How To Apply

The deadline for application is January 15 for admission the following September, and the Admissions Committee makes its decision by April 1. The program does not admit students in the spring term. The MIT Application for Graduate Admission is available after September 15 of the year before prospective admission at materials are due by the deadline of January 15.

To apply to the Graduate Program, you must supply

1) The MIT Application for Graduate Admission

  • This includes the MIT essay referred to as a “Statement of Objectives.”
  • You must fill out the “Record of Subjects Taken” section.  If you run out of space, save, exit, and go back in.  You’ll have more spaces.  If you can’t remember your textbooks, that’s okay – leave that area blank.
  • The application fee of $75.

2) Graduate Record Examination: General Test Score

  •  Applicants who take the test after December 31 will not be considered for admission
  • The school code to use for filling out the GRE form is 3514. The departmental code is 4599, or “Communications – Other”. Don’t worry about choosing the wrong department – as long as the scores come to MIT, we can access them.

3) Official transcripts of previous academic study, including study abroad.  Transcripts should be uploaded in the online application. If you are accepted, you will be required to send an official hard copy of your transcripts.

4) Three letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate your likelihood to prosper in the literary and scientific environment of this program. The program will only accept electronic evaluations, as part of the online application.

5) Resume or curriculum vitae uploaded as a PDF file.

6) Writing Samples

Submit a PDF file of writing samples, arranged as you choose, that represent your writing at its best. These might be work done in school or on the job, published or not, in a good many shorter pieces or a few longer ones. Where the context is not clear, please add a few words of explanation; if the work has benefited from an editor’s or teacher’s hand, or represents a collaboration, please say so.

In selecting your samples, please be aware that journal articles or other purely scientific publications tell us little about your ability to write for general audiences and should not be included. However, you may, if you wish, include as one of your samples a 500-word general interest article, written for the occasion, that explains, distills, or otherwise builds upon a scientific or technical article that has appeared in a specialized publication. Media files may be submitted as links with the supplementary material.

7) Graduate Application Supplement, consisting of:

A statement or essay , normally from 500 to 1500 words, addressing your ability to confront scientific and technical complexity in your writing.

You might start out by telling the admissions committee of your five years’ experience as a bench scientist. Or you might recount how as a writer you have addressed comparable complexity in other, non-scientific fields. You might discuss your reading habits, hobbies, and interests insofar as they bear on your relationship to science and technology. Indeed, you may take any approach that leaves us better able to evaluate your likely success in writing about science.

As part of, or appended to, your essay, please also briefly describe one or two early tentative ideas for a thesis topic; no one will hold you to them but we would like to get some inkling of your interests and how you think about writing. We encourage you to visit our website to get a sense of past years’ thesis topics.

If you have video or audio components of your portfolio, you will see a space to provide a link to YouTube or DropBox here.


Foreign applicants must satisfy all the same criteria as U.S. citizens. Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). We accept the IELTS test in lieu of TOEFL – you will be asked to provide the TRF number to verify your score.

Graduate Program in Science Writing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-338
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307