Graduate Policies & Procedures

Advanced Degrees

Graduate students may pursue work leading to any of the following degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); Doctor of Science (ScD); Engineer; Master of Science (SM); Master of Engineering (MEng); Master of Architecture (MArch); Master in City Planning (MCP); and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Each graduate program is described in individual department or program statements on graduate education in the MIT Bulletin. These statements should be consulted for more specific information. Degrees are awarded by the MIT Corporation upon faculty recommendation. Favorable faculty action is contingent upon approval by the Committee on Graduate Programs of recommendations from the appropriate departmental graduate committee.

MIT degrees are “residence degrees” in the sense that a major portion of the work must be done on campus or at one of the Institute-administered locations in association with the faculty, other graduate students, and the Institute community. This includes access to libraries, educational opportunities offered by other disciplines, and recreational, cultural, religious, and athletic opportunities.

Residence credit is achieved by satisfactory completion of approved subjects of instruction or thesis on campus while registered as a regular graduate student. Residence credit accumulated during the completion of one graduate degree can be counted toward the residence requirement for another graduate degree.

There are two special conditions under which thesis research may be carried out while not in formal residence at the Institute. The first, Thesis Research in Absentia, is applicable to all graduate degrees but intended primarily for students who are on location away from MIT but who in every other respect maintain full access to and contact with the academic life of the Institute. Such students pay full tuition and are entitled to the privileges of regular resident students.

The second special condition, Nonresident Doctoral Thesis Research Status, is available only to doctoral students who have completed all requirements other than the thesis. These students have limited access to the facilities and academic life of the Institute, may not receive financial support through MIT, and pay a substantially reduced tuition.