School of Engineering

Never have the challenges and opportunities of engineering been more exciting or more critical to the long-term well-being of society than they are today. An engineering education from MIT provides students with exceptional opportunities to define and impact the future. 

Technology's enormous influence on society is creating an increasing demand for engineering graduates. Engineers provide important leadership to society through their central role in scientific and technological innovation. By creating, developing, and managing complex technologies and products, engineers contribute directly to the betterment of humanity and to shaping our world. Seeking solutions to the most difficult challenges of our day in the context of physical, economic, human, political, legal, and cultural realities makes engineering a tremendously rewarding endeavor.

The first-year curriculum for all MIT undergraduates includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and the humanities, arts, and social sciences. An undergraduate student normally becomes affiliated with a particular department or course of study at the beginning of sophomore year and works closely with an advisor from that department or program to shape their course of study. Students who would like to explore an engineering major are encouraged to seek out and get involved with one of the engineering departments during freshman year. Every department offers exciting subjects that introduce freshmen to engineering; they also offer Freshman Advising Seminars that bring students together in small groups to discuss their field with department faculty. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Projects (UROPs) are a great way to delve into cutting-edge engineering research.

Once a student chooses an undergraduate major, there are many opportunities for individual initiatives. For example, the flexible engineering degree program offers students in several departments the opportunity to satisfy department-based core requirements and declare an additional concentration, which can be broad and interdisciplinary in nature (energy, health, or the environment), or focused on areas that can be applied to multiple fields (robotics and controls, computational engineering, or engineering management). Students may also elect to create their own concentrations under supervision from department faculty. In addition, many undergraduates combine their primary major with a second one in another area, such as management, political science, economics, one of the sciences, or another area of engineering. Others organize their programs so they can receive both undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously. A series of minor programs from across the Institute is also available.

Pioneering Programs in Engineering Education

Engineering education has been at the core of the Institute's mission since its founding in 1861. MIT created the contemporary model of engineering education grounded in a dynamic, changing base of science. It pioneered the modern model of the research university, with externally sponsored research programs and a matrix of academic departments and research laboratories working across various disciplines. MIT also contributed in significant ways to the creation of entire new fields, for example, chemical engineering, sanitary engineering, naval architecture and marine engineering, and soil mechanics; the Institute also offered the first course in aeronautical engineering. More recently, MIT has created new avenues for students to pursue concentrations in broad, interdisciplinary areas such as energy, medical science and engineering, robotics, computational engineering, or poverty alleviation.

The School of Engineering has distinguished itself as a leader in engineering education, where the teaching of applied, hands-on engineering is of the utmost importance. In 1916, it created one of the first industrial internship programs, now the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice. Over the last several decades, the School of Engineering has launched numerous pioneering programs, many with industry, such as Leaders for Global Operations (1988), System Design and Management (1997), the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation (2001), the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (2001), the Bernard M. Gordon–MIT Engineering Leadership Program (2008), MITx and edX (2011), SuperUROP (2012), StartMIT (2014), and the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program (2016).

The School of Engineering is constantly innovating in engineering education, developing novel pedagogical approaches, designing new subject offerings to strengthen current programs, and creating new disciplines, fields of study, majors, and graduate programs. Today, the School offers more than two dozen exciting engineering degree programs for its undergraduates. Two examples are the interdepartmental degree offered by the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Biology (Course 6-7) that offers rigorous training in both molecular biology and computer science, leading to an SB in Chemical-Biological Engineering—MIT's first undergraduate engineering degree with modern molecular biology as its core science; and, since 2005–2006, the SB in Biological Engineering. A number of other new degree programs have launched in the past decade: the SB in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering, MEng in Manufacturing, SM in Computation for Design and Optimization, PhD in Computational and Systems Biology, PhD in Social and Engineering Systems, and the flexible SB in Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering, or Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The School of Engineering also offers a range of co-curricular activities designed to enhance students’ academic and non-academic experiences at MIT. The MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program seeks to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be successful innovators and entrepreneurs by providing up to $25,000 for student-initiated ideas and mentoring from within MIT and from a broad network of committed partners. The Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) is an innovative sophomore program that provides opportunities for students to learn first-hand about engineering practice outside the academic context through internships and intensive experiential-learning workshops that emphasize development of professional abilities and attitudes required in engineering work.

