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)

SB Aerospace Engineering
SB Engineering
SM Aeronautics and Astronautics
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
Engineer Aeronautics and Astronautics
PhD, ScD Aeronautics and Astronautics
PhD, ScD Aerospace Computational Engineering
PhD, ScD Air-Breathing Propulsion
PhD, ScD Aircraft Systems Engineering
PhD, ScD Air Transportation Systems
PhD, ScD Autonomous Systems
PhD, ScD Communications and Networks
PhD, ScD Controls
PhD, ScD Humans in Aerospace
PhD, ScD Materials and Structures
PhD, ScD Oceanographic Engineering (Jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScD Space Propulsion
PhD, ScD Space Systems
 

Biological Engineering (Course 20)

SB Biological Engineering
SM Toxicology
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEng Biomedical Engineering
PhD, ScD Applied Biosciences
PhD, ScD Bioengineering
PhD, ScD Biological Engineering

Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

SB Chemical Engineering
SB Chemical-Biological Engineering
SB Engineering
SM Chemical Engineering
SM Chemical Engineering Practice
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program
PhD, ScD Chemical Engineering
PhD, ScD Chemical Engineering Practice

Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

SB Engineering as Recommended by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
SM Civil and Environmental Engineering
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEng Civil and Environmental Engineering
PhD, ScD Biological Oceanography (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScD Chemical Oceanography (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScD Civil and Environmental Engineering
PhD, ScD Civil and Environmental Systems
PhD, ScD Civil Engineering
PhD, ScD Civil Engineering and Computation
PhD, ScD Coastal Engineering
PhD, ScD Construction Engineering and Management
PhD, ScD Environmental Biology
PhD, ScD Environmental Chemistry
PhD, ScD Environmental Engineering
PhD, ScD Environmental Engineering and Computation
PhD, ScD Environmental Fluid Mechanics
PhD, ScD Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
PhD, ScD Hydrology
PhD, ScD Information Technology
PhD, ScD Oceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)
PhD, ScD Structures and Materials
PhD, ScD Transportation
Civil Engineer
Environmental Engineer

Computation for Design and Optimization

SM Computation for Design and Optimization 1

Computational and Systems Biology (CSB)

PhD Computational and Systems Biology 1

Computational Science and Engineering

PhD, ScD Computational Science and Engineering 1

Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

SB Computer Science and Molecular Biology 1
MEng Computer Science and Molecular Biology 1

Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science (Course 6-14)

SB Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science 1

Data, Systems, and Society

SM Technology and Policy
PhD, ScD Social and Engineering Systems

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

SM Engineering and Management 1

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)

SB Computer Science and Engineering
SB Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
SB Electrical Science and Engineering
SM Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEng Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical Engineer
Engineer in Computer Science
PhD, ScD Computer Science
PhD, ScD Computer Science and Engineering
PhD, ScD Electrical Engineering
PhD, ScD Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

SM Health Sciences and Technology
MD Medical Sciences (degree from Harvard Medical School)
ScD, PhD Health Sciences and Technology
ScD, PhD Health Sciences and Technology—Bioastronautics
ScD, PhD Health Sciences and Technology—Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics
ScD, PhD Health Sciences and Technology—Medical Engineering and Medical Physics

Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

SB Archaeology and Materials
SB Materials Science and Engineering
SM Materials Science and Engineering
Materials Engineer
PhD, ScD Archaeological Materials
PhD, ScD Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

SB Engineering
SB Mechanical and Ocean Engineering
SB Mechanical Engineering
SM Mechanical Engineering
SM Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
SM Ocean Engineering
SM Oceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)
SM/MBA Engineering/Management—dual degree with Leaders for Global Operations Program 1
MEng Manufacturing
Mechanical Engineer
Naval Engineer
PhD, ScD Mechanical Engineering
PhD, ScD Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
PhD, ScD Ocean Engineering
PhD, ScD Oceanographic Engineering (jointly with WHOI)

Microbiology

PhD Microbiology 1

Nuclear Science and Engineering (Course 22)

SB Nuclear Science and Engineering
SM Nuclear Science and Engineering
Nuclear Engineer
PhD, ScD Nuclear Science and Engineering

Polymers and Soft Matter

PhD, ScD Polymers and Soft Matter 1
 

Supply Chain Management

MASc, MEng Supply Chain Management1

Transportation

SM Transportation 1
PhD, ScD Transportation 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

Anantha P. Chandrakasan, PhD
Vannevar Bush Professor in Electrical Engineering
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

Anette E. Hosoi, PhD

Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Mathematics

Associate Dean, School of Engineering

Mary Markel Murphy, MA
Assistant Dean for Human Resources and Administration

Eileen Ng-Ghavidel, MBA
Assistant Dean for Finance and 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