Students in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning are enrolled in and receive their degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, even though they may work primarily with faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The PhD in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning is intended for persons who wish to enter teaching and advanced research careers in the history and theory of architecture, architectural technology, landscape architecture, and urban form from antiquity to the present; or the analysis and development of buildings, cities, landscapes, and regions with an emphasis on social, economic, technological, ecological and infrastructural systems.
The PhD program does not prepare students for licensing as design practitioners in any of these fields or for the doctor of design degree. For information on these programs, please contact the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s admissions office.
Architectural Technology Track
PhD students can pursue the architectural technology track, where they can conduct research that aims to advance the state of knowledge in green building, including issues related to computation and simulation, environmental concerns, and energy performance. A background in architecture and or engineering-related fields is required. Students participate in a highly interdisciplinary curriculum that includes theoretical and empirical approaches, especially the history and philosophy of technology, and are associated with the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, which provides intellectual context for student research.
For more information, please contact Professor Ali Malkawi.
Applicants must have completed a four-year bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. A professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning is recommended but not required. Students from other countries must demonstrate an excellent command of spoken and written English. To be eligible for admission, applicants must also show evidence of distinguished academic work in the field or closely related fields, or distinguished work in the intended area of concentration. Applications from underrepresented minorities are particularly welcome.
All applicants are required to indicate a proposed major subject of study at the time of initial application. These proposed areas of study should be congruent with the interests and expertise of at least one member of the PhD Standing Committee.
While the GRE test is not required for admission, the application must include the following: official transcript(s); three letters of recommendation; a statement of purpose that gives the admissions committee a clear sense of intellectual interests and strengths; a writing sample or samples (no more than 20 pages). This can be a paper written for a course, journal article, and/or thesis excerpt (please respect the page limit of 20 pages). The writing sample should preferably focus on a subject related to architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning.
Please note: Unless a specific justification is provided by the applicant, design portfolios are not typically considered as part of the application.
Additional information is available from the PhD Program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and program requirements are available in GSAS Policies.