The School of Engineering is generally ranked at the top of its fields by third-party rankings and surveys. US News and World Report has placed the School at the top of its engineering rankings every year they have run their survey, as has the QS World University Rankings. The School’s eight academic departments and two institutes are home to 378 faculty members, more than a third of the Institute's total faculty. Among the most distinguished in the nation, nearly one third of the School's current and emeritus faculty and research staff have been inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

Approximately 70 percent of MIT undergraduates with declared majors and half of all graduate students at MIT are enrolled in School of Engineering degree programs.

Interdepartmental Research Programs

Within the School of Engineering, a student may develop a program that satisfies his or her own intellectual and professional objectives. A student interested in an interdepartmental program should study the department descriptions and interdisciplinary program description for opportunities that combine disciplines from MIT's four other schools with those of the School of Engineering.

While the School's academic departments provide continuity and stability for the basic engineering disciplines, they increasingly share interests in the way their individual disciplines are expressed and applied. Interdepartmental centers, laboratories, and programs provide opportunities for faculty, students, and research staff to undertake collaborative research and engage in educational programs dealing with these and other interdisciplinary applications of importance to society.

Interdisciplinary centers and laboratories in which School of Engineering faculty play leading roles include the following:

  • Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems
  • Center for Computational Engineering
  • Center for Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Center for Ocean Engineering
  • Center for Transportation and Logistics
  • Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
  • Industrial Performance Center
  • Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
  • Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
  • Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
  • Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
  • Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity
  • Materials Processing Center
  • Microsystems Technology Laboratories
  • MIT Energy Initiative
  • Research Laboratory of Electronics
  • Singapore-MIT Alliance
  • Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
  • Transportation@MIT

School of Engineering faculty members also participate in the activities of other research centers and laboratories that are administered outside the School of Engineering. For more information, see the section on Research and Study.

Degrees Offered in the School of Engineering

Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)

SBAerospace Engineering
SBEngineering
SMAeronautics and Astronautics
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
EngineerAeronautics and Astronautics
PhD, ScDAeronautics and Astronautics
PhD, ScDAerospace Computational Engineering
PhD, ScDAir-Breathing Propulsion
PhD, ScDAircraft Systems Engineering
PhD, ScDAir Transportation Systems
PhD, ScDAutonomous Systems
PhD, ScDCommunications and Networks
PhD, ScDControls
PhD, ScDHumans in Aerospace
PhD, ScDMaterials and Structures
PhD, ScDSpace Propulsion
PhD, ScDSpace Systems
 

Biological Engineering (Course 20)

SBBiological Engineering
SMToxicology
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEngBiomedical Engineering
PhD, ScDApplied Biosciences
PhD, ScDBioengineering
PhD, ScDBiological Engineering

Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

SBChemical Engineering
SBChemical-Biological Engineering
SBEngineering
SMChemical Engineering
SMChemical Engineering Practice
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program
PhD, ScDChemical Engineering
PhDChemical Engineering Practice

Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

SBEngineering as Recommended by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
SMCivil and Environmental Engineering
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEngCivil and Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineer
PhD, ScDBiological Oceanography (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScDChemical Oceanography (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScDCivil and Environmental Engineering
PhD, ScDCivil and Environmental Systems
PhD, ScDCivil Engineering
PhD, ScDCoastal Engineering
PhD, ScDConstruction Engineering and Management
PhD, ScDEnvironmental Biology
PhD, ScDEnvironmental Chemistry
PhD, ScDEnvironmental Engineering
PhD, ScDEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
PhD, ScDGeotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
PhD, ScDHydrology
PhD, ScDInformation Technology
PhD, ScDOceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScDStructures and Materials
PhD, ScDTransportation
PhDCivil Engineering and Computation
PhDEnvironmental Engineering and Computation

