A student may request approval to pursue masters degrees in two fields simultaneously, using a single thesis or two separate theses to meet the degree requirements for each department. A student who chooses this academic degree path is thus pursuing dual degrees, as opposed to an interdisciplinary degree in two or more research fields.
Single thesis: This degree plan is intended for qualified graduate students who seek academic recognition in two professional fields that, although distinct, have a substantial intellectual connection. The degree plan requires a balanced choice of academic subjects, made with the advice of each of two departments, and by selection of the thesis topic.
To satisfy the minimum requirements for the program, the student must complete (in addition to thesis units) at least 132 subject units, of which 66 units are unique to each department. In those instances where a department or program has established unit requirements in excess of the foregoing minimums the department or program requirements prevail. Such excess of units in one department may not be applied to the program in the other department.
A student pursuing a Master in City Planning in addition to a second master’s degree must have both programs approved in the usual way, but the subject units for the MCP can be lowered at the discretion of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
The dual-degree Leaders for Global Operations program confers both an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an SM from one of seven engineering programs.
Individuals who wish to qualify for a Master of Science degree in Real Estate Development, in addition to a Master of Architecture or Master in City Planning degree, will be required to satisfy all the subject requirements of each program. Specifically, candidates for the Master of Architecture degree must take 164 subject units and Master in City Planning degree candidates must take 126 subject units. Individuals who wish to qualify for the master’s degree in Real Estate Development also must take at least 66 subject units unique to this program. Students may submit a single thesis provided it is acceptable to the graduate committee of each program. It is expected that such dual degree candidates will be in residence at least one term longer than expected if enrolled in a single degree program.
In order to be eligible to participate in a dual degree program, students must meet the admissions criteria of both departments. At least two regular terms prior to completion of the program, the student must submit to each department a statement of educational objectives along with a detailed program plan that includes a description of the proposed thesis topic. The total program must meet with the approval of each department, and a petition approved by the Office of Graduate Education describing the program must be filed with the Registrar’s Office.
The thesis research must be done under the supervision of an approved member of one of the two participating departments, with the other department providing a thesis reader. The thesis must be of superior quality. The single thesis cannot be used to satisfy the thesis requirements of any additional graduate degree programs.
In special cases, the standing committee of an approved interdisciplinary program may act in lieu of one of the two participating departments.
Two theses: Occasionally an individual, already admitted for graduate study, may wish to pursue simultaneously two distinct master’s programs, fulfilling the thesis requirement with a separate thesis for each degree program. In such cases, the usual unit requirements for each program apply separately. Registration for two degrees is contingent upon approval by the second department of a request for admission. Such a request can be initiated by a petition approved by both departments and approved by the Office of Graduate Education.