Applying to Graduate School

Welcome to the MIT Chemical Engineering Graduate Admissions page. This page explains the application process in general. To apply, go to the online application. You will be asked to create a user ID and password. Please write down your user ID and password for future use. You do not need to complete the entire application in one sitting. You may begin the application, save it, and return to it at a later time using your user id and password.

MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering offers three graduate degree programs — PhD, PhD CEP and MSCEP.  MIT admits students for the Fall term each year; there is no January or June admissions.

Before you apply…

Note: Many questions are answered in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. Prior to contacting MIT ChemE (, please take the time to review our FAQ page.

Fill out the online application by 23:59, EST, November 20.

You will be providing the following information:

  • Field(s) of interest
  • Personal information
  • Three names and e-mail addresses of letter of recommendation writers
    • We recommend that before October 15 you notify your letter
      writers that you will be requesting evaluations from them. This will
      give them time to prepare and submit their letters by
      November 20. Once you have submitted your online application,
      instructions to your letter writers will be generated for you. You are
      responsible for making sure that your letter writers have copies of
      these instructions.
    • Letters of recommendation should address the admissions criteria listed
  • Scanned copies of your college transcripts
  • For international students, official TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • PhDCEP only: Self-reported GRE general exam scores.
  • PhD & MSCEP: GRE scores are not required or accepted as part of
    the graduate application.
  • Application fee of $75*
  • Resume or CV of no more than two pages (12 point font or larger and 1 inch
    margins) that includes the following information:

    • Any honors, awards, prizes, or fellowships you have received.
    • All teaching, work, and research experiences you have had.
    • Any publications or presentations, including full citation with title
      and list of all authors and the DOI if applicable.
    • Any military or major volunteer service and study abroad experiences.
    • Anything else you’d like to share.
  • Responses to short answer essay questions:
    • What motivates you to earn a PhD/PhDCEP/MSCEP in Chemical Engineering at
      MIT? (300 words)
    • For up to two of your most important scientific, engineering, research,
      or work experiences over the last four years, describe your specific
      role, the new knowledge or discovery that you made, and the potential
      impacts of the project on science or society. (300 words per experience)
    • In what type of environment do you and others thrive?  How do you find,
      create, and maintain those environments?  (300 words)
  • Please tell us anything else about yourself that you think we should
    know. (No word limit)

*Fee waivers are available for eligible applicants.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible and are responsible for ensuring that all admissions credentials are submitted on time. Your application will not be reviewed until all materials have been received. There is no separate application for financial support; all admitted students are offered financial support.

Prospective student applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Understanding of the Chemical Engineering Fundamentals: The candidate’s core knowledge of chemical kinetics, transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and the underlying quantitative skills that form the core solution methods for Chemical Engineers.

Analytical and Scientific Preparation: A candidate’s background in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science as relevant to the candidate’s area(s) of interest.

Drive and Persistence: A candidate’s commitment to education and research and ability to overcome adversity when challenges are encountered.

Excellence in Research: A candidate’s demonstrated accomplishment in scientific research, including scientific creativity and ability to formulate important scientific questions.

Character: A candidate’s integrity, leadership potential, and ability to work effectively on teams and as a community member within a diverse and multicultural environment.

Communication Skills: A candidate’s demonstrated effectiveness with scientific written and oral communication in English on technical and non-technical subjects.