Doctoral Degrees

A doctoral degree requires the satisfactory completion of an approved program of advanced study and original research of high quality.

Please note that the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Science (ScD) degrees are awarded interchangeably by all departments in the School of Engineering and the School of Science, except in the fields of biology, cognitive science, neuroscience, medical engineering, and medical physics. This means that, excepting the departments outlined above, the coursework and expectations to earn a Doctor of Philosophy and for a Doctor of Science degree from these schools are generally the same. Doctoral students may choose which degree they wish to complete.

Applicants interested in graduate education should apply to the department or graduate program conducting research in the area of interest. Some departments require a doctoral candidate to take a “minor” program outside of the student’s principal field of study; if you wish to apply to one of these departments, please consider additional fields you may like to pursue.

Below is a list of programs and departments that offer doctoral-level degrees.

ProgramApplication OpensApplication Deadline
Aeronautics and AstronauticsSeptember 1December 1
ArchitectureSeptember 15January 7
Biological EngineeringSeptember 15December 15
BiologyOctober 1December 1
Brain and Cognitive SciencesSeptember 1December 1
Chemical EngineeringSeptember 5November 13
ChemistrySeptember 15December 1
Civil and Environmental EngineeringSeptember 15December 1
Computational and Systems BiologyOctober 1December 1
Computational Science and Engineering PhDSeptember 15December 1
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesSeptember 1December 1
EconomicsSeptember 15December 15
Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceSeptember 16December 15
Health Sciences and Technology (Joint Harvard-MIT Program)August 1December 1
History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and SocietySeptember 15December 10
Institute for Data, Systems, and SocietySeptember 15December 15
LinguisticsSeptember 15December 15
Materials Science and EngineeringSeptember 15December 1
MathematicsSeptember 14December 15
Mechanical EngineeringSeptember 15December 15
Media Arts and SciencesSeptember 15December 15
MicrobiologyOctober 1December 1
MIT Sloan PhD ProgramSeptemberDecember 1
MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography /
Applied Ocean Science and Engineering
October 1December 15
Nuclear Science and EngineeringSeptember 15December 15
Operations Research CenterSeptember 15December 15
PhilosophySeptember 15January 2
PhysicsSeptember 15December 15
Political ScienceOctober 9December 15
Program in Polymers and Soft MatterSee home departmentSee home department
TransportationOctober 1January 15
Urban Studies and PlanningSeptember 5December 15