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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I go on to do after completing this program?

The HASTS program attracts students from around the world who seek an interdisciplinary program that will prepare them primarily as professional scholars. Others have applied their training to careers in law, business, journalism, and museum work.

Do I need a Master's Degree to apply to the HASTS doctoral program?

No. The only degree requirement is an undergraduate degree, which can be from any academic discipline.

How can I find out more about whether this program is an appropriate fit for my academic background?

Students in the HASTS program come from a wide range of academic disciplines and professional spheres. Reading student and faculty bio pages may help to determine whether this program is right for you. Prospective students are encouraged to contact a HASTS faculty member or student who is appropriate to their area of research and interest.

What kind of financial support is available for admitted students?

Funding for HASTS doctoral students includes five years of guaranteed support provided that the student maintains reasonable academic progress. This covers MIT tuition, 9 months of stipend, and 12 months of individual health insurance annually. Funding is provided through a combination of fellowships (including those that students earn on their own), teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.

Does MIT have on campus housing for graduate students?

Yes, MIT offers an expanding array of options for graduate and family housing on campus and provides information for students who wish to live off-campus.

Where can I see more information about general policies and procedures relating to graduate students at MIT?

On the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education's website.

My Application

What is the admissions committee looking for in my application?

We cannot give probabilities of acceptance. The admissions committee is made up of faculty from all three departments, and participants vary from year to year. Test scores are only one component of an application, and the admissions committee takes the entire application into consideration when making its decision. Essays describing research interest and intellectual direction are critical. Students should express long term interests in science and technology and their historical and social dimensions.

Is an interview or visit to the program necessary to be admitted?

Visits before the application deadline are not necessary. Top candidates will be contacted for on-campus interviews in February and March. If a candidate cannot travel to Cambridge, the interview may be done via telephone or video conference/chat.

Can I apply for spring enrollment?

No. Admitted students are required to begin the program in September.

Where do I send my application?

Instructions on how to apply can be found here. Please contact hasts@mit.edu with any questions.

How are recommendations sent using the online application?

In section 2 of the online application (Letters of Recommendation) applicants should provide the name, email address, title and institution of their recommenders. After clicking on the "save" button, click on the "letter status" link. From there, applicants must cut and past the text provided into an email message and send the informaton to their evaluators directly. THE SYSTEM DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY SEND INFORMATON TO RECOMMENDERS. Applicants should check the letter status page periodically to find out who has submitted an evaluation through the system.

If an evaluator does not want to use the online evaluation form, he or she may mail the Evaluation for Graduate Admission form and/or recommendation letter in a sealed envelope directly to the department:

Doctoral Program in HASTS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E51-163
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

 

I have seen a "Subjects Taken" section in other versions of MIT application forms. Do I need to fill one out for HASTS?

This is not required, and therefore does not appear on the online application for the HASTS program.

Can MIT waive my $75.00 application fee?

The admissions application fee must always be paid by someone. In very few instances, the application fee may be paid by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education. Send an email request to hasts@mit.edu if you would like to request a waiver.

What kind of writing sample should I submit?

There are no parameters for the writing sample in terms of content, but its length should not exceed that of an article or chapter.

Transcripts

Which transcripts do I need to submit?

Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended should be submitted. Applicants who participated in a study abroad/academic exchange do not need to provide a transcript from the host institution if the courses appear on their home institution's transcript.

How do I submit my transcripts?

Applicants should upload transcripts in section 6 of the online application (Colleges/Universities Attended) for each corresponding college or university. If your transcript has mulitiple pages or components, please combine all pages into one PDF so you can upload one file per degree received.

Applicants who are advanced to the interview stage of our admissions process will be required to provide an official, sealed transcript from each post-secondary school attended.

Can I have my college or university send my transcripts directly to you instead of scanning and uploading them?

We would much rather receive the transcripts electronically. However, if it is difficult for you to submit them this way, we will accept original transcripts that come in an envelope sealed by the institution. Please note that these must be received by January 2nd (extra time given because MIT is closed on the 1st).

What if I don't have my grades/transcript from the fall 2012 semester before the January 1st deadline?

Applicants should submit their most current transcripts possible. If the grades for the fall semester are not available early enough to submit your application on time, it is fine to submit without them. Updated versions of transcripts may be emailed to hasts@mit.edu, but if the applicant's file has already been read by a committee member, it will not be re-reviewed.

Standardized Tests

Are the GREs required for my application? What is the HASTS departmental code?

Although there is no minimum GRE score required to apply, ALL APPLICANTS are required to submit valid GRE general test scores, regardless of their educational background and work experience. The GRE must be taken by December 31, 2013, in order for scores to be considered for admission. GRE scores are good for five years. The GRE school code for MIT is 3514 and we use 2703 as our department code. A subject test is not required.

I havenít received the paper GRE or TOEFL score report from ETS yet. Can I submit my application without it?

Yes. You should be able to see your Examinee Score Report by clicking on "My GRE Account" on this page and logging in. Please make a PDF of this report and upload it.

Is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) required for my application if I have studied in a US/English speaking institution?

Students whose native language is not English must take the IELTS or TOEFL. Students who have received instruction in English in their primary and secondary schools and students who have been in the US for four years or longer and have received a degree from an American institution may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement by sending a written request to the department (hasts@mit.edu). Please submit waiver requests well BEFORE the admissions deadline, so you have time to take the IELTS or TOEFL if your waiver is not approved.

What are the minimum score requirements for the IELTS and TOEFL?
A minimum score of 7 is required for the IELTS. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 90 (internet-based; 577 on the paper-based) is required for visa certification. The exam must be taken by December 31, 2013, in order for scores to be considered for admission. Test scores are valid for two years from the exam date.

Applications with IELTS or TOEFL scores lower than the minimum will not be reviewed. Therefore, it is advised that prospective applicants wait to submit their applications until they recieved their test scores and know they have met the requirement (with the caveat that all applications are still due on January 1).

How do I submit my official TOEFL or IELTS scores?
When sending TOEFL scores, use MIT's institutional code, 3514.

For the IELTS, you must request your official test scores be sent directly from the test center where you take the exam. There are no institutional codes. You should request that the test scores be sent to:

Doctoral Program in HASTS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E51-163
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Admissions Time Table

What is the deadline to submit my application, and do all my materials need to be received by that date?

Completed application forms and letters of recommendation must be submitted online or received by January 1st. GRE, TOEFL and IELTS exams must be taken by December 31, 2013 in order for scores to be considered for admission.

When will I be notified on the status of my application?

The HASTS admissions committee normally begins reviewing applications in mid- to late-January. Notification is sent to admitted students in writing following the completion of that process, which may take until early April. Admitted students must notify the Institute of their intentions by April 15.