M.S.T. Degree Requirements

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Course Requirements

The 66-unit M.S.T. degree usually takes three to four semesters to complete. The following course requirements must be met:

Core subjects
Two 12-unit subjects that reflect the interdisciplinary, systems nature of our educational approach, offered in the fall semester:

  • 1.200 Transportation Systems Analysis: Performance and Optimization (Antunes, A. Odoni, C. Osorio)
  • 1.201 Transportation Systems Analysis: Demand and Economics (M. Ben-Akiva)

Additional Transportation Coursework

The program requires each student to select three or more subjects which further their educational objectives in the field of transportation. For some students this will mean building their depth of understanding in a selected area of interest. Well-developed program areas including Air Transportation, Analysis and Planning Methods, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Ocean Systems Management, Transportation Policy, Transportation Management, and Urban Transportation. For other students the program may emphasize breadth rather than depth in a single area. For all students at least one of the selected subjects should address policy. At least two of the designated subjects should be clearly focused on transportation, while the third can be in a field which supports transportation; for example, a subject covering methods that are used in transportation, drawn from fields such as economics, operations research, political science, management, and others.

Depth is provided in the following areas. Three subjects selected from any subset of these areas will achieve breadth. At least one subject should address policy.

  • Air Transportation
  • Analysis and Planning Methods
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Transportation Policy
  • Transportation Management
  • Urban Transportation

Information Technology Requirement

Graduates of the M.S.T. program are expected to have a working knowledge of information technology because this is a prerequisite for functioning as a transportation professional. The information technology requirement can be satisfied by taking either:

  • 1.264J Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies (12 Units)  or
  • 1.001 Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving  (9 Units) 

1.264J is recommended for most students. Requests for waivers of this requirement based on prior coursework must be submitted in writing to M.S.T. Program Director John Attanucci.

Policy Requirement

There are three types of subjects which satisfy the program policy requirement.

1. Take a transportation policy subject:

  • 1.251J/11.526J Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning
  • 1.252J/11.540J/ESD.225J Urban Transportation Planning (Salvucci, Murga)
  • 1.253J/11.543J/ESD.222J Transportation Policy and Environmental Limits (Coughlin, Salvucci)
  • 11.478 Behavior and Policy: Connections in Transportation (Zhao)
  • HUT 251 (Gomez-Ibáñez’s subject at Harvard’s Kennedy School)

2. Take a transportation subject with substantial policy content (nominally half):

  • 16.71 The Airline Industry (Belobaba, et. al.)
  • 11.526 Comparative Land-Use and Transportation Planning (Zegras)

3. Take a policy subject with modest or no transportation content:

  • ESD.10 Introduction to Technology and Policy (Weigel)
  • ESD.103/17.310/STS.482 Science, Technology and Public Policy (Oye)
  • ESD.128J/12.848/15.023 Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy (Jacoby, Prinn)
  • ESD.132/15.655 Law, Technology, and Public Policy (Ashford, Caldart)
  • 11.232 The Field of Public Policy (Rein)
  • 11.255 Negotiations and Dispute Resolution In the Public Sector (Susskind)
  • 11.265 The Comparative Politics of Urban Policy (Davis, Thompson)
  • 11.366/1.817 Planning, Participation and Consensus Building for Sustainable Development (Fairman)
  • 11.481/1.284/ESD192 Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Change (Polenske)
  • 11.482/1.285/ESD.193 Regional Socioeconomic Impact Analyses and Modeling (Polenske)
  • 11.528/ESD.229 Urban Spatial Structure, Transportation and Telecommunications I (Staff)
  • 11.529 Urban Spatial Structure, Transportation and Telecommunications II (Staff)

For course descriptions visit the MIT subjects listing page.

Thesis Requirements

Students must complete a research-based thesis on a topic of their choice that has been approved by the thesis supervisor. Students should enroll in the minimum requirement of 24 (1.ThG) thesis units. Thesis units do not count toward the 66 units required for completion of the M.S.T. degree.

Completion of Degree Requirements

Before the end of the first week of the term in which the student expects to graduate, an Application for Advanced Degree must be completed.

Once the Application for Advanced Degree is on file, the candidate's name will appear on the degree list for that particular term and he/she will be provided with the publication "Specifications for Thesis Preparation," by the MIT Libraries. Please refer to the section on thesis submission for the deadline for submitting your thesis to the CEE Academic Programs Office.

To remove your name from the degree list, email CEE's academic programs administrator and Marti Ward in the Registrar's Office. The student must register for Thesis (1.ThG) and complete a new Application for Advanced Degree in order to graduate the following term.

MIT Bulletin
See the MIT Bulletin course catalog for information on course credit hours and designations for subjects.

Graduate Policies and Procedures
For detailed information about graduate education at MIT, please consult the online publication "Graduate Policies and Procedures."