How to Apply to the Computational & Systems Biology PhD Program

Applications are submitted online at: Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) PhD Program.

Please note: You will be asked to attach a scanned (PDF) copy of your transcript(s) and (for international applicants), your IELTS or TOEFL exam document. These scanned documents are considered unofficial, but sufficient for review by the graduate committee. Please have these documents prepared before beginning the application. Email will be the primary method of contacting you, please do not change your email address once you have submitted your application as this will result in a record mismatch.

  • Application Deadline: December 1st. For fullest consideration, it is in your best interest to complete ALL parts of the application including attaching transcript(s), all evaluation letters, and the application fee, by or before the deadline of December 1st. Incomplete applications may not be reviewed. The scanned and attached unofficial copies of your transcript(s) and IELTS/IELTS scores can be used for review purposes, but official documents will be required before a positive admissions decision can be made.
    You can check the status of your application (complete or missing materials) online by logging into your application.

    2020 Open House (Interview Day) Dates:
    Friday, February 7th, 2020
    Friday, February 28th, 2020

  • Three letters of recommendation (at least two must be academic recommendations). We require that all recommendations be submitted electronically, using this system. Use Evaluations and then Letter Status to ask for electronic recommendations and to check whether recommendations have arrived. You must e-mail your recommenders the instructions shown in Letter Status. You can check the status of your application (complete or missing materials) online by logging into your application.

    Please Note: When a drop-down menu is provided for input fields, please use them as much as possible. Because your information needs to be transmitted to multiple databases, if an item is manually input instead of selected from the drop-down menu and it causes a mismatch, that can prevent the application form being properly transmitted. For example: When indicating your major, if you do not see your major included in the drop-down menu, choose the closest major from the list provided. You can always provide information specific to your major in your personal statement.

  • Academic Transcript: Only one official transcript from each school is required. If you are invited to interview, please have the Registrar’s Office of each college or university you have attended mail your official transcripts to:

    Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) PhD Program
    Building 68-230A
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

    eTranscripts and photocopies of transcripts will not be accepted as official documents.

  • The Subjects Taken Page is optional only if you have attached a PDF of your transcript. Attaching your transcript is strongly preferred for the completion of your application. If no transcript has been attached, this page must be filled in to complete your application and you must follow up with an official transcript sent to the address indicated on the Overview/Help page. Please complete the subjects taken in the following order: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Engineering/Other Sciences. All other sections are required. We generally do not review CVs as the information can be included in your online application.

The Computational and Systems Biology PhD program does not use the the GRE test in our admission process.

Additional Requirements for International Students
English language proficiency test scores are required of all applicants whose primary language is not English. Test scores must be from within the past two years. Registration information is available at

  • IELTS: Minimum score required: 6; most applicants should have scores of 7 or higher.
    Please Note: While we will not reject a TOEFL test score, we strongly prefer the IELTS.
    Minimum TOEFL score required: PBT: 600, CBT: 250, iBT: 100 or higher

  • Applicants to the MIT Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) Graduate Program are NOT required to complete the Subjects Taken page. All other sections are required. We generally do not review CVs as information can be included in your online application.

Submitting Adjunct Application Materials
Scanned PDF transcripts and IELTS and TOEFL scores are considered unofficial documents but are sufficient for review purposes. Official documents are required before an admissions decision can be made. Please have your scores electronically transmitted to MIT Admissions and mail official copies of your transcript(s) to:

Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) PhD Program
Building 68-230A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Please address questions about Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) and the application process to . Please send technical questions about this web site to You can find more general information about MIT graduate admissions here.

The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews all completed applications and invitations to interview are generally sent early-to-mid January. Two Open House/Interview Days are scheduled usually mid-February to early March. Offers of admissions are generally sent after the second Open House/Interview Day.

Financial Support
Students admitted to the program are considered for full support for their graduate studies, independent of personal resources or citizenship. Financial support may take the form of a research assistantship, fellowship or training grant. An appointment of this type includes tuition, health insurance, as well as a generous stipend/salary for living in the Cambridge area.

Students with Special Needs

The CSB Program encourages individuals with disabilities to apply to our program. Interested students may contact the MIT Student Disabilities Services office to learn about the many resources available on the MIT campus to support students with disabilities.

Privacy Policy
MIT is committed to protecting the individual privacy of applicants and students by restricting the use of all collected information as specified by Institute policies. In accordance with these policies, the information in your application may be used by MIT officials only for appropriate administrative and research purposes.

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MIT and the Computational and Systems Biology PhD Program are committed to the principle of equal opportunity for students with disabilities. Our objective is to ensure that qualified students with disabilities receive equal access to all of the Institute's programs, activities, and services.