Application Checklist

Application Checklist

  • Faculty of Interest

Choose up to 3 faculty you would be interested in working with as a PhD student at MIT Chemistry. A list of Chemistry faculty is available here; you may choose faculty from other departments.

  • Contact Information for recommenders

Provide at 3 names and email addresses of people that can provide a letter of recommendation for you. You can provide more than 3 names, but not more than 5. We highly recommend that you notify these letter writers by November 1, to give the writer time to write and submit their letter. Fill out contact information for each recommender and then visit Letter Status to request letters from your recommenders.

  • Transcripts

A PDF copy of your college transcript(s) is required and can be uploaded to the application. This can be an unofficial transcript as official transcript(s) are only required if you are admitted into our program. You will have a chance to describe the grading system(s) used at all colleges or universities you have attended on the Test Scores/Experience section. All copies of transcripts uploaded to the application must be in English. Do not send a paper transcript.

  • Language Exams

For applicants whose primary language is not English, your TOEFL or IELTS scores are required. The MIT reporting code is 3514, and the department code is 62. We can waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international applicants who have completed 3 or more years in a degree-granting program instructed exclusively in English, or who consider English to be their primary language.

  • Honors, Publications, and Experience

List any accomplishments that add to your experience as a potential PhD student.

  • Resume/CV

Upload a current resume/CV listing any relevant experience.

  • Financial Support

Please list any fellowships that you have been awarded or have applied for. Fellowships can provide recognition and financial support, however, having a fellowship is not required for admission into the Chemistry PhD program.

  • Subjects Taken

List science and math courses you have taken; if you run out of space, include only the courses that best reflect your Chemistry experience.

  • Statement of Objectives

Recommended Length: 1000-1500 words. Please describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in the MIT Chemistry Department. In your description, explain how your background has prepared you for this graduate program. Identify the research area(s) that most interest you, the scientific problems that motivate your pursuit of an advanced degree in chemistry, and how the resources and faculty of MIT’s program promote these interests and motives. Describe your long-term scientific goals, and specify the unique aspects of MIT’s chemistry program that will enable you to achieve these goals. If applicable, describe any specific academic or research challenges that you have faced and overcome. If there are any other factors concerning your prior academic, research, or work experience that you would like the Admissions Committee to be aware of, please describe them. Please feel free to prepare your Statement of Purpose in whatever format most effectively communicates your views.

  • Personal Statement

Recommended Length: 500-1000 words. The MIT Chemistry Department is a community comprised of individuals from a diverse variety of backgrounds. We are interested in learning more about you as a person and how your background and experiences motivate you to make positive contributions to your community. There are no requirements for what to include; some possible prompts are below:

  • The MIT Chemistry Department has four core community values. These are respect, well-being, inclusivity, and integrity. Please identify one of these values that is important to you and explain why.
  • Describe your experience with resilience and/or perseverance. Give an example of a time in which you faced failure, a significant roadblock in making steady progress towards a goal. Describe how you approach this situation. What did you learn from this experience? How has this experience shaped the way you approach challenges today?
  • Describe a meaningful teaching or mentorship experience you have had and what you learned from that experience. What do you like most about teaching others? What are the biggest challenges you anticipate in serving as a teaching assistant to MIT undergraduates?
  • If there are any other factors concerning your prior academic, research, or work experience that you would like the Admissions Committee to be aware of, please describe them.
  • Application Fee

Provide a 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. You must submit the application and pay the fee by the December 1st deadline.

Eligible applicants may apply for a fee waiver if they meet the Office of Graduate Education’s criteria. More information about applying for a fee waiver can be found on the MIT Grad Admissions page.

Unfortunately, the Chemistry Department can only waive the $75 application fee for international applicants if they have already applied and paid an application fee for another PhD program at MIT in the same admission cycle.

  • Submit Your Official IELTS/TOEFL Score (if applicable)

For applicants whose primary language is not English, your TOEFL or IELTS scores are required. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 100 and the minimum acceptable IELTS band score is 7.0. The MIT reporting code is 3514, and the department code is 62.