PhD in Computational Science and Engineering

Admission can be gained by electronic application to the CSE PhD program. At the time of application, applicants will be required to indicate in which host department they would like to reside. Admission decisions will be conducted jointly between the Center for Computational Engineering (CCE) and the host department.

The deadline to apply for September 2020 admission is December 15, 2019.

All supplemental materials (e.g., transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation) must also be received by December 15. Application review begins on that date, and incomplete applications may not be reviewed. To find out exactly what is needed to apply, please see below. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of this hard deadline, as we do not make exceptions. We also do not allow students to upload/submit material beyond what is required, such as degree certificates, extra recommendations, publications, etc.

As part of the online application, all applicants must submit the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation in PDF format;
  • Transcripts from all colleges / universities attended, uploaded directly to the application in PDF format;
    • Students admitted to the program will be required to supply official transcripts. Discrepancies between unofficial and official transcripts may result in the revocation of the admission offer.
  • Completed Subjects Taken section of the application;
  • Statement of objectives (limit essay to one page), and Statement Comments, if any;
  • Official GRE General Test score report, sent to MIT by ETS via institiute code 3514;
  • Official IELTS score report sent to MIT by IELTS* (international applicants from non-English speaking countries only; see below for more information);
  • Resume or CV, uploaded in PDF format;
  • MIT graduate application fee of $75.

Current MIT CDO Students: Please contact Kate Nelson to discuss your admission requirements.

Application Fee

The MIT graduate application fee of $75.00 is a mandatory requirement set by the Institute payable by MasterCard or Visa.

Please visit the MIT Graduate Admission Application Fee Waiver page for information about fee waiver eligibility and instructions.

Admissions Contact Information

Kate Nelson, CSE Administrator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 35-434
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

GRE / English Language Requirements


All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Aptitude Test. The MIT code for submitting GRE score reports is 3514 (you do not need to list a department code). GRE scores must current; ETS considers scores valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested.

English Language Proficiency Requirement*

The CSE PhD program requires international applicants from non-English speaking countries to take the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The IELTS exam measures one’s ability to communicate in English in four major skill areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. A minimum IELTS score of 7 is required for admission. For more information about the IELTS, and to find out where and how to take the exam, please visit the IELTS web site.

While we will also accept the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language), we strongly prefer the IELTS. Please note the minimum TOEFL iBT score is 100.

Degree Requirements for Admission

To be admitted as a regular graduate student, an applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college, university, or technical school of acceptable standing. Students in their final year of undergraduate study may be admitted on the condition that their bachelor’s degree is awarded before they enroll at MIT.

Applicants without an SM degree may apply to the CSE PhD program, however, the Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering nominally require the completion of an SM degree before a student is considered a doctoral candidate. As a result, applicants to those departments holding only a bachelor’s degree are asked in the application to indicate whether they prefer to complete an SM degree in computation through the CDO program, offered by the Center for Computational Engineering, or through the home department.

For more information on the CDO program please visit the CDO Admission section of the website.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment.  To read MIT’s most up-to-date nondiscrimination policy, please visit the Reference Publication Office’s nondiscrimination statement page.

Additional Information

For more details, as well as answers to most commonly asked questions regarding the admissions process to individual participating departments including details on financial support, applicants are referred to the website of the participating department of interest.