1. Who is eligible to apply to EECS?
We expect applicants to have earned a Bachelor’s degree by the time they register in EECS, and to possess a very strong background in math, physics, computer science, or engineering. Admission is extremely competitive.
2. How do I apply?
To apply to our graduate application, you must use the online application which is available at: https://gradapply.mit.edu/eecs. A few sections of the application are editable after submission, including the “Statement of Objectives.” We request that all letters of recommendation be uploaded electronically to the GradApply application by your recommenders. Copies of transcripts are uploaded to the application. Admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts to the EECS Graduate Office via regular or express mail delivery. Please do not send any documents other than your official transcript(s).
The mailing address is: EECS Graduate Office, Room 38-444, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. Since we use express couriers such as FedEx and DHL for notifying admitted applicants, please try to avoid using PO boxes in your mailing address.
3. Is the deadline the same for the application and supporting documents?
No, the deadline for submitting your application is December 15 and the online application system will shut down that day. However, the online letter system will stay open for several more weeks. Your letters and transcripts should be uploaded to the online application by early January. Review of the application will include review of credentials posted to the application at the time of that review.
4. How do I pay for the application fee?
The online system requires you to pay with a credit card. (Applicants should avoid using PO boxes in their return addresses).
5. I applied earlier; how may I reapply?
You should fill out a completely new online application. You may indicate that you applied earlier by checking the appropriate box.
6. What documents are necessary for applying to EECS?
The application consists of four parts: The biographical section, three (3) letters of recommendation, “Record of Subjects” with grades, and a “Statement of Objectives.” For more information about writing a statement of objectives, see this article from the MIT EECS Communication Lab.
7. I am an MIT undergraduate in EECS. Should I fill out the “Record of Subjects”?
Yes, you should list all subjects and grades that do not appear on your uploaded transcript. With the new online procedure for evaluating applications, it is necessary for us to view all the grades online if they do not appear on your transcript. All admitted students will be required to send official transcripts to the EECS Graduate Office, Room 38-444.
8. Should I list the subjects that I am currently taking on the “Record of Subjects”?
You should list all subjects that do not appear on your transcripts.
9. Are there separate admission procedures for Master’s and PhD programs?
No. there is only one admissions process. When we admit an applicant, it is into the PhD program. If you do not have a master’s degree when you apply, you will get that degree first before proceeding to the PhD. If you already hold a master’s degree from another school, you can begin working directly toward the PhD qualifiers.
10. If I already have a PhD, can I apply for another PhD in EECS?
No, we will not admit an applicant who already holds a PhD degree (even if it is in a different area such as Physics or Math).
11. Does EECS accept transfer credit?
No. If you have started a master’s or doctoral program at another university, you cannot transfer classes or research credit with the intention of completing that degree at MIT.
We will accept a master’s degree completed at another school toward our own PhD requirements.
12. Is it OK to send copies of awards, papers or extra letters of recommendation to supplement my application?
No. Because of the large volume of applications submitted to EECS, we must discourage you from sending in copies of awards, journal articles, and other extraneous documents. You may provide URLs to these documents in your application in the “Honors, Prizes, Awards, and Fellowships” box located in the “Test Scores/Experience” section of the online application.
13. I will be applying before I finish the fall term. Should I update my application with a new transcript which includes my fall term grades?
No, we would prefer that you upload your most recent transcripts. List all in-progress courses in the “Record of Subjects” section. Admitted students will be required to submit final transcripts prior to enrollment in the EECS graduate program.
14. Can I apply to more than one department without negative consequence?
Yes, but keep in mind that the applications are independent of each other. We do not share supporting materials with the other departments. A separate fee is required for each application.
15. What tests are necessary for applying to EECS?
EECS will accept either the TOEFL or the IELTS* scores for the English evaluation test. For the TOEFL, we require a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, and 100 for the Internet-based test. We require a minimum score of 7 on the IELTS. We do not use the GRE test scores during the admission process — regardless of citizenship — unless you are applying to the LGO Program, which does require the GRE.
*IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP; IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.
16. Can the TOEFL (or IELTS) tests be waived in certain cases for international students?
The Department will grant an automatic waiver to any student whose first language is English, any student who has been studying or working in the U.S. for two or more years, or whose undergraduate institution uses English as the language of instruction. The ETS code for sending TOEFL scores to MIT is 3514, and the code for the EECS Department is 66 (or 78). The IELTS scores are mailed by the agency directly to the MIT Admissions Office.
