Graduate Degree Programs

Graduate students are drawn to MIT’s Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department by its collaborative, interdisciplinary nature as well as its world-class faculty. 

Doctoral Program (Ph.D., Sc.D.)

With the assistance of an academic advisor, each student follows an individualized program of study encompassing core subjects, basic science and mathematics, and subjects related to the student’s area of interest. Students typically receive their degree in five years, with the first two years spent in coursework and research, culminating in a General Examination—which must be completed before the end of the second year. Immediately after the General Examination, thesis research begins under the close supervision of one or more faculty members—chosen by the student—who are interested in and knowledgeable about the student’s area of research. Faculty supervisors may be members of EAPS or of other MIT departments. Each thesis is expected to meet high professional standards and make a significant original contribution to the student’s chosen field of science.

Master of Science Program (S.M.)

The master’s degree program—designed to be completed in two years—is suitable for motivated students with undergraduate degrees in geoscience, physics, chemistry, mathematics, or engineering. Students spend the first year taking classes and the second conducting research and thesis work. This program prepares students for scientific and management careers in the environmental, natural resources, and technical consulting industries.

Fifth-Year Master of Science Program (S.M.): Continuation of EAPS Undergraduate Degree

Undergraduate students with strong academic records from the departments of EAPS, chemistry, physics, mathematics, CEE, EECS, or chemical engineering may complete a master of science in Earth and Planetary Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, or Ocean Sciences, with just one year of additional study.

Learn more about the 5th Year Master’s Degree Program.