As a post-professional studio based program, the Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) combines intense design instruction, extensive applied research, and knowledge of urban history and theory.
Taking advantage of the remarkable international makeup of the faculty and student body, the MAUD program establishes a common intellectual ground among architects who have a strong interest in engaging the practice and theory of contemporary urbanism.
Conceived as a two-year (four semester) program, the MAUD shares a strong first-semester core curriculum with the MLAUD program that includes the Elements of Urban Design Core Studio, the Urban Design Proseminar, and the Cities by Design lecture course. The remaining three semesters offer a more flexible academic path that allows students to engage in advanced studios and elective courses across all three GSD departments. The curricular structure encourages advanced individual and collective research and the possibility to develop an elective thesis.
The MAUD program at the GSD engages multiple design topics that cut across a variety of scales and urban scenarios both within the North American context and in multiple international settings. The program’s studio components focus on speculative design strategies that explore inventive design procedures within a diverse set of urban conditions.
Topics include schemes and scenarios for existing urbanized areas—including the analysis and restructuring of areas from the inner city to the metropolitan edge, the development of new territories—from cities to towns, districts and neighborhoods, and the extension or transformation of historic and contemporary contexts. Recently explored studio geographies include Istanbul, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York City, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, among many others.
In addition to the program’s core curriculum, MAUD students can construct a trans-disciplinary course of study with option studios, lectures and seminar courses from all three departments within the GSD as well as courses from Harvard and MIT’s offerings. As advanced students, MAUD candidates are encouraged to work closely with faculty through the many research labs within the GSD and in other ongoing faculty led applied research and design projects.
Who Should Apply
The program leading to the Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) is intended for individuals who have completed a five-year undergraduate professional program in architecture or its equivalent.
Students enrolled in the GSD’s professional program in Architecture are also encouraged to apply for a concurrent urban design degree, for which an individual curriculum may be arranged.
Two to three years of experience in professional practice is recommended but not required.
Please note that the MAUD program is now designated as a STEM program making international MAUD graduates eligible to extend their F-1 visas for up to three years in order to work in the United States.
To inquire about admission to the MAUD program, please contact the Admissions Office.
A candidate will be recommended for the Master of Architecture in Urban Design upon satisfactory completion of the following course of study.
Current students should refer to the Current MAUD/MLAUD Degree Requirements based on their date of matriculation.
Here you’ll find a summary of the documents and materials that you will need to prepare and submit with your online application.
Jan 2, 2020
1.- Gather Your Transcripts
You are required to submit transcripts from all colleges and universities from which you’ve received credit. You should request either an official paper transcript or a digital version from your school. You will then upload it to your application. Make sure the scanned version is legible and oriented properly. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. If the university or college does not issue transcripts, a certified letter and certified English translation must be provided. It should list courses and examinations taken, grades, and degrees and dates of degrees received. Applicants are only required to submit hard copies of official transcripts, sent directly from their previous institution to the GSD, if they are admitted and decide to enroll at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Do not mail paper copies of transcripts prior to receiving an admissions decision; we do not retain any transcripts received prior to March 1. All previous degrees must be conferred by August 15 in order to enroll in the fall. Please note that if you are currently enrolled at another graduate school, the GSD does not accept transfer credits for work completed at another institution.
2.- Collect Three Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to obtain three letters of recommendation: at least two from college or university instructors and, if appropriate, one from an employer. Pay close attention when selecting your option about waiving your right to see your recommendation. If you wish to change your waiver selection, then you will need to exclude that recommender and add them again. Recommenders will receive instructions via email once the applicant has registered them via the online application; only online recommendations are accepted. Up to five recommendations may be submitted. You can still submit your application even if your recommenders have not sent in their recommendations.
3.- Have your GRE Scores Sent to the GSD
The general test of the Graduate Record Examination is required for all applicants to degree programs (with the exception of the GMAT option below), including international students. Although recent scores are preferred, tests taken within five years of the test date are acceptable. When requesting that scores be sent to Harvard University, use the institution code for the Graduate School of Design: 3455. Please note, we will store scores in our database until they expire. Applicants are urged to register early to obtain an appropriate test date for the GRE, so that scores are received by the application deadline. Test dates no later than November are recommended for January applications. It takes 10-15 days for the GSD to receive scores after you take the exam. We do not have a cut-off point for GPA or GRE scores, although successful applicants typically have at least a 3.4 GPA. The average GRE scores for incoming students are 157 for the verbal, 159 for the quantitative, and 4.0 for the analytical writing sections. We encourage you to apply whether or not you meet these guidelines, keeping in mind that all components of the application are taken into consideration.
4.- Have your TOEFL Scores Sent to the GSD
International Students Only
TOEFL scores are required for all international students. Scores are valid for 2 years. When requesting that scores be sent to Harvard University, use the institution code for the Graduate School of Design: 3455. Read our TOEFL FAQ for more details. As with GRE scores, we will save TOEFL scores in our database until they expire. (Please note we do not accept MyBest TOEFL score reports.)
5.- Edit your Resume
Upload a resume that includes: employment; education; extra-curricular collegiate and community activities (note whether an office held was elected or appointed); honors, awards, professional registration, professional societies, publications; avocations, hobbies, travel; if you served in the military, indicate rank on entry and rank on separation.
6.- Write Your Essay
The requirements of your essay depend on the program you’re applying to.
Submit an essay that addresses your background as it relates to your academic and professional interests, and why you wish to pursue the GSD degree program to which you are applying. Limit responses to approximately 1,000 words.
7.- Prepare Your Portfolio
Portfolios must be uploaded as a single PDF and include your most important and representative visual arts, design, research, and/or professional work. Projects should include a description as well as any supporting documentation, which may include images or a video. All work must indicate the date of the project and whether the project was academic, office-related, or personal. In the case of collaborative work, the contribution by the applicant must be described precisely. Embedded links are deactivated when you upload your portfolio. Please note, we do not accept materials from third party services such as Interfolio. We do not have any sample portfolios. A wide variety of design work and portfolio styles are submitted; there is no one type of correct or successful portfolio.
Recommended File Set-up:
Pages: 30 max (Cover pages or table of contents don’t count)File Size: 40MB max
Page Layout: 12” x 18” or A3, two-page spreads should be combined into one page. (recommended)
Color Format: RGB (recommended)
Resolution: 150 dpi (recommended)Video Requirements:
You have the option of submitting one video as a supplement to the PDF portfolio. In exceptional cases where video has been a primary focus of an applicant’s previous design work, up to three video files may be submitted.
Format: .MOV or .WMX
Length: 60s max
Dimensions: 640px x 480px
If you’re applying for advanced placement in the professional degree program in Landscape Architecture or for post-professional degree programs you are expected to submit examples of work demonstrating your ability to pursue study at an advanced level.
8.- Pay the Application Fee
There is a $90, non-refundable fee for each application submitted. In order for your application(s) to be reviewed, the fee(s) should be paid, by credit card only, immediately after submitting your application. Try again with a different credit card should the system reject your card.
9.- Apply for Financial Aid
Prospective students interested in receiving aid should complete the Financial Aid application. Read more information about paying for your program.
After you Submit
Once submitted, changes, additions, or any other edits cannot be made to the application and/or portfolio. Application materials, including the portfolio, become the property of the GSD and cannot be returned or forwarded to any other party.
All decisions are released within the first week of March. You will receive an email indicating that there is an update on your Applicant Status Page. We will not give out decisions over the phone. If you have not received notification by April 1, please contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, the GSD does not grant deferrals. If you are admitted but unable to attend, you would need to reapply.