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Admission FAQ

How do I obtain an application package?

To obtain an application, go to the Graduate Admissions website. You can submit an application electronically, download an application from the website, or request that a paper copy be sent to you by completing the form online.

What are the ORC application requirements?

Applications should include:

  • the standard MIT application form and fee
  • Statement of Objectives
  • transcripts
  • three Letters of Recommendation
  • the GRE General Test score
  • the IELTS and/or TOEFL test score (if international)

What is the application deadline for admission?

The deadline for all applications is December 15th.

Does the OR Center admit for the spring?

No, the OR Center only offers admission for the fall term.

What is the application fee?

The application fee is currently $75. The application fee must be paid check drawn on a US bank or by credit card if applying electronically.

Can the application fee be waived or deferred?

The application fee is required by MIT and cannot be waived or deferred. Applications will not be reviewed until the fee has been paid.

What do I indicate as the "Department" on the application form?

You should indicate "Operations Research Center" as the designated department.

What is the Institute code for MIT for reporting score reports?

The Institute code is R3514.

What types of testing does the OR Center require for admission?

  • The OR Center requires the General GRE.
  • We encourage students to take the GRE Advanced Subject; however, this test is optional and not mandatory.
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and/or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all international students. The ORC strongly encourages international applicants from non-English speaking countries to take the IELTS. All test scores must be from within the past two years.

What is the IELTS Requirement for the OR Center?
Minimum score required: 7.

What is the TOEFL Requirement for the OR Center?

  • 600 = paper based test,
  • 250 = computer based,
  • 100 = internet based test, and
  • 7 = IELTS

What is the department code for reporting GRE score reports to the OR Center?

Send scores to the Institute code 3514.

What is the department code for reporting TOEFL score reports to the OR Center?

Students should use the Industrial Engineering code, which is 67.

Do I need to complete the "Record of Course Taken" section? If yes, what courses should I list?

Yes, this section should be completed (to the best of your ability) with all courses taken throughout your studies.

Do I have to include all of the letters of recommendation with the application, or can these be sent separately?

We encourage students to submit a completed application at one time, which would include the three letters of recommendation. However, this is not always possible and we will accept them separately. Also, MIT is now accepting online recommendation letters. We stronlgy encourage that the letters be submitted electronically.

Where should supplemental materials for my application be sent?

All materials should be sent to:

Laura A. Rose, Admissions Coordinator
Operations Research Center
MIT/Room E40-107
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

How will I be notified of receipt of my application?

You will receive an acknowledgement email from the Admissions Coordinator once your application has been received and processed.

Can you give me an idea of my chances for admission based on my GPA or GRE scores?

We do not provide probabilities or chances of acceptance. In any case, it would not be fair to answer this question based on just scores. The Admissions Committee takes the entire application into consideration when reviewing it and making admission decisions.

How are students funded at the ORC?

The majority of doctoral degree students receive funding in the form of an RA during their first year at the ORC. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis. Admitted master’s students are not guaranteed financial aid. However, the OR Center will assist SM students in securing possible funding.

When are admission decisions made? How will I be notified?

Admission decisions are usually made in late February and/or early March. All students will be notified via email with the admission decision.

Can I find out my admission decision over the phone?

No, admission decisions will not be disclosed over the phone.

If I am accepted, can I defer the offer of admission? If yes, how long?

In most cases, students are allowed to defer admission to the OR program for a year. However, this request is handled on a case-by-case basis. If admitted and you would like to request a deferral, a letter to the Codirector must outline your reason for requesting the deferral. In some cases, the admission deferral may be made without a guarantee of financial support.

Can I visit the OR Center?

The OR Center holds an Open House for those students who have been offered admission. The Open House is held in March and/or April. At that time, students are invited to come visit and meet with faculty and students. We do not arrange for visits for prospective students prior to admission decisions.

Is there a minimum GPA required to apply?

No, the OR Center does not have a minimum GPA. However, the applicants are usually very strong academically and in the top of their classes.

Can I submit the GMAT instead of the GRE test?

No, the OR Center does not accept the GMAT.

Are there any prerequisite courses required for admission?

No, the OR Center does not require any prerequisite courses for admission.

What is the average GRE score of students admitted to the ORC?

The average range of GRE scores for the quantitative sections of the GRE is 750 thru 800, the analytical score ranges from 3.5 and up. Students often have verbal scores that are lower based on nationality

How many students apply to the OR Center?

The OR Center receives over 300+ applications in a given year.

How many students are offered admission to the OR programs?

The OR Center usually makes an offer of admission to 20-25 doctoral degree students and 8-12 students to the masters program.

How long does it take to complete the OR SM program?

It usually takes students two years to complete the master’s degree program.

How long does it take to complete the OR PhD program?

It usually takes students four to five years to complete the doctoral degree program in OR.

Do I need work experience to be admitted?

Work experience is not a prerequisite for admission to the OR programs.

Can I transfer from my current university to the OR program at MIT?

We do not consider transfer students separately. All students need to go through the standard admission process by submitting an application to the OR Center.

Where do graduates of the OR Center work after leaving the OR programs?

Many of our graduates assume positions in academia, consulting, large businesses (airlines, telecommunications), research laboratories, manufacturing or industry.

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