MAUD 2014? SMarchs 14' ?


Any 2014 applicants to the GSD's Urban Design program? 
Was hoping to collectively discuss and wait out the two month period till the results are out. 
Also it would be much appreciated if anyone could shed some light on the selection process and what the odds are of making the program.

My details: International Applicant (Indian) . Around a year of work exp. Currently teaching (Assistant Prof) at a local university. Just about average GRE Score, 103 TOEFL.,  Personal and quite nice LOR's and an overly passionate SOP ( I went a bit overboard and was a bit too vocal with my views on architecture). 

Also applied to SMarchs (Arch+Urbanism) - MITand M.Arch II ( Cornell). Any information on the other two would be great as well.

Jan 15, 14 12:12 pm

I can speak to the GSD MAUD program as a recent grad.  The admissions requirements will be roughly judged as follows:

#1. A portfolio that showcases a very strong design and professional aptitude.  The MAUD program is nearly identical to the March II program. You will be in competition with many potential applicants seeking both degree programs.  The main difference is obviously a more urban or holistic design scale and further interaction with the other Harvard schools including HBS, Kennedy, and Law. They want you to be able to interact with these affiliated Harvard students and degree programs.

#2. This will be your school/work experience and personal letter.  Very few students are granted admission without 2+ years of real world experience (it does happen). This is a post-professional program, student are selected specifically for there unique background and professional experiences.  Have a great story!

#3. Your undergraduate grades are important. Average undergrad GPA of my MAUD class was a 3.85. I was admitted with a 3.35 so I am living proof exceptions do exist!

#4. Letters of recommendation. These will only be read if you make the final round.

#5. GRE this score is more important based on who reviews your application.  Generally there are about 5-8 faculty members who review each years applicants. Some don’t give the GRE much weight in their recommendations and some do. 

Overall, place 90% of your time and energy into the portfolio. The first review of your application is usually a 10-30 second look at your portfolio work.  Your goal is to be placed in the "YES" pile early, then continue to wow them!

The MAUD class expanded its numbers last year. It was 36 students, I believe it is now 40ish. Each year is different but on average you are looking at about ~500-540 applicants, so about an 8% accept rate.

I wish you good luck, Harvard is an amazing place and I miss it every day!  You must remember the GSD is only one member of Harvard's 11 other schools. You will have the opportunity to work and travel in any academic/professional capacity you can imagine!


Harvard and MIT are almost the same school. Each institution will allow you to take "for credit" courses at the other (you also go to the same parties!!).  I was also accepted to the SMarchs program and both schools were fantastic, it really ends up being a gut decision which to attend.

Jan 17, 14 11:32 pm

thank you @Jumperman18 for the great insight 

Jan 23, 14 9:42 am

Thank you Jumperman. Was great to hear from a recent grad. 

As you had mentioned above, real world experience is crucial and is something that I lack. I hope I make the cut. Else will plunge into professional practice, work harder and reapply !

Jan 25, 14 5:45 am

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