Five-Year Program

Simultaneous Award of SB and SM Degrees in Political Science

An undergraduate student of the Institute who is enrolled as a candidate for the SB degree may apply to the Department of Political Science as a candidate for the SM degree.  Students must register as graduate students for at least one regular academic term (not the summer session) to be recommended for the simultaneous award of the bachelor's and master's degrees. The thesis submitted for the SM degree is also accepted by the department for fulfillment of the undergraduate thesis requirement.

Students wishing to pursue this academic program must apply for graduate admission by December 15, 2023.

The Department requires that a student interested in this program apply during their junior year.  The Department will make every effort to notify applicants of its decision by the end of February.

Upon acceptance to the SM program, a student may request to transfer graduate subjects completed as an undergraduate to fulfill the graduate subject requirement of the SM degree.  (Students may not double count units.)  Permission to transfer subjects must be obtained from the Dean of the Graduate School.

Each student must have completed at least 240 units as an undergraduate upon applying to the program.  The minimum number of subjects required for the SM degree is six graduate subjects, at least four of which must be in political science at MIT.  The other two subjects may be completed in other MIT Departments or through cross-registration at Harvard.

At the graduate level, students must have completed at least 66 units of graduate work. A student will be required to write one supervised thesis and will receive one degree (SB/SM).

To apply to the program students need to submit the following:

1.      Graduate Record Examination score
2.      Writing sample
3.      Three letters of recommendation from faculty members
4.      Personal statement
5.      MIT transcript or grade report

For more information about the graduate program please check our website or contact the Graduate Administrator Susan Twarog ( 617-253-8336,