MIT Technology and Policy Program

TPP SM Curriculum

The TPP curriculum was designed for completion over the course of two years. Thesis research and writing must count for at least 24 units of the student’s final-year course load. This requirement makes graduating in less than two years very difficult, unless a student has already started thesis research through an MIT program that might be applicable to TPP.

Overall Curriculum

Core integrative Methods and Frameworks Technical Concentration Development
  • Concepts and Research in Technology & Policy
  • Research Project
  • Thesis (IDS.THG)
  • TPP Research Seminar
  • Science, Technology and Public Policy (IDS.412)
  • Microeconomics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Restricted Elective
  • At least 30 units of graduate subjects
  • Coherent area of study
  • Commonly aligned with research area
  • Cohort Exercise
  • Training Modules
    • Communication
    • Leadership
  • Optional Internship


The TPP thesis is a major professional work that builds upon the student’s concentration. It integrates the technology and policy of an issue, placing the technical problem in context and providing leadership regarding what can and ought to be done.

Thesis work normally spreads over two semesters. The student prepares a thesis proposal in the first semester, submitting it for review by the TPP Thesis Committee no later than the start of the student’s final semester at MIT, during which the student does the intensive work on the thesis.

Engineering Systems Concentration (30 units)

Each student is also required to take a coherent sequence of three graduate-level subjects in technology and policy/social sciences, each valued at a minimum of 9 units. Students are generally free to choose policy courses that best integrate with their individual programs. However, the engineering systems concentration requires approval from both the student’s research supervisor and the TPP administration.

Student concentration areas can range from typical engineering disciplines such as Telecom Networks, Transportation and the Environment, and Materials Engineering to more creative and unique concentration areas such as Electric Energy in Developing Nations, Biotechnology, and Technology Education. Most graduate level subjects offered at MIT can fulfill an engineering systems concentration, given permission of the student’s supervisor and the TPP administration. For a full listing of MIT course offerings, please review the MIT Course Bulletin.

Degree Requirements

Complete degree requirement information can be found through the MIT Course Bulletin.

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