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Admissions Info


The Program has granted 109 doctoral degrees since its inception in 1988. Graduates hold faculty appointments at universities including MIT, Harvard, American University of Beirut, Bates College, Boston College, Rutgers University, Olin College of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, University of California Los Angeles, National University of Singapore, University of Toronto, University of Virginia, University of Warwick, and Yale University. They also have held postdoctoral positions with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Columbia University Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Harvard University Society of Fellows, and Max Planck Institute. Other graduates work in museums, journalism, business, and academic research.

Applicant Pool

HASTS selects a small number of highly qualified students for doctoral study. A master's degree is not offered. Some HASTS students have training in science or engineering, while others have a background in history, sociology, anthropology, and environmental studies, among many other fields.

In Fall 2022, five new students entered the program, admitted from a pool of 287 applicants. Currently the program includes 28 students, 12 of whom are international students.

Requirements for Admission

Students with an undergraduate degree from any academic discipline are invited to apply, as long as they have a core interest in science and technology in their historical or social dimension. Students with a first language other than English must provide official IELTS or TOEFL results, taken within the last two years. To see what must be submitted in the application, please visit the application page.

Admissions Process

Applications are due on December 10 for admission in September of the following year. 

Normally, the HASTS Admissions Committee begins its review process in January. Students who are selected to advance to the second round of the admissions process will be invited to interview in February. Telephone or video conference/chat interviews will be arranged for applicants unable to travel to Cambridge for an interview.

Following the interviews, faculty will meet again to determine the final and list of admitted students and alternates. Admitted students must notify the Institute of their intentions by April 15.

Statement on the Role of Diversity

A diverse student body is and has long been critical to the educational mission of MIT. We are committed to providing our students "with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community."1

Our goal in forming the student body might simply be to select students who are, individually, excellent. Indeed, this is essential to our practice: every student we admit has demonstrated academic and personal excellence that placed them at the top of our applicant pool. But we strive for more than just individual excellence. Because our students learn so much from one another, our goal is to form a student body that is, collectively, excellent: an excellent group of excellent students, who will surprise, challenge, and support one another.

Our graduate students' success depends on their exposure to many viewpoints and their ability to trust peers to provide both support and criticism. Moreover, the experience of working with a diverse set of peers at MIT prepares our graduate students to work effectively in the world outside MIT: it opens their minds and attunes them both to the variety of strengths and the variety of concerns of others.

Diversity of viewpoints is derived from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences along many dimensions, among which are gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, disability, religion, age, veteran status and socio-economic background.

How much diversity is necessary to achieve our goals? Every student should feel that "there are people like me here" and "there are people different from me here." No student should feel isolated; all students should come into contact with members of other groups and experience them as colleagues with valuable ideas and insights.

It is through this experience of the richness and diversity of interests, strengths, viewpoints and concerns of their fellow students that our graduate students become open-minded intellectuals, leaders and innovators, primed to pursue the MIT mission of the betterment of humankind.

The graduate student diversity statement above has been adapted from the CUAFA Statement on the Role of Diversity in MIT's Educational Mission found at:



HASTS Statement on the January 2017 executive order restricting immigration to the United States of America


MITís Nondiscrimination Policy