Applying to the MEng
6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-7, and 6-14 Undergraduate students in their third or fourth year are welcome to apply to the MEng program. Before applying, students should have progressed through the majority of the departmental requirements. Applicants should have completed at least one undergraduate research experience in the form of a UROP or similar academic research experience. Research undertaken as part of a course or internship is rarely sufficient to meet this admission requirement. The majority of accepted students have a GPA of at least 4.25 in completed requirements for their major and an overall GPA of at least 4.0. However, we encourage all interested students to apply; in some cases, substantial research experience can compensate for a lower GPA. If you’re not admitted at your first application, you may apply again in any/every cycle of MEng applications up until you graduate.
The MEng application is available here. It opens on drop date each semester and closes on the last day of classes. You must apply before graduation.
After Being Accepted
Once decisions have been made (typically within 6-8 weeks after the deadline), all applicants will receive an email from the Undergraduate Office. Students who have been accepted will be asked to give a tentative start-date for their MEng. This start date is non-binding. You may choose to start right away or you may defer MEng entry up to two years after your finish your undergraduate degree.
Before beginning their MEng, students must decide when they want to officially become graduate students, which we refer to as holding “grad status”. In the last regular semester of their MEng students must hold grad status (or dual undergrad/grad status), but many students choose to hold grad status earlier. There are a few reasons you might choose to do this:
- If you’ve already completed your undergraduate degree, you must hold grad status; otherwise you’re not a registered student.
- If you want to be funded by a TAship or an RAship. Only graduate students are eligible for these forms of funding.
- If you want access to graduate housing.
In some cases, students may choose to hold both grad status and undergraduate status (for example, a student who has not completed their SB degree, but wants to hold an RAship). In those cases, the graduate student status supersedes an undergraduate status in the vast majority of places, including financial aid; you cannot receive undergraduate financial aid if you hold dual status. In some cases, eligibility for undergraduate housing is also affected; you should check with your specific residence. Typically you may remain in undergraduate housing for up to eight terms, so if you take grad or dual status you may stay in undergrad housing with special permission from Housing (refer to Housing for details).
Before holding grad status, you must have at least 180 units beyond the GIRs and have completed all departmental requirements (up to two of the GIRs may be incomplete). You may petition to enter MEng before all departmental requirements are complete. Email the EECS Undergraduate Office to discuss. Your petition must include your requested MEng entry term, rationale for early MEng entry, your plan for funding, and a plan to complete all undergrad and MEng coursework within 2-3 regular terms (fall/spring).
Graduate students and undergraduate students are different categories of students; students are not allowed to alternate between statuses, but can hold both statuses at once. If you are unsure when to declare grad status, the EECS Undergraduate Office will be able to advise you.
Deferring MEng Entry
You may defer MEng entry for up to two years after your graduation. The two year deferral begins upon graduation, not upon when you were offered admission to the program. Read below for the timelines and action items to prepare for your return. Longer deferral periods can be requested by petition before your initial deferral period expires (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and are typically only granted for extenuating circumstances.
- MEng is a 2-3 term program. Make a plan for completing the coursework + thesis within 2-3 terms.
- Get in touch with the EECS Undergrad Office (email@example.com) to confirm your MEng entry term is accurate in our records.
- Timeline: 2-3 months before your return.
- Make a plan for funding (e.g. fully self-funded, seeking TA/RAship, etc.).
- Read more about funding here. Note: funding is not guaranteed for the MEng program and is typically arranged term-by-term.
- Teaching Assistant (TA) applications are generally due October 22 for spring positions and March 22 for fall positions. Read more here.
- Research Assistant positions are most commonly arranged directly between the student and lab. Follow the EECS Opportunities List with your mit.edu or alum.mit.edu email address for RA positions that are advertised.
- Timeline: The term before you plan to return (recommended); spring term if you plan to enter MEng in fall, fall term if you plan to enter MEng in spring.
- Confirm a thesis supervisor.
- International students should contact ISO for information about necessary visa requirements.
- Note: you will have to show funding in the form of personal funds and/or paid graduate appointment for one academic year to be issued an I-20.
- Timeline: 2-3 months before your plan to return. Deadline: request EECS departmental letter of support for the I-20 and submit that to ISO at least 2-4 weeks before the term begins.