Graduate Admissions

Prospective students, start here!

Important Dates

September 1: EAPS Application Portal Opens (credit card required)
December 1: Deadline to apply for admission
December – March: Application review period
Mid-to-Late March: Decisions released via the application portal

*All supplemental materials (e.g., transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation) must be received by December 1. Applicants can prompt their recommenders through the application portal. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of this deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

*PLEASE NOTE: For the AY 2025 Admissions Cycle the GRE General Test will be required. See Required Tests below for additional information. 5th year SM applicants do not need to take the GRE.

Questions? See the FAQs below or contact

Applications open online in September 1 and close on December 1.

Apply directly through the MIT Admissions portal.

See the full Graduate Admissions FAQ below for more information on requirements, eligibility, funding, and more.

Applications to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program must be done through the MIT-WHOI admissions portal.

Notes on applications:

  • A credit card is required to process your application fee.
  • We have no required minimum scores on the GRE General Test. The use of the GRE is evaluated by the Admissions Committee annually.

    *For the AY 2025 Admissions Cycle the GRE General Test will be required.
  • Applicants should avoid using PO boxes in their return addresses. 

The application consists of five parts:

  1. The biographical section/
  2. Three (3) letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically, although we also accept paper letters of recommendation. Letters that arrive by paper will be scanned to your online application.
  3. GRE general test scores*

    IELTS or TOEFL test is required for all international applicants whose education was in a language other than English.
  4. “Statement of Objectives”
  5. Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Please do not send additional documents that have not been requested. They will not be reviewed.


*PLEASE NOTE: For the AY 2025 Admissions Cycle the GRE General Test will be required. 5th year SM applicants do not need to take the GRE.

Applicants to EAPS are required to provide scores for the GRE general test that are five years old or less. Applicants to the Planetary Sciences program can also provide scores from the GRE Physics subject exams, but this is optional. The MIT reporting code is: 3514, and the EAPS Department code is: 0599.

Please note: If you are taking a GRE exam close to or after the applicaiton deadline, all applications are reviewed once the application deadline has passed. Decisions will be based on the information available at the time of consideration. We do not delay the application review process to wait for missing information.

GRE Fee Waiver
Educational Testing Service (ETS) offers a fee reduction program ( for applicants with limited financial means that reduces the cost of taking the GRE to $100. There is also support available for GRE fees from programs such as SACNAS and the National Society of Black Engineers.

EAPS has limited funding to cover $100 of the GRE fee for students who qualify for the ETS fee reduction. This funding is also available to cover GRE fees for any other applicant for graduate study in EAPS who qualifies for an application fee waiver from the MIT Office of Graduate Education (, including participants in the MIT Summer Research Program. 

To apply for EAPS support for GRE fees, upload the following in the Slate application portal for EAPS:

a) a pdf of the email you received from ETS confirming your test fee reduction or the confirmation you received from MIT OGE confirming your application fee waiver, and 

b) a copy of the receipt for your GRE test fee. 

Applicants approved for GRE fee support from EAPS will be reimbursed only after they submit their EAPS application. GRE fee support will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. Note that GRE fee support is not available to applicants to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, as the Joint Program does not require the GRE.


International students are required to provide scores from either the TOEFL or the IELTS for the English evaluation test.

The IELTS is our preferred option. We require a minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS. IELTS scores are mailed by the agency directly to the MIT Admissions Office. 

For the TOEFL, we require a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test and 100 for the Internet-based test. The code for sending TOEFL scores to MIT is 3514, and the codes for the EAPS Department are:

  • 61 for Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • 71 for Geology, Geochemistry, Geobiology, Geophysics, Atmospheric Science, Climate Physics and Chemistry.

Want to chat with a current EAPS grad student?

The EAPS Student Advisory Council (E-SAC) sponsors a student-run volunteer program that provides support for those navigating the graduate admissions process in EAPS.  We especially encourage applicants from underserved and non-traditional academic backgrounds to use this resource!

If you are interested in applying to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, you can take advantage of the JP Applicant Support & Knowledgebase (JP ASK) resource.

Graduate Admissions FAQ

We expect an applicant to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they register in EAPS, and possess a very strong background in math and physics. Students who hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an international program that is three years in length are eligible to apply. You do not have to hold a Masters degree to apply to our PhD program. Admission is extremely competitive. 

No. Generally, there is only one admission process. When you submit your application please choose your final degree objective and whether it is a 5th year or traditional masters in the case of masters degrees. You do not have to have a Master’s degree before being accepted into our PhD program. Note: 5th year SM applicants (current MIT undergraduates) do not need to take the GRE to apply for admission.

No, we will not admit an applicant who already holds a PhD degree. 

Any student admitted to an EAPS doctoral program can expect to receive financial support that includes a stipend, full tuition, and health insurance. First year support may be in the form of a fellowship or research assistantship. Support in the following years is most commonly from a research assistantship or teaching assistantship. Continuation of support for the length of a five-year program is based on the student making adequate progress toward the degree.

The 5th-year and traditional masters degrees are self-funded. Students should plan to pursue financial aid or external fellowships for these degrees. Students may also apply for a fellowship from the MIT Office of Graduate Education the spring prior to the start term, if one is eligible based on the fellowship criteria.