Computation for Design and Optimization

SMComputation for Design and Optimization 1

Computational and Systems Biology (CSB)

PhDComputational and Systems Biology 1

Computational Science and Engineering

PhDComputational Science and Engineering 1

Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

SBComputer Science and Molecular Biology 1
MEngComputer Science and Molecular Biology 1

Data, Systems, and Society

SMTechnology and Policy
PhDSocial and Engineering Systems

Design and Management (Integrated Design and Management & System Design and Management)

SMEngineering and Management 1

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)

SBComputer Science and Engineering
SBElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
SBElectrical Science and Engineering
SMElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEngElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical Engineer
Engineer in Computer Science
PhD, ScDComputer Science
PhD, ScDComputer Science and Engineering
PhD, ScDElectrical Engineering
PhD, ScDElectrical Engineering and Computer Science

Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

SMHealth Sciences and Technology
MDMedical Sciences (degree from Harvard Medical School)
ScD, PhDHealth Sciences and Technology
ScD, PhDHealth Sciences and Technology—Bioastronautics
ScD, PhDHealth Sciences and Technology—Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics
ScD, PhDHealth Sciences and Technology—Medical Engineering and Medical Physics
ScD, PhDHealth Sciences and Technology—Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology

Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

SBArchaeology and Materials
SBMaterials Science and Engineering
SMMaterials Science and Engineering
Materials Engineer
PhD, ScDArchaeological Materials
PhD, ScDMaterials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

SBEngineering
SBMechanical and Ocean Engineering
SBMechanical Engineering
SMMechanical Engineering
SMNaval Architecture and Marine Engineering
SMOcean Engineering
SMOceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)
SM/MBAEngineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEngManufacturing
Mechanical Engineer
Naval Engineer
PhD, ScDMechanical Engineering
PhD, ScDNaval Architecture and Marine Engineering
PhD, ScDOcean Engineering
PhD, ScDOceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)

Microbiology

PhDMicrobiology 1

Nuclear Science and Engineering (Course 22)

SBNuclear Science and Engineering
SMNuclear Science and Engineering
Nuclear Engineer
PhD, ScDNuclear Science and Engineering

Polymers and Soft Matter

PhDPolymers and Soft Matter 1
 

Supply Chain Management

MEngLogistics1

Transportation

SMTransportation 1
PhDTransportation 1

Notes

Many departments make it possible for a graduate student to pursue a simultaneous master’s degree.

Several departments also offer undesignated degrees, which lead to the Bachelor of Science without departmental designation. The curricula for these programs offer students opportunities to pursue broader programs of study than can be accommodated within a four-year departmental program.

Admissions

The selection process at MIT is holistic and student centered: each application is evaluated within its unique context. Selection is based on outstanding academic achievement as well as a strong match between the applicant and the Institute.

Undergraduate applicants do not apply to a particular school, department or program and, although the application asks about a preferred field of study, most admitted undergraduates do not declare a major until the second semester of their freshman year. Admissions information for regular, transfer, and non-degree applicants is provided in the section on Undergraduate Education.

Applicants for graduate study apply directly to the particular department or program of interest. See the individual department and program descriptions for specific requirements.

Office of the Dean

Ian A. Waitz, PhD
Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Dean, School of Engineering

Vladimir Bulović, PhD
Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor in Emerging Technology
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Associate Dean for Innovation, School of Engineering

Eileen Ng-Ghavidel, MBA
Assistant Dean for Finance and Human Resources

Donna R. Savicki, MA
Assistant Dean for Administration

Danielle Festino, MPA
Assistant Dean for Development

Chad Galts, MA
Director of Communications

Michael Rutter, AB
Director of Media Relations

Brian Tavares, BSBA
Senior Financial Officer

School Professors

Nicholas A. Ashford, JD, PhD
Professor of Technology and Policy
Member, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Timothy Berners-Lee
3Com Founders Professor of Engineering