MDes Fall '21 Program Restructure, Admissions and Decisions


Hi everyone,

This thread is for anyone who applied to or were admitted into the Master in Design Studies Program - MDes. I noticed across threads many had questions and concerns regarding the program's new structure and I thought it would be helpful to have a space strictly for MDes and those who are deciding between MDes and other schools. Hope this helps and do share any advice or tips.

Mar 19, 21 5:03 pm

Figured I'd join this fledgling conversation - I was accepted into Harvard's MDes program as well. It was somewhat of a wild card amongst the Urban Planning programs I was applying to and I'm very much at a crossroads because of the following:

a. MDes actually offered the most financial aid (~50%)

b. Master in Design Studies feels a lot more theoretical than a Master in Design or a Master in Urban Planning. I'm wondering if I can spin it so I tell people I got a Master in Design vs with "Studies" tacked on at the end. 

c. MDes is more post professional, is flexible, and I come from a business/sustainability background so I wonder if my non architecture experience will carry me professionally post-graduation. 

d. The new structure makes me wonder if I apply to a job after the program, will a person looking at my resume know what I studied and how it applies without asking me first? What does "Master in Design - Ecologies" or "Master in Design - Mediums" look like to an HR manager on a resume? I feel like "Energy and Environment" is more tangible. 

e. If I re-apply to the Masters in Urban Planning program once at Harvard, do I have a great chance of getting in or will I likely get rejected and have to live my life with no Urban Planning degree? this might be fine if I can spin it but the fear is definitely there

f. Anyone else at the Urban Planning vs MDes crossroads would be hugely helpful. I have narrowed the choice to be between this and Columbia's MS in Urban Planning which seems to be underfunded and understaffed judging by candid conversations at the Open House. But it is in NYC (current location) and I would be getting that degree I originally sought. 

I know this stretches the original question but I do see a number of prospective MDes students who are at a crossroads not only because of the program restructuring but also because this program is different that others they applied to. 

Apr 4, 21 10:54 pm  · 

Which M.Des concentration?

Apr 5, 21 9:28 am  · 

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