Once you're admitted to the Aeronautics and Astronautics Graduate Program, there are some important things to think about to ensure a smooth transition into your studies and life at MIT. We recommend, in addition to reading the material on this page, that you visit the MIT Incoming Student Resources web site.
Hard Copy Transcripts
Upon admission to our graduate program, you are required to submit an official hard copy of your transcript to the AeroAstro Student Services Office. For info on how to do this, please visit our admissions FAQ page.
Graduate Open House
For those of you who are admitted only, the Virtual Graduate Open House for AeroAstro will take place on Friday, March 12, 2021. This event is invitation only - the date is only listed here for your convenience, should you be admitted.
Faculty Profiles and Advising Statements
If you're eager to learn more about your admitting advisor and other faculty members within AeroAstro, you can visit their faculty profiles. Please pay special attention to the Advising Philosophy Statements that can be found at the bottom of many of their profiles, which will give you better insight into how it would be to work with them on research.
Most of our graduate students choose to live on campus. To procure on-campus housing, you must participate in the Graduate Housing Assignments Allocation Process. There are five graduate residences for single students and two that accommodate families. To begin the process of procuring housing, visit the MIT Graduate Housing Web site.
Should you choose to live off-campus, you’ll find the MIT Off-Campus Housing Office is a helpful resource.
All new MIT international students must work with the International Students Office in order to start the visa process. You'll also have to schedule an appointment with the ISO for clearance once you arrive on campus, or you won't be able to register.
English Evaluation Test
Entering graduate students who were required to take the TOEFL exam as part of their application must take the English Evaluation Exam, which is administered during the last week of August each year.
MIT requires all incoming students to submit a medical history, have a physical examination, and document immunity against certain infectious diseases. You must submit MIT Medical Report Forms to the MIT Medical Center before registering for classes. Visit MIT Medical to download these forms and learn more, including information on student health insurance requirements.
Computing at MIT
During the spring you’ll receive information that will help you set up a secure MIT Athena access (Athena is MIT’s computing environment), which includes creating your official MIT email address and password. You will also need to download MIT Certificates to your computer to access certain secure areas of the MIT Web site. For other general MIT computer information, visit MIT IS&T. If you have questions specifically about AeroAstro Department computing, you can email aero-help [at] mit.edu.
Parking and Transportation
MIT campus parking is available for a fee. There are free MIT shuttle buses connecting most areas of the campus, and a fee-based shuttle to Logan Airport just before the Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks. There’s also an excellent public transportation pass program, which MIT subsidizes. You can find information on all transportation options at the MIT Parking and Transportation Web site.
Graduate Student Orientation
Each fall, the MIT Graduate Student Council organizes orientation events for new graduate students.
The AeroAstro Department runs an orientation to familiarize you with our processes and policies, and to give you a chance to meet other new students. This event usually takes place the week before class begins. You’ll receive detailed information regarding this, and other MIT and department orientation events, during the summer.
Graduate Writing Exam
AeroAstro requires that all entering graduate students, including those who completed their bachelor's degree at MIT, demonstrate satisfactory English writing ability by taking the Graduate Writing Examination administered by Comparative Media Studies & Writing. The exam is administered once each year electronically, usually in June or July. If you do not pass the exam, will be required to take a writing workshop for credit during your first January IAP period.
Registration takes place the day before classes begin. There’s no pre-registration for incoming master’s and doctoral students. Once you arrive on campus, you need to arrange a meeting with your academic advisor (who was assigned to you in your acceptance email) between the AeroAstro orientation and the following week. The process of contacting your advisor will be explained during orientation. You and your advisor will decide which subjects you should take, depending on your research and funding situation. Please note that while there are graduate program requirements, there is no specific set of classes graduate students must take.
Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics, or GA3, as it is called, is the AeroAstro Department graduate student organization. It represents our grads within the department, as well as within the Institute. There are a number of other AeroAstro student groups that you are welcome to join. If you have questions regarding student life in AeroAstro at MIT, or even in Cambridge/Boston in general, our students are happy to answer your questions! You can contact them at ga3-questions [at] mit.edu.