Fifth-Year Master of Science

For current Course 12 undergraduate students with strong academic records—and select MIT undergraduates from associated disciplines—EAPS offers a Fifth-Year master of science degree with one year of extra study. Many fifth-year master’s students have come from the departments of Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You can customize your program of study to focus on the geological, planetary, atmospheric, oceanographic, or climate sciences. The degree can be awarded either simultaneously with you bachelor’s degree or in the following year if you complete your master’s work after receiving your bachelor’s degree.

Questions about the program and how to apply? Get in touch with the EAPS Education office.

MIT Master of Science Degree Requirements

  • 66 subject units
  • A thesis, approved by the department in which student is enrolled
  • Registration as a full-time regular graduate student for a minimum of one regular academic term
  • Registration for thesis in all semesters during which the student’s thesis research or writing is actually in progress, and during the term when the student appears on the degree list

  • 34 subject units and a thesis in a single approved program, as determined by a departmental committee on graduate students

  • Student must be an undergraduate student of the Institute who is enrolled as a candidate for the bachelor degree
  • Student must apply for graduate admission in the traditional way
  • Student must register as a full-time regular graduate student for a minimum of one regular academic term
  • Thesis submitted for the master degree may also be accepted by the department in fulfillment of the undergraduate thesis requirement

EAPS Fifth-Year Master Requirements

The application deadline for admission to the Fifth-Year Master Program is December 1.

After this date, contact the EAPS Education Office directly to discuss your options.

  • Before applying, contact EAPS Academic Administrator EAPS Education Office for instructions on using GradApply online.
  • GRE scores are not required
  • For EAPS students, the EAPS Education Office will print a copy of your most recent grade report to substitute for a transcript
  • Students from outside departments should submit an unofficial MIT transcript with the rest of the application materials
  • Two letters of evaluation must be submitted, one of which must be a letter of academic support from your proposed thesis supervisor

The student’s progress will be monitored each term by the EAPS Committee on the Education Program (CEP). Continuation beyond three terms—including summer term—must be approved by the CEP. A public presentation, in a departmental seminar or lecture, of thesis results is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can register for graduate classes while still an undergraduate. You will initially receive undergraduate credit, but after your admission to the Master’s Program, you can petition to have the credit converted to graduate credit. The only restriction is that the class must not have been counted for your undergraduate degree audit.

The two theses and the research that supports them differ in depth and independence.

If you receive your degrees sequentially, you will write two theses. However, your undergraduate thesis or independent research project can serve as the nucleus for your master thesis. If you receive the two degrees simultaneously, EAPS and MIT will accept your master thesis as fulfillment of the undergraduate requirement. You will still have to register and receive credit for 12.TIP and 12.ThU.

EAPS master degree students are not guaranteed financial support. If you are planning on receiving your SB and SM simultaneously you should be aware that you are not eligible for the financial aid you received as an undergraduate student. This results from you needing to be registered as a graduate student during your final term. If you receive your degrees sequentially, this is not an issue. You will keep your undergraduate financial aid through the completion of your undergraduate program.

When preparing to apply to this program you can discuss with your potential research supervisor the possibility of receiving funding from a research grant. Occasionally a position as a teaching assistant is available, but this can not be guaranteed ahead of time. Finally you can look at external resources. Some of the national professional organizations have scholarship programs for students. A list of some possibilities is here.

All students are eligible to apply for loans at any time. General funding information is outlined on the Admitted Students webpage. Detailed information on student loans is provided by Student Financial Services. EAPS is not involved in making loans. If you intend to apply for a loan, be sure to file the necessary forms well in advance of the start of your program so the administrative details are out of the way when the semester begins.