More information on types of funding can be found on the MIT Office of Graduate Education website under costs & funding.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for independent fellowships from outside private agencies or government. If an independent fellowship falls below the EAPS level of support, the department will supplement this external fellowship with either a fellowship or research assistantship. If you are awarded a fellowship from some other source, please contact the EAPS Education Office to discuss department policy on merging various sources of support. 

The MIT Office of Graduate Education is a good resource for funding opportunities, both internal and external, and provides advising and support.

You should fill out a completely new online application. You may indicate that you applied earlier by checking the appropriate box. 

Generally, application fee waivers are based on financial hardship.

The Office of Graduate Education can grant up to three fee waivers per applicant. Fee waivers must be requested via their Application Fee Waiver Form, which opens for most graduate programs in September of each year. For additional information on fee waiver eligibility, please visit the MIT Office of Graduate Education.

The department will waive the requirement for either the IELTS or TOEFL exam for those students who have completed a four year bachelor’s program that is taught exclusively in English.

To apply for a waiver of this requirement, student should submit their request through the Graduate Student Application portal and provide documentation confirming the completion of a degree taught exclusively in English (these can be uploaded through the portal). We will use this information for use during the admissions review process.

Please note that all waivers must be submitted BEFORE completing your application. They cannot be added after you have submitted.

No. The deadline for submitting your application is December 1; the online application portal will shut down that day.

However, the recommendation letter submission portal will stay open for an additional week. Formal review of applications will begin at that time.

Please make certain your letters of reference, transcripts, and test scores [GRE*, IELTS, and/or TOEFL] are submitted in a timely fashion. We will not delay consideration of an application to wait for missing materials. All decisions are made with the documentation available at the time. 

Program in Geophysics

  • Newtonian Mechanics
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations

Programs in Geology, Geochemistry, and Geobiology or Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations

Program in Planetary Science

  • Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations

No. If you have started a master’s or doctoral program at another university, you cannot transfer classes or research credit with the intention of completing that degree at MIT. However, the classes that you will be required to take as part of our EAPS program will reflect the background that you have. You will not be expected to take a course that has the same content as one you have successfully completed at another school.

DO NOT send official copies of your transcript during the application process. You must upload a PDF copy of your transcript with your application in the Admissions portal.  

Official digital copies of your final transcript can be uploaded to the MIT Admissions Portal after you have been admitted and your offer has been accepted.

Applicants should avoid using PO boxes in their return addresses. 

We do not require that you submit an updated transcript for consideration of your application.

If your application is later accepted we will ask that you provide an official current transcript at that time. 

No. Because of the large volume of applications submitted to EAPS, we must discourage you from sending in copies of awards, journal articles, and other extraneous documents. If you do send any of these documents they will be discarded without review. 

In a case like this, we usually suggest that you submit at least one letter from a faculty member who knew you well—perhaps your undergraduate thesis supervisor. The other two letters can be from employer(s). When in doubt, remember that our Admissions Committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. Character references do not carry weight. 

We will acknowledge receipt of application through the admissions portal that tells you whether your application is complete or incomplete at that time. You will be able to track your progress through the cycle within the portal. Missing items are listed. At any time you can go back into your online application and check whether any missing letters of recommendation and test scores have been received. You can also prompt your letter writers through the portal to get their letters in.

Applicants can log into their online account to check for their admission result. Decisions will be made starting about mid-January and the process will continue into March. The results will be posted online, and you will be notified through the admissions portal. We do not send the results through the postal mail.

If special situations arise, you may call the EAPS Education Office at 617-253-3381, or send an email to

Decisions for September admission are made starting in mid-late January and the process will continue until March 15. Applicants should go into their online application to check their status. Applicants have until April 15th to notify MIT of their decision to accept or decline the offer of admission. Your recorded decison as of April 15 is considered binding and may require a written release. If you do not respond by April 15, we may recind our offer.

Information and a list of schools agreeing to adhere to these dates and conditions can be found on the Council of Graduate Schools website.

An admitted student may make a written request to defer admission for one year only. Exceptions are made in rare cases; these written requests must be explained in detail and should be sent to the

The subjects you register for will depend on the education program into which you have been admitted. Your academic advisor will assist you in determining appropriate subjects for your program based on your research interests and your past experience. You can add or drop subjects during the term. 

We have no evening or part-time courses.

Outside of the official graduate curriculum, content from many EAPS courses are posted on MIT OpenCoursware, as well as on the MITx and edX platforms.

All students whose applications have been accepted are invited to visit our department as part of our Graduate Admissions Open House.

If you are in the area prior to submitting your application, you are welcome to stop by the EAPS Education Office, Building 54, Room 912, to discuss the program.

The Role of Diversity at MIT

A diverse student body is and has long been critical to the educational mission of MIT. We are committed to providing our students “with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community.”

From the CUAFA Statement on the Role of Diversity in MIT’s Educational Mission.

MIT is an equal opportunity employer.

We value diversity and strongly encourage applications from individuals from all identities and backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive equitable consideration for employment based on their experience and qualifications, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. See MIT’s full policy on nondiscrimination. 

MIT considers equivalent combinations of experience and education for certain jobs. All candidates who believe they possess equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply.

Employment is contingent upon the complete of a satisfactory background check.

Labor Condition Application Notifications
These US Department of Labor required notices serve to inform interested parties that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology submits applications for H-1B non-immigrants for certain academic and research positions.