A permanent file is created for each student upon matriculation to the GSD. This file usually contains the student’s application, registration forms, study cards, transcript, and copies of all correspondence to the student. Access to this file is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment (see below). When a student graduates, his or her file is transferred to the Harvard University Archives for permanent storage. All contents of the file are the property of the GSD and will not be returned or forwarded to another party.
The Graduate School of Design (GSD) routinely maintains records for its students that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include records such as permanent and local addresses, admissions records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements and progress toward the degree, records of disciplinary actions, letters of recommendation, and other correspondence with or concerning the student.
To be useful, students’ records must be accurate and complete. The officials who maintain them are those in charge of the functions reflected in the records and the offices where the records are kept. These ordinarily include the Registrar of the GSD, as well as academic program offices. All students have access to their own education records and may contribute to them if they feel there is need for clarification. Students wishing access to their education records should contact the GSD Registrar. Ordinarily, students are asked to submit a written request that identifies the specific record or records he/she wishes to inspect. Access will be given within 45 days from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to him or her. Students also are not permitted to view letters and statements of recommendation to which they waived their right of access, or that were placed in their file before January 1, 1975. Students should direct any questions they have about the accuracy of records to the person in charge of the office where the records are kept. If questions still remain, the matter may be referred to the Dean of Students. Should it be necessary, a hearing may be held to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of records in those cases where informal discussions have not satisfactorily settled the questions raised.
Student transcripts are maintained permanently by the GSD Office of Student Affairs. An official copy of a GSD transcript will be released on electronic request by the student. Official transcripts will not be provided to prior students who have had their degrees withheld for financial reasons. Requests for official transcripts should be placed online through the GSD Online Order Form. Copies of transcripts from another institution submitted during the application process must be made to that institution.