more than 24 credits will be charged additional tuition. MDE students enrolling in more than 22 credits will be charged additional tuition. MDes students enrolling in more than 20 credits will be charged additional tuition.

Petition to Add/Drop Courses

To make changes in enrollment by dropping a course after enrolling, a student simply drops the course in my.harvard. With the exception of limited enrollment courses, courses may be added online until the add/drop deadline for full term courses. After that date they can only be added via the Petition to Add/Drop Courses, which is available to download on the Documents tab in my.harvard. The instructor must sign the petition to add a course. A $15 flat fee is charged for any number of add/drop transactions, beginning the day after add/drop for free ends. A $30 fee is charged for each add/drop transaction after the add/drop deadline specified in the Academic Calendar for that semester.

A grade of WD (withdrawal) will be automatically entered on the student’s transcript for courses dropped after the add/drop deadline. The last day to withdraw from a course is the last day of classes for that module or semester. Students are responsible for all course work after that date. Petitions to drop a studio are seldom approved and must be discussed with and approved by the program director and the Dean of Students.

Studio Option Lottery

Enrollment in a studio option is determined by means of a lottery. This universal lottery allows eligible students to indicate their preferences for studio options offered by their department only, or from those offered by all three departments. Students in the MArch I, MLA I, and MUP programs may take a maximum of 16 credit units, and students in the post-professional programs may take a maximum of 24 credit units of studio options with the exception of MArch II, at 32. (See degree requirements online for each program for limits on studio options that can be taken outside the department.) By participating in the lottery, a student makes a commitment to enroll and remain in the assigned studio. Those students who split will not have the use of a desk during the semester in which they do not enroll in studio or thesis.

Harvard Summer School

A student may obtain credit toward the fulfillment of a degree at the GSD for a maximum of two courses (8 units) completed in the Harvard Summer School. In order to be considered, the course(s) must be enrolled in after matriculation at the GSD. The student must receive a passing grade in each course taken in order to receive this credit. Courses taken through the summer school meet degree requirements but not residency requirements. If you are interested in taking Summer School courses please reach out to your Program Coordinator to ensure the courses will fit into your degree.

Auditing Courses

GSD students who wish to audit a course should make arrangements directly with the instructor.  In addition, in order to audit a GSD course, they should reach out to the Registrar ( to acquire the Petition to Audit, which must be signed by the instructor.  Please note that audited courses are not recorded on transcripts and do not count towards your graduation totals. GSD students wishing to audit courses outside of the GSD should speak to the Registrar’s office of the host school about policy and procedures for auditing.