Graduate Student Handbook

This handbook describes the graduate program (master’s and doctoral) in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. It supplements the Graduate Policies and Procedures, which outline the general Institute requirements, and is available on the web at as well as the Registrar’s Policies found on the web at:

EAPS Disciplinary Programs

Academic Terms

MIT has four terms in the year:
Fall Term
Independent Activities Period (IAP)
Spring Term
Summer Term

IAP and Summer Terms are not considered academic terms that count toward degree progress, but are periods of time when a student is able to conduct research to continue progress towards a degree.

Master's Program

Doctoral Program

  • First Two Years
  • Years 3+
    • Thesis
    • Term Registrations
    • Grades for 12.THG
    • Establishing a Thesis Committee
    • Thesis Proposal
    • Committee Meetings
    • Preparing for and Scheduling a Thesis Defense
    • The Thesis Defense
    • Thesis Defense Outcomes
    • Thesis Submission
    • Changes in Research Path
  • Funding
    • Fellowship
    • Research Assistantships (RA)
    • Teaching Assistantships (TA)



Child Birth Accommodation and Parental Leave



Last Updated: August 2019