FAQs and Tips

Q. When is my application due? May I submit it late? Where can I access the application? What other materials are due?

A. The graduate application deadline for September admission is December 15. If you are applying to the LGO prgoram via AeroAstro, your application is due December 1. Late applications will not be accepted, nor will late application materials. You must complete your graduate admissions application online using GradApply. Please note that once you create a login and password for your electronic application, it must be completed for that admissions cycle - it will not be accessible during subsequent cycles (e.g. If you start your application in September 2016, it would only be usable for the Fall 2017 application cycle, not the Fall 2018 cycle).

All supplemental materials, such as transcripts, test scores, and recommendations must also be received by December 15 - application material will not be accepted beyond that date, and our committee is not obligated to review incomplete applications. To find out exactly what is needed to apply, please visit our Graduate Admissions Checklist. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of this hard deadline. If you cannot get your materials in by this date, you are not eligible to apply. We do not make exceptions to this deadline. We also do not allow students to upload/submit material beyond what is required such as CVs, degree certificates, extra recommendations, transcripts, etc.

Q. May I apply using the paper application, and send paper materials?

A. No. There is no paper version of our application available. Our system for reviewing applications is completely online, so we must receive all application materials electronically using our electronic application and recommendation service

Q. May I apply for a fee waiver?

A. Yes. Please visit MIT's graduate fee waiver application site for more information. They are granted on a case by case basis.

Q. How should I submit my transcripts?

A. Transcripts must be uploaded to your electronic application. You must include one for each college or university you have received or will receive a degree from. Official transcripts are preferred, but unofficial will be accepted as well.

Should you be admitted, we will request that you send an official hard copy transcript upon notification of your decision. These documents should be mailed to the MIT AeroAstro Student Services Office at the following address:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Student Services Office, Room 33-202A
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

All transcripts must be sent directly to our department from your university in a signed, sealed envelope. We only accept official, confidential transcripts for this requirement. If your school sends your transcript directly to you, you may still submit it to us, but only if you do not open the signed, sealed envelope. If your transcripts are not in English, they must be translated into English officially either by your school or by a service of your choosing, such as World Education Services, not by you. Please send ONLY ONE COPY of each required transcript to the Aero Astro Department, ONLY once you are admitted and are asked to do so. We do not need multiple copies.

Q. I won't be done with my current program before the December 15 deadline. Can I still apply? What should I do about my transcripts?

A. Most applicants are in this situation - still finishing up a degree when the December 15 deadline comes. You are still eligible to apply as long as you will be done with your current degree by the September that you are applying to enroll for. Regarding your transcript, you'll simply upload the most complete version that is available on or by December 15.

Q. May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

A. No. Please submit only three letters of recommendation, using the electronic recommendation service that is part of our online application. Our online service will only allow for the submission of three letters, and our committee will not accept further paper recommendation letters.

Q. Will applying earlier benefit my application? May I submit it before my transcripts, test scores and recommendations have been received by your office?

A. Yes, but it will not likely yield a quicker decision. However, if you apply early our staff will be able to support you better, and help you to complete your application on time. You may begin the application process as of September 1. You may absolutely submit your application before we've received your other materials.

Q. I can't afford the tuition. Is it worth my time to fill out the application?

A. Applicants' financial resources are not considered as part of admission decisions. Your financial situation will have no bearing on your application.

Q. Will documents that I have published improve my chances?

A. Faculty members do not have the time required to read applicants' publications – please do not include them with your application. Your Statement of Objectives is much more critical to the review process. Be sure to be clear and concise about your research goals and how they relate to the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department.

Q. What is the average GPA of accepted graduate students?

Because students from all over the world apply to our graduate program, we deal with many different GPA scales and systems. Because of this, we do not keep an official average GPA for accepted students on file. However, we do recommend an 80% GPA or above for application to our program, and typically admit students with at least an 85-90% GPA, or those from the top 5-10% of their class.

Q. Is the application process different for International Students?

The application process for international students is largely the same. The main difference is that some international students from non-English speaking countires must sit for the TOEFL/IELTS exam (see our TOEFL/IELTS policy here). International students, once admitted, must complete the visa process in order to be eligible to study in the US, but this takes place after the admissions process has been completed and a decision has been received.

Q. What are the average GRE, TOEFL and IELTS scores of accepted graduate applicants?

The average GRE scores for students accepted to our program for Fall 2016 are: Quantitative - 167, Verbal - 162 and Analytical - 4.5.

The average TOEFL score for the same group is 110 (Internet-based).

The average IELTS score is 7.5.

Please note that while there are no minimum GRE score requirements to apply, you must at least score a 100 on the internet-based TOEFL in order to eligible to apply to our program. If you choose to take the IELTS, you must score at least a 7 total to be eligible. Students who score below these minimum scores are not eligible to apply to our graduate program.

Q. What is the MIT code used by the Educational Testing Service? What is the Aeronautics and Astronautics code? What tests do I need to take?

A. Official score reports should be sent to the MIT Office of Admissions, ETS code 3514. The Aeronautics and Astronautics Department code is 1601 for the GRE. You are not required to use a department code to submit your TOEFL score, just the school code.

For the GRE: The AeroAstro Department requires scores for the general test. Scores from any GRE subject tests that are taken will not be considered by our committee.

To insure that your application is complete, you must take the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS tests on or by December 1. Don't let your application be inadmissible because our office does not have your test scores. Although test scores usually arrive within 10 days after taking the exam, delays are always possible, and your application must be complete by December 15. Be early! Note: it takes additional time to receive GRE and TOEFL scores for international students.

Our office does not accept copies of standardized test scores from students. Official scores received directly from ETS are required.

Q. How do I get in touch with the Educational Testing Service?

A. To learn more about ETS, please visit http://www.ets.org/. For more information about TOEFL, see http://www.ets.org/toefl/.

For information on IELTS please visit http://www.ielts.org/.

Q. I've been employed for the past few years. Do still I have to take the GRE exam?

A. Yes. All applicants must take the GRE exam, with absolutely no exceptions.

Q. May I call or email the AeroAstro Department to check the status of my application materials? 

A. If you wish to check your application material status, emailing us at aagradinfo@mit.edu is the best way to do so. However, if you have not submitted your application yet, we ask that instead of contacting us to see if we've received your supplemental materials, to please go ahead and submit your application instead. Once you do, you'll receive an email detailing to you what is missing from your application. Please note that you are free to submit your application before all of your recommendations have been received.

If you have any questions regarding graduate admission to AeroAstro that aren't addressed on our site, please email us at aagradinfo@mit.edu.