MIT Technology and Policy Program


We strive to recruit a diverse class of students to the Technology and Policy Program. We seek students who are interested in combining mastery of a specific technological domain (energy, environment, computation, transportation, aerospace, etc.) with deep understanding of social science (economics, political science, management, law, etc.).

Admissions Criteria

Applicants to the Technology and Policy Program are expected to have sufficient background to excel in advanced subjects in engineering, data analysis, statistics, economics, political science, and management, as well as to complete a research thesis that contributes to the field of technology policy. When admitting students, we look for:

  • Academic excellence
  • Interest in technology policy
  • Capacity for technology policy leadership

Most successful candidates have one or more years of work experience after their undergraduate degree. In recent years roughly half of the incoming students have undergraduate degrees from North America, and the other half from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Academic Excellence

With regard to academic excellence, we evaluate each applicant individually, taking into account the opportunities that each prospective student has had to demonstrate their capabilities. In this context, we evaluate indicators such as university coursework, research achievements, and standardized test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). (NOTE: Per current IDSS policies, TPP again will NOT ACCEPT the GRE General Test for the 2022 Admissions Cycle.) We pay particular attention to recent evidence of academic performance, and achievements in areas directly relevant to technology and policy.

Applicants who are not native speakers of English must also present the results of their International English Language Testing System test (IELTS), taken within the last two years. We prefer applicants who score at least 7.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test.

Interest in Technology Policy

We evaluate prospective students’ interest in technology and policy through their prior experience and their personal statements. Practical experience in understanding how technology issues are applied in real-world contexts is important to students’ success in the program. Generally, successful applicants have previous work or internship experience in government, nonprofit, or industry sectors.

We are particularly interested in hearing about the goals and career plans of applicants through their personal statements, and how TPP will fulfill their objectives.

Capacity for Technology Policy Leadership

We seek students who are prepared to work for the good of a larger community. Leadership experience is interpreted broadly – we would like to hear through your personal statement how you have influenced and inspired the people around you. We are especially interested in candidates who can be effective in motivating concern about issues, catalyzing coalitions to effect change, and managing implementation of new policies.


A diverse student body is and has long been critical to the educational mission of MIT. TPP is 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” (MIT Mission).

Our 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 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.

The existence of such diversity of viewpoints depends upon representation within our student body of backgrounds and experiences that vary along many dimensions, among which are gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, disability, religion, age, veteran status, and socio-economic background.

No student should feel isolated, and 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 students become open-minded intellectuals and innovators, primed to pursue the MIT mission of the betterment of humankind.

(Derived from the CUAFA Statement on the Role of Diversity in MIT’s Educational Mission)

Admissions Process

Applications are accepted in December each year. Faculty review of applications begins in January, and candidates are generally sent offers of admission by early March. Tuition and stipends for accepted students are generally supported by research assistantships, and students apply for and secure such assistantships from supervising faculty and researchers between March and September. The incoming class begins in September.

Students who would like to apply for admission should do the following:

  1. Complete the application online. The deadline is December 15. An application fee of $75 will be required to submit the application; however, you can create an account, prepare and review the application before paying the fee. Fee waivers can be requested from MIT’s Office of Graduate Education for U.S. applicants for whom this fee creates financial hardship. We strongly recommend starting the process early. The TPP online application will require you to submit a current resume, a cover letter, letters of recommendation, statement of objectives, and a response to a supplemental question (pdf).
  2. Take the required tests:
    • IELTS: A score of 7.5 or above is required (To learn more about IELTS, visit
    • GRE: General test required. (not accepted for 2021 cycle)
      • Department code: 3514
  3. Arrange for official transcripts and test scores to be sent to:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology- TPP
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room E17-373
    Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Please direct any questions to Ed Ballo at:

Phone: (617) 258-7295,

Watch our Technology and Policy Program Webinar from Fall 2020:

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