Students admitted to the program are admitted with full funding (i.e., stipend, health insurance for a single person, and tuition). Some students are supported by external competitive fellowships, which help the program stretch its limited financial resources and admit more students than we might be able to do without these additional resources.  If a student does not have an external fellowship then the program will provide financial assistance usually in the form of a research assistantship or internal fellowship, or a combination of the two.

As such, we do encourage applicants to pursue whatever options are available in their particular case for outside financial support (e.g., fellowships from organizations that sponsor graduate studies at a US-based university) since, as noted above, when a student brings in outside support, we are able to stretch our limited financial resources and admit more students than we might be able to do without these additional resources.

For information on fellowships for internationals, please visit the MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education website.

We urge applicants to apply for these funds, if they are available, at the same time that the application to graduate school is submitted, so that we are made aware of the possibility of these funds in each applicant's case.

Applying for outside funding is not a requirement for admission, i.e., if there are no sources of funds in your particular case, you may leave this area blank.

Length of support

MIT/WHOI Joint Program students are supported for the first five years of their graduate studies toward a Ph. D. and for fewer years (typically two or three) for a Masters or Engineers degree.

As a doctoral student, you can request support into a sixth year with accompanying recommendations from your advisor and from the appropriate Joint Program Committee certifying acceptable academic progress and the special circumstances requiring the sixth year of support. The sixth year of support must be approved by the Dean at WHOI for students with financial support through WHOI and by the Joint Program Director at MIT for students with financial support through MIT, after consultation with the appropriate Department Chair at WHOI or Department Head at MIT.

Administration and setup

All student support, regardless of source (except personal resources of the student) is administered through the WHOI Academic Programs Office, the Joint Program Office at MIT, or the appropriate academic department at MIT. The source of the support has no effect on academic standards and responsibilities, and in most circumstances has little effect on the schedule of progress toward the degree. If your support-related responsibilities are extensive, they will be considered when evaluating your progress. You should understand the nature of the support that is available and come to a clear understanding of the obligations that financial support entails.

Consultations between the Academic Programs Office at WHOI, the Joint Program office at MIT, advisors at both institutions, appropriate departments at both institutions, and the students are used to arrive at the support mechanism applicable to each student for varying periods of time (e.g., semester by semester or year by year).

Overarching guidance

All doctoral degree students, irrespective of the source of their stipend and tuition support, are expected to pursue a program of study and research in their first two years that prepares them for their Ph.D. examinations for candidacy (general examinations). Thereafter, they pursue full-time research with attendance at appropriate seminars and participation in occasional courses as recommended by their advisor and approved by the appropriate joint committee.

Masters and Engineers degree students pursue a course of study and research during their two to three years leading to completion of the degree requirements. Acceptable progress in fulfilling the duties associated with the financial support received is monitored by the academic and research advisor(s) and the appropriate joint committee.