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Graduate Admissions

As a graduate student at MIT CEE, you will participate in research with renowned faculty and get a hands-on experience solving the world’s largest problems. Your education will take place inside and outside the classroom, and there are numerous opportunities to learn not only about civil and environmental engineering but also network with your peers. We seek a diverse group of applicants from a range of academic disciplines, who work together to contribute to exciting intellectual networks across the department and MIT.

At MIT CEE, we are dedicated to creating a welcoming and enriching environment for both domestic and international students. We stand by our international students and echo the words of MIT President Rafael Reif: “As we strive to protect our community, sustain our mission and advance our shared values, we will speak and act when and where we judge we can be most effective.” Read his full letter to the community from January 2017 here.

The Interdepartmental Program in Transportation graduate application portal is now open. Please apply here by January 4.

The CEE graduate application portal is now open. Please apply here by December 1.

Application Requirements and Process

All applicants to graduate programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Interdepartmental Program in Transportation must hold a Bachelor’s degree. All of our graduate programs are on campus and are full time. All students are admitted for the fall term.

Read our COVID Admissions Statement.

Application Contents

  • Statement of Objectives
  • CV or résumé
  • CEE and the Interdepartmental Program in Transportation will not be accepting GRE scores for the 2021-2022 graduate admissions cycle
  • One electronic copy of transcript(s) from all universities you have attended. We don’t require official transcripts until after a student has been admitted to the department.
  • An English language exam (IELTS or TOEFL) score for international students for whom English is not their native language
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Electronic payment of the application fee

Optional Materials

  • Abstracts of published articles or conference presentations

If you are admitted to the department, we will require you to have an official copy of your transcript(s) sent to us from the university’s registrar. Your transcript will be verified upon receipt and any discrepancy between the transcript you uploaded and the official transcript will result in a withdrawal of our offer of admission. Once admitted, please have your official transcript sent to:

Graduate Admissions
MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 1-290
Cambridge, MA 02139

Minimum Academic Requirements

Minimum Academic Requirements
While not all of our students come from the domains of Civil and Environmental Engineering, most students matriculate to our department from undergraduate backgrounds in Science, Math, Engineering, or related fields. All students who hope to enroll at MIT for an advanced degree after earning an undergraduate degree elsewhere should give careful attention to undergraduate prerequisites as outlined in our subject descriptions.

Grade Point Average (GPA)
When applications are reviewed for admission the faculty have a keen interest in how you have done in subjects in related fields, not necessarily your overall GPA.

Test Scores

CEE will not be accepting GRE test scores for the 2021-2022 graduate admissions cycle in response to the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

We are interested in students who have scored in the 80th percentile or better for all three areas of the GRE. Please request that ETS send the scores directly to MIT. MIT’s GRE institutional code is 3514. CEE codes are 1102 (civil), 1103 (environmental) and 1199 (other CEE).

English Language Exam

CEE places a high premium on both written and spoken communication skills and requires international applicants to document their proficiency in the English language.

If you are an international applicant, you are required to take either the TOEFL or IELTS exam unless: 1) English is your first language, or 2) English was the language of instruction for your undergraduate education, or 3) if you scored above the CEE minimum TOEFL or IELTS score prior to entering a graduate program in the US. If you meet one of these criteria for a waiver of this requirement, you can indicate that by checking the appropriate box under Language Exams on the Test Scores/Experience section of the application.

The minimum score for the TOEFL is 100. The CEE TOEFL department code is 65. The minimum score for the IELTS is 7.5 on the Academic exam. Scores must be reported to the department by the application deadline.

Statement of Objectives

Your statement should be 1 to 1.5 pages long. The statement will serve the following three purposes:

  • It will help the admissions officer direct your application to the most appropriate readers and/or potential research supervisors.
  • The statement will be used to evaluate your writing skills.
  • It will help the faculty reviewing your application to understand the depth of your technical experience.

When applying for graduate school in engineering, depth often counts more than breadth.

Demonstrating your ability to be independent and focused can be more important than having broad interests and a broad range of experiences. Describe your technical expertise with clear details to demonstrate your mastery of the concepts and skills you’ve learned through relevant activities such as lab projects, classes, internships, summer jobs and previous research experience.

Lastly, don’t ignore bad grades or other anomalies in your application package. If you had trouble with a course or another type of challenge, your statement of objectives is a good place to acknowledge that setback and explain what you learned from the experience.