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Ph.D CEP Program: FAQ

  1. What is the ratio of acceptance for the PhDCEP program compared to the normal PhD?
  2. Do PhDCEP students need to take the GMAT exam?
  3. Do all the students have to come to MIT for an interview?
  4. Have there been cases of students switching between the normal PhD program and the PhDCEP?
  5. Is the stipend the same as the stipend of regular PhD students?
  6. Do PhDCEP students take classes with the regular PhD students?
  7. How is the advisor selection process for PhDCEP students?
  8. What are examples of research/thesis projects done by former/current PhDCEP students?
  9. What is the bio requirement about?
  10. Do PhDCEP students have to TA?
  11. Do PhDCEP students that have previous work experience have to go to Practice School?
  12. Do I receive a MSCEP degree?
  13. Have there been cases of unsatisfactory research progress (student having to switch to the normal PhD program or not being able to finish the PhD at all)?
  14. How are students financing their last year at MIT Sloan?
  15. Are students staying to finish the MBA at MIT Sloan directly after they graduate with the PhDCEP?
  16. What kind of jobs are the graduates of this program applying for?
  17. How many students are in the PhDCEP program?
  18. Is the program expected to grow?
  19. Why should I apply to PhDCEP instead of PhD?
  20. Are PhDCEP students eligible to apply for external fellowships such as NSF/DOE?
  21. What is the difference in the statement of purpose of a PhD  and a PhDCEP student?
  22. How do you fund the last year of the PhDCEP program?

1. What is the ratio of acceptance for the PhDCEP program compared to the normal PhD?
Both the ratio and the absolute number of applicants are not public information. The ratio of acceptances to applicants has been essentially the same for both programs, with some inevitable scatter owing to the smaller sample base in PhDCEP program.

2. Do PhDCEP students need to take the GMAT exam?
Not anymore. MIT Sloan dropped this requirement for students applying to the PhDCEP program.

3. Do all the students have to come to MIT for an interview?
The policy of the admissions committee at MIT Sloan is that:

"MIT Sloan considers interviewing to be a critical part of the admissions process, and as such interviews everyone being considered for admission to the PHDCEP program. Interviews will be scheduled with an MIT Sloan admissions officer in February. An on campus interview is preferred, and applicants will be expected to bear the costs of traveling to MIT Sloan for this interview. A phone interview may be scheduled at the discretion of MIT Sloan. Candidates should be prepared to answer questions about their professional and extracurricular experiences. A preparatory guide for MIT Sloan interviews may be accessed at: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba/admissions/MITSloan_interview_guide.pdf

So far, most of the international applicants have been interviewed by phone. Yet, MIT Sloan encourages everyone to interview in person.

4. Have there been cases of students switching between the normal PhD program and the PhDCEP?
The policy of the department is that students should decide beforehand which path they want to take. In order to switch from the normal PhD to the PhDCEP, it is necessary to apply again to the Chemical Engineering Department and be considered for admission with the pool of applicants of the incoming class. In other words, transferring between programs is highly discouraged. Yet, one of the students currently in the program pulled off this remarkable feat.

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5. Is the stipend the same as the stipend of regular PhD students?
Yes.

6. Do PhDCEP students take classes with the regular PhD students?
Yes. The requirements during the first year are essentially the same for both programs. The only difference is the minor; PhD students must complete a minor of at least three subjects in a field other than Chemical Engineering, while PhDCEP students satisfy this requirement with the subjects taken at the MIT Sloan School.

7. How is the advisor selection process for PhDCEP students?
The PhDCEP and the PhD students go through the same advisor selection process. In principle, all the professors are open to accept PhDCEP students, but not all of them might be available in a given year. Since the amount of time spent doing research in the PhDCEP program is shorter than in the conventional PhD, not all the research projects being offered are suitable for PhDCEP students.

8. What are examples of research/thesis projects done by former/current PhDCEP students?
See the Profiles section.

9. What is the bio requirement about?
All PhD students in the Chemical Engineering Department (including PhDCEPs) are required to take an introductory biology class. If you have taken such a class in your undergrad institution, this requirement can be waived.

10. Do PhDCEP students have to TA?
The current policy is that PhDCEP students do not have to serve as teaching assistants. That does not mean you cannot TA if you want to, it simply means that it is not recommended given the short time frame of the program.

11. Do PhDCEP students that have previous work experience have to go to Practice School?
Yes. The Practice School experience is an integral part of the PhDCEP program and cannot be skipped.

12. Do I receive a MSCEP degree?
You may. You have to apply for it after completing the MSCEP requirements. If you have already fulfilled the requirements shown in elements 1 (Core Chemical Engineering Graduate Subjects) and 2 (Chemical Engineering Practice School) under Program Elements, you just need to complete one Chemistry elective course.

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13. Have there been cases of unsatisfactory research progress (student having to switch to the normal PhD program or not being able to finish the PhD at all)?
Not yet, touch wood.

14. How are students financing their last year at MIT Sloan?
The same way as MBA students: loans, loans and more loans. Third party fellowships may be open to some students.

15. Are students staying to finish the MBA at MIT Sloan directly after they graduate with the PhDCEP?
About 95% of the students stayed on to finish the second year of the MBA program.

16. What kind of jobs are the graduates of this program applying for?
Some students are looking into MBA-oriented jobs (consulting, marketing, strategy, finance), in some cases with a technical component relevant to their PhD (such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, etc.).

17. How many students are in the PhDCEP program?
Currently there are 9 students.

18. Is the program expected to grow?
Yes, 5 to 8 students per year would be ideal, whereas the maximum is 10 students per year.

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19. Why should I apply to PhDCEP instead of PhD?
This is a question that you have to answer by yourself. The traditional PhD and the PhDCEP are designed to attract a different population of students. Reread the information on this website. We have put it together so that prospective applicants can make an informed decision.

20. Are PhDCEP students eligible to apply for external fellowships such as NSF/DOE?
PhDCEP students are eligible to apply for external fellowships and can use the fellowship in their first three years of the program. Regarding use of fellowship in fourth year, consult the external agencies to check your eligibility and period of funding since external fellowships have different rules and criteria.

21. What is the difference in the statement of purpose of a PhD  and a PhDCEP student?
Well the statement of purpose serves to indicate your interest in the program. First and foremost, highlight your reasons for a PhD, particularly PhDCEP. Share your experiences, both academic and non academic, which led you to your choice and lastly why you will make a great addition to MIT.

22. How do you fund the last year of the PhDCEP program?
Apart from loans (link), students have the option of TA-ing in either chemical engineering or Sloan school. Most students find it convenient to TA after the second semester of their MBA program. However, the choice of when to do a TA really depends on your course load and the availability of courses to TA.

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