How to Apply

The online application is closed.

THE DEADLINE FOR ALL MATERIALS IS JANUARY 5.  It is very important to begin the online application well in advance of this deadline for all materials.

The MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Sciences and Engineering collaborates with the MIT Departments of EAPS, Biology, MechE, EECS, and CEE. If you wish to apply to those departments independently of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, please also complete their online application form, bearing in mind that they may have different application deadlines.


In the application, you will be asked to supply the names and email addresses of three people to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf.  Letters should be from people who are familiar with your academic ± research capabilities. Once this information is entered, you will be asked to contact these people, so make sure to do this well in advance of the January 5 deadline.


You will be required to upload unofficial PDFs of your transcripts.  Transcripts are required for all degrees earned to date.  Official transcripts will be required upon admission to the program.  If you are admitted, you will be instructed when and where to submit those.  Do not send transcripts to the Joint Program unless you are asked to do so.

Testing Requirements

We urge applicants to complete the tests by the end of October so that the results reach us by the January 5 deadline. Results of tests taken after December 31, 2015 will not be considered because of the lack of availability of official scores when applications are reviewed.

Institution Code: MIT 3514

Department Code: Oceanography (0508 for GRE, 75 for TOEFL/IELTS)

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (Required)
    • Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Sections
    • Subject test is not required.
    • Scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). Currently, scores earned from July 1, 2010, to the present are available.
    • Please see for more information about the GRE.
  • English Language Proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)  
  • Applicants who have not received primary or secondary schooling in English must take an English Language Proficiency exam (either IELTS or TOEFL).  Test scores must be within the past two years.  Waivers may be granted in certain circumstances; please see for details.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score for admission is 7.0.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score for admission is 100 for the internet-based test.  We understand the paper-based test is no longer being offered.
  • Please see and for more information about the IELTS and TOEFL.

Statement of Objectives

In the application, you will be asked to write a statement of objectives. Please explain why you are a good candidate for the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in the field you have chosen. You should describe why you wish to attend graduate school, what you would like to study, and any research experience you have. Include as far as you can your particular interests, be they experimental, theoretical, or field oriented, and describe how your background and the MIT/WHOI Joint Program support these interests. This is a good place to mention research areas of specific faculty that most interest you. The Admissions Committee will welcome any factors you wish to bring to its attention concerning your academic and work experience to date.

The recommended length is 1.5-2.5 pages single-spaced.

Student Support

Investigate and apply for sources of student support, such as U.S-funded fellowships, non-U.S. agencies that fund graduate studies abroad, etc.  While students admitted to the program are admitted with funding (i.e. they receive a stipend and tuition is paid – there is no option of students paying their own tuition), we encourage students to apply for outside fellowships while applying to graduate school.  See Graduate Fellowship Opportunities.

Do not mail any additional materials such as CVs, abstracts, personal information or lists of professional accomplishments.  These will not be considered for admission purposes.

Admissions Decision Notification

The Joint Program will notify applicants via email regarding the receipt of all application materials.

Notification of admission decisions will be sent via email to applicants in early March. 

There will be an open house FOR ADMITTED STUDENTS March 14 and 15, 2016.