How to Apply

You must submit your application via the Online Application. Paper applications are not accepted by the Department of Chemistry. The online application for Fall 2018 admission will open at 12:01am EST on September 15, 2017 and close at 11:59pm EST on December 1, 2017.

Completing and Submitting the Application

In order to complete the online application, you will need to have the following information prepared and easily accessible:

  • Field(s) of Interest in Chemistry
    Biological, Bio-Organic, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, Theoretical, Materials*
    Please note that based on your specific research interests, the application committee may review your application under a different sub-discipline than the one you select. Admitted applicants are free to designate their sub-discipline when they matriculate, regardless of the interests noted on their applications. The official PhD degree is awarded under one of four categories: Biological Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, or Physical Chemistry.
    *Please note that applicants interested in Materials Chemistry will need to indicate their interest in one of the following areas: Inorganic Materials, Organic Materials, Physical Materials, or Theoretical Materials.
  • Personal information, including legal and mailing addresses
  • A PDF copy of your college transcript(s)
    Unofficial transcripts saved or scanned in as PDFs are permissable for uploading to the online application. An official copy of the transcript(s) are not required until after a student has been admitted.  Admitted students should have Official Transcripts sent to the mailing address below.
  • Your official GRE scores (including the subject test, if you have taken it). The subject test in Chemistry is recommended, but not required. The MIT reporting code is 3514, and the department code is 0301.
    If you have submitted scores to MIT without the department code, or with a different department code, there is no need to re-send your official score report as the official scores will still be associated with your application.
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, your TOEFL or IELTS scores. The MIT reporting code is 3514, and the department code is 62.
  • Educational and work history (resume/CV) in text, MS Word or PDF format
    Include your specific research experiences. This is extremely important.
  • Statement of objectives (personal statement)
    As part of your personal statement, discuss specific faculty at MIT in whom you are interested and explain why you are interested in their research. The application committee uses this information to ensure that faculty and staff most familiar with your interests and research goals will evaluate your application.
    You will need to copy and paste the text of your statement into the online application. This means that some formatting and scientific notation may not translate appropriately. Please review your statement carefully before submitting your application.
  • Outside financial support and potential financial support information
    If you receive notification of financial support, such as a scholarship or fellowship, you will need to notify chemgradeducation@mit.edu.
  • Three or more names and email addresses of recommendation writers
    We recommend that before November 1, you notify your recommenders that you will be requesting a letter of recommendation. This will give them time to prepare and submit their letters by December 1. Once you have submitted your online application, instructions to your letter writers will be generated for you. You are responsible for making sure that your recommenders receive these instructions.
  • Credit/debit payment of $75
    Occasionally, debit card payments may not process correctly.  If you experience difficulty processing a debit card payment, please try using a credit card instead.


Admitted students, arrange for your official transcript to be mailed to:

Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Attn: Jennifer Weisman
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 6-205
Cambridge, MA 02139

Transcripts are verified upon receipt.  Any discrepancy between uploaded and official transcript(s) will result in withdrawal of our admission offer.

Only official transcripts will be accepted by mail. No other materials will be accepted. All application materials (including transcripts) will be destroyed after the end of the application cycle. If you experience difficulty uploading electronic versions of your CV, personal statement, or other application materials, email a PDF or MS Word version to chemgradeducation@mit.edu.

If your university has the ability to transmit secure electronic transcripts, we can accept electronic transcripts. Occasionally, electronic transcript services get marked as spam and do not get received. If you are sending an electronic transcript, please email chemgradeducation@mit.edu to let us know to expect the electronic transcript. We can only accept electronic transcripts sent directly by the educational institution or authorized secure transcript service.

For information on the research of the MIT Chemistry Faculty please see the faculty and research page.

Deadlines and Notification of Decisions

The deadline for September admission is December 1 of the prior year (for example, in order to be admitted for Fall 2018, the deadline to apply is December 1, 2017). Since offers of admission are made continuously after the application deadline, all of your materials must be submitted by December 1. This includes letters of recommendation and the official scores for the GRE (and IELTS or TOEFL, if required). The chemistry subject GRE test is recommended, but not required.

We generally notify all applicants of their application decision by mid to late February. Due to the high volume of applications, if you need to inquire about the status of your application, please do so by email at chemgradeducation@mit.edu. Admitted students will receive an electronic copy of the official admissions letter as well as a personal contact (phone or email) from a member of the admissions committee. Applicants who are not admitted to the program will receive an electronic notification (email) to the email address supplied with the application.

Visiting MIT Chemistry

The department hosts a visiting weekend for admitted students in late March. More information about the weekend will be provided in the official letter of admission.

Important Notice for Applicants From Outside the United States of America
Before you apply to our PhD program, please be aware that:

  1. Spoken and written fluency in English is extremely important. All of our students are required to teach, and therefore we cannot offer admission to students for whom we think communication in English will be a problem. Fluency is judged by both the verbal GRE score and the IELTS or TOEFL score. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 100 and the minimum acceptable IELTS band score is 7.0. We must receive official reports of any reported scores.
  2. The MIT academic year begins in September, and PhD students are therefore only admitted for the fall semester. It is not possible to be admitted for the Spring term.
  3. MIT cannot waive the $75 application fee.

If you experience any difficulties with the online application, please email chemgradeducation@mit.edu.