We’ve collected the answers to the most common questions asked by students in their first weeks of the program.

What to Bring

  • A lock or padlock with a 1/4″ or 1/8″ shank to lock your studio desk.
  • Headphones – Students are allowed to listen to music during his/her time in the design studio, but please be aware that music is restricted to headphones.
  • Sketchbook – The design representation portion of the program requires all participants (regardless of concentration) to bring a non-coiled sketch book no smaller than 4×6 and no larger than 8.5×11.
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Computers – laptops are recommended but are not required.


  • Health Insurance – Participants of the Career Discovery Program do not qualify for health insurance through Harvard University.  It is strongly recommended that all participants of the program consider purchasing health and/or travel insurance while in Cambridge.
  • Medical Treatment – Students may obtain medical care at Cambridge Hospital on a fee for service basis.
    Cambridge Hospital
    1493 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
  • Emergency – If the medical condition is extremely urgent or appears life-threatening, please call 911 immediately.

Meal plans are not available for purchase. However, Cambridge offers a variety of local eateries where students can find a meal for a reasonable price within walking distance of the GSD and residence halls. Additionally, there is a cafeteria located on the main floor of Gund Hall which is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday – Friday. Participants should plan on spending at least $30 per day on food.

Career Discovery participants receive a pre-assembled kit with the following *items.  Each kit contains one of each item unless otherwise noted. Please be aware, this is a basic “starter” kit and participants will need to purchase additional materials throughout the program.

  • 36″ Acrylic Edge T-Square
  • 8″ Adjustable Protractor
  • Architecture Scale
  • Conte Crayon/Sang Nat 2pk
  • Crescent Board 30X40 (lt. cream)
  • Design Kneaded Eraser
  • Draftsman Duster
  • 1/2IN”X60yd Drafting Tape
  • 4 oz. Elmer’s Glue All
  • Engineering Scale
  • 15″ Flex Steel Ruler
  • Foam Board Sheet 20 x 30 x 3/16
  • Kimberly Graphite Drawing Pencil 6B
  • 2 Leadholders
  • Lead Pointer
  • Lumograph Leads 2B tube of 2
  • Lumograph Leads 2H tube of 2
  • Lumograph Leads H tube of 2
  • Lumograph Leads HB tube of 2
  • Mounting Board 32x40x 1/16 (gry sngl thick)
  • Mounting Board 32x40x1/32 (gry dbl thick)
  • Olfa Snap Utility Knife
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Prismacolor Pencils 12set
  • Sign Pen – Black
  • Staedtler White Plastic Eraser
  • 12”x20yd White Tracing Paper Roll
  • 12″ 30/60 Triangle Standard
  • Vellum Sheets
  • Vine Charcoal/3PK
  • Xacto knife w/ refill blades
  • Yasutomo Stylist – Black
 * Items on this list are subject to change.

The The Graduate School of Design is generally an informal place. Furthermore, Cambridge can, and probably will, be a hot and humid place in the summer, so dress accordingly.

Harvard mail policy prohibits students from receiving mail at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. However, we understand that it may be necessary to ship packages with items needed for the duration of your stay. We recommend using FedEx (www.fedex.com) as an option to send these packages. The FedEx Cambridge location, which is located a few blocks from the dormitories, will hold packages for pick-up at the store.

Athletic Passes
Athletic passes to the Malkin Athletic Center and Hemenway Gymnasium may be purchased through the Career Discovery office for $150. Orders and payments must be made by June 1 and are non-refundable.  To receive more information, or to request a pass, please contact the Program Manager at discovery@gsd.harvard.edu.