Students in the MUP program engage with communities in a variety of ways – through workshops and studios, internships and summer opportunities, student groups, volunteering, and elective classes.

Workshops and Studios

2nd Semester Core Planning Studio engages with real world planning problems. Since spring 2013 the studio has focused on working on a real world problem in a diverse community working in local gateway cities and older neighborhoods including Malden, Chelsea, Revere, QuincyEast Boston, and Lowell.

Option studios and theses also frequently do practical work.

Internships and Summer Opportunities

The Community Service Fellowship Program provides opportunities for students to extend their design education through direct involvement with projects that address public needs and community concerns at the local level.

The International Community Service Fellowship Program helps GSD students travel to overseas destinations to perform community service throughout the year, in projects of varying durations.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies Fellowships provide students an opportunity to study housing related topics with practical applications.

The South Asia Initiative offers funding for students to conduct research, perform fieldwork, participate in internships, and pursue study of South Asian languages. Similar opportunities are available through the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Harvard University Center for African Studies. Other internships are available in Boston and beyond though programs across the Harvard campus and advertised through the GSD’s Career Services office.

Student Groups

The Harvard Urban Planning Organization (HUPO) organizes lectures and events and coordinates volunteer opportunities for planning students.

The Community Development Project is an interdisciplinary student-run organization that brings public policy, planning, and architecture students together to work as consultants with community partners working to empower traditionally underserved populations. Past clients have ranged from Baptist Town, Mississippi, to Somali immigrants in Lewiston Maine, to the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter in Cambridge.

(Park)ing Day is an annual event where community members transform metered parking spots into temporary parks.
Citizen Schools is a local after-school program that allows planners to engage with and teach middle school students about the urban planning, policy, and design fields.

Other Courses

The Urban Planning program runs several  project-based courses each year.