Applying to Design Discovery Virtual

To apply for the Design Discovery Virtual program, please submit the following required materials:

  • An essay (500 words max) that describes a particularly satisfying project you have undertaken. This project need not be related to design or planning, although this is preferable. You might, for example, write about participating in a political campaign, mastering a musical instrument, doing research on a special topic, or organizing a social event.
  • A resume or CV which includes the following information: 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.
  • Transcripts should be submitted online by the applicant and are required from all colleges and universities from which the applicant has received credit. When uploading a transcript, please make sure the scanned version is legible. Transcripts that are 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. Admitted students who have attended a school outside of the U.S. may be asked to submit a WES (World Education Service) certified transcript, at the applicant’s expense.
  • A non-refundable $80 application fee is due upon application submission.
  • International applicants, except those from countries where English is the native language, must submit ONE of the following:

      • Duolingo test
        The minimum required score is 115.
      • A valid score from the TOEFL internet-based test
        The minimum required TOEFL iBT total score is 92, with the following minimum section requirements: reading, 23; speaking, 23; listening, 23; writing, 23. Please have test results submitted to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, institution code 3455. For further information about the TOEFL exam, please visit

      International applicants who are currently enrolled in a university within the United States are exempt from this requirement.


Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in late February. Applications will continue to be reviewed until June 1 or until all spots are filled. Early submission is strongly encouraged.

Deadline Date
Online Application Opens February 15, 2021
Financial Aid Application Deadline April 30, 2021
Application Deadline June 1, 2021
Registration/Payment Deadline Within two weeks following admission
Cancellation Deadline for Full (100%) Refund* June 18, 2021
Withdrawal Deadline for Partial Refund** July 2, 2021

*Contact Design Discovery Virtual to cancel your enrollment by this date to receive a full (100%) refund of the $2,400 program fee.

**Contact Design Discovery Virtual to cancel your enrollment by this date to receive a partial (50%) refund of the program fee (amounting to $1,200).


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will I be notified of the admissions decision?

A: Once decisions have been made, you will receive an email notifying you of an update to your application.

Q: Is it possible to defer?

A: No, the Design Discovery Virtual program does not grant deferrals. If you are admitted but unable to attend, you would need to reapply.

Q: I’ve applied before. Can you reactivate my previous application?

A: No. Any former applicant wishing to reapply to the GSD Design Discovery Virtual Program must resubmit all forms and documentation.