Harvard University

The principal educational goal of the Visual and Environmental Studies Department (VES) is to provide students in a liberal arts college with an opportunity to gain an understanding of visual art and expression through both study and practice. The department aims to foster a dialogue among makers, critics, and theorists, and accordingly its faculty comprises individuals representing all of these areas. The courses they offer fall into several areas, including the studio arts, photography, filmmaking, film studies, environmental studies, and critical theory. The department’s symbolic and functional home is the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, built in 1963, and is the only building designed by Le Corbusier in North America. The building contains art studios, photography darkrooms, film and video screening facilities, faculty offices, and departmental administrative offices. Additionally, the department occupies space in the top floor and the lower level of Sever Hall, which contains faculty offices, film and video editing equipment, film and video screening facilities, as well as an extensive Film Study Library.
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United States

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street
Phone: 617.495.3251
Fax: 617.495.8197
Website: http://www.ves.fas.harvar

College Photos (1)

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Academic Staff and Description


News and Events


Please see http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/events.html for current Carpenter Centre details.

Please see http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/vesNewFacultyExhibition.html for forthcoming exhibtions.  

Information For  Undergraduates

Full details of forthcoming courses can be found at http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/courses.html  

Information For  International Students

Harvard has attracted curious, energetic and passionate students to live and to learn in Cambridge. Our undergraduates come from all over the United States as well as 80 countries and have a rich mix of interests, backgrounds, and talents.

If you are applying from a school outside the United States or Canada, you should follow the same procedures and timetables as candidates applying from schools in the United States. There is, however, some special information for students applying from abroad, outlined on our website at http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/prospective/international/index.html  

Student Life

Much of the value of a Harvard education lies in things learned outside the classroom and in the relationships established with others in the community, especially with fellow students.

Extracurricular opportunities at Harvard are virtually limitless with nearly 300 official student organizations including performing and visual arts groups, 41 varsity athletic teams, student government, public service organizations, more than 50 ethnic and cultural groups, publications, and media projects. In addition, students take advantage of living in Harvard Square, frequenting its movie theaters, bookstores, ice cream shops, cafes, and the many specialty shops.


Harvard guarantees every student College housing for four years, and nearly all students choose to live on campus for their full undergraduate careers. All 1650 first-year students live in or adjacent to Harvard Yard. The Freshman Dean's Office assigns roommates carefully among 17 freshman dorms. Numerous proctors (adult residential advisors) and deans live among first-year students to help them explore Harvard's broad academic and extracurricular opportunities. One highlight of freshman year is dining in Annenberg Hall, where all first years gather to eat.

For an in-depth look at housing at Harvard, watch the online tours of Mower Hall (one of the freshman dorms in Harvard Yard) and Adams House - one of the upperclass houses located along the Charles River.


How To Apply

To be admitted as a concentrator to the Department of Visual & Environmental Studies (VES) a student must be a currently matriculated undergraduate at Harvard College and have at least a B average. Students wishing to focus in the studio arts or film/video production must ordinarily take at least one studio or production class in the department prior to applying. Those students wishing to focus on either Film Studies or Environmental Studies should take at least one course related to their area of interest before applying, with a resident member of the VES Department.

Please refer to the department calendar for the specific dates by which to do so for the current academic year. Application forms and Plans of Study (or Change of Concentration Forms) should be dropped off with Michael Lawrence in the VES Department Office, Carpenter Center 102.

Admission to the VES concentration requires a written application for committee evaluation consisting of the Plan of Study, which must specify an intended emphasis or emphases, and previous academic record. The criteria for acceptance also include a grade point average of at least B. ...  [ Read All ]