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 PhD and 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 Deadline
Aeronautics and AstronauticsDecember 15
ArchitectureJanuary 7
Biological EngineeringDecember 15
BiologyDecember 1
Brain and Cognitive SciencesDecember 1
Chemical EngineeringNovember 20
ChemistryDecember 1
Civil and Environmental EngineeringDecember 1
Computational and Systems BiologyDecember 1
Computational Science and Engineering PhDDecember 1
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesDecember 1
EconomicsDecember 15
Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceDecember 15
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and TechnologyDecember 1
History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and SocietyDecember 10
Institute for Data, Systems, and SocietyDecember 15
Linguistics and PhilosophyDecember 15, January 2
Materials Science and EngineeringDecember 1
MathematicsDecember 15
Mechanical EngineeringDecember 15
Media Arts and SciencesDecember 1
MicrobiologyDecember 1
MIT Sloan PhD ProgramDecember 1
MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography /
Applied Ocean Science and Engineering
December 15
Nuclear Science and EngineeringDecember 15
Operations Research CenterDecember 15
PhysicsDecember 15
Political ScienceDecember 15
Program in Polymers and Soft MatterDecember 1 or December 15, depending on home department
TransportationJanuary 4
Urban Studies and PlanningDecember 15