17. How is the PhD funded?
In the EECS PhD program, students are supported with a fellowship, research assistantship or teaching assistantship. The financial support provides full tuition, a monthly living stipend and medical insurance. When needed, additional departmental support is available.
Decisions on support are made after decisions on admission and are based on the information supplied in the application for admission. Any newly admitted student will automatically be considered for Department fellowships and assistantship support. Newly admitted students are also encouraged to apply to outside government and private agencies for fellowship support. Research assistants are chosen by faculty who are seeking students who share their research interests. Teaching assistants are chosen for their ability to teach and communicate ideas well. First-year fellowships and assistantships cover tuition costs, health insurance, and provide a monthly stipend. Once a student has been admitted, some interviews and student visits will be arranged in order to determine the level of shared interest between the student and faculty. Faculty members will not discuss financial support or thesis supervision with a student who has not yet been admitted.
Funding Guide for Graduate Students in EECS
If you are awarded a fellowship from some other source, please email Liza Ruano at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the Department policy on merging various sources of support.
18. Since I have been in the work force for the last few years, it will be difficult to obtain all the letters of recommendation from faculty members. Is it OK to ask my employer/supervisors to write letters in support of my application?
In a case like this, we usually suggest that you submit at least one letter from a faculty member who knew you well — perhaps your undergraduate thesis supervisor. The other two letters can be from employers. When in doubt, remember that our Admissions Committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. Character references do not carry weight.
19. Is the application fee ever waived or deferred?
Applying to the EECS graduate program requires a fee of $75 US dollars to defray processing costs and will be charged to a credit card. Application fee waivers are also available and more information is found here: http://gradadmissions.mit.edu/about/diversity-initiatives/fee-waiver Eligible applicants will find an online form to request a fee waiver.
20. To what address should I send my final transcripts?
You should send these documents to our office:
EECS Graduate Office
MIT, Room 38-444
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
21. Will the Department keep me informed of my application status?
We do not acknowledge receipt of applications or supporting documents. Online applicants should go back into their online applications to verify submission and check for the number of recommendations that have been received.
If you are a very strong candidate for admission and you have missing documentation, you will be contacted by our office by email.
To check their admission results, applicants can log into their online accounts around the middle of February. The results will be posted, rather than mailed, for applications that are not accepted.
Questions may be directed to the EECS Graduate Office at (617) 253-4603, or send an email to email@example.com.
22. When will I receive my decision notification?
Decisions are available in mid-February. Applicants should go into their online application to check their status. Decisions on financial aid are mailed between late February and April 1. Applicants have until April 15 to notify MIT of their decision to accept or decline the offer of admission. Decisions made after April 15 are considered binding and may require a written release.
Information and a list of schools agreeing to adhere to this decision date can be found on the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants, or by searching the Council of Graduate Schools website http://www.cgsnet.org.
23. Can I defer my admission?
An admitted student may make a written request to defer admission for one term only. Exceptions are made in rare cases; these written requests must be explained in detail.
24. How do I know what subjects/classes to register for?
The subjects you register for will depend on the research area into which you have been admitted. We have 3 main research areas in EECS – Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence + Decision making. Each area has core subjects as well as other relevant subjects to choose from. Your academic advisor will assist you in determining appropriate subjects for your program. You can add or drop subjects during the term.
25. Is there a dual degree program in EECS and management?
The two-year MIT Leaders for Global Operations program offers both an SM in EECS and an MBA or SM from the MIT Sloan School of Management. LGO’s program of study in EECS offers optional tracks in semiconductors, information and decision systems. LGO is designed for students with two or more years of work experience who aspire to leadership positions in the fields of manufacturing and operations.
26. Do other dual degree programs exist?
MIT students who are enrolled another MIT graduate program may be eligible for a dual masters degree, which involves meeting the coursework requirements of both masters programs, and writing one thesis of an interdisciplinary nature. This must be proposed in advance, and is subject to approval of the primary and secondary departments. To begin this process, speak to the Graduate Administrators in both departments.
27. What are “special students?”
Special students may apply to take one, two or three classroom subjects per term. They are not in a degree program and may not do research. They are usually people who work in the area and whose company is paying for tuition. For additional information please contact the Advanced Study Program. The credit earned can sometimes be used toward a degree at another school.
28. Do you have part-time or evening programs?
All degree programs are for full-time day students. All classes and research must be done on campus. In recent years, there has been a wide expansion of free online non-degree subject offerings, including MIT OpenCourseware, MITx, and edX.
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm, lecture notes, exams and videos from MIT
http://mitx.mit.edu/, MIT online learning initiative
https://www.edx.org/, the future of online education