Admissions Requirements

The following are general requirements you should meet to apply to the MIT Sloan PhD Program. Complete instructions concerning application requirements are available in the online application.

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • A strong quantitative background (the Accounting group requires calculus)
  • Exposure to microeconomics and macroeconomics (the Accounting group requires microeconomics)

A Guide to Business PhD Applications by Abhishek Nagaraj (PhD 2016) may be of interest.

Application Components

  • Statement of Purpose

    Your written statement is your chance to convince the admissions committee that you will do excellent doctoral work and that you have the promise to have a successful career as an academic researcher. 

  • GMAT/GRE Scores

    We require either a valid GMAT or valid GRE score. At-home testing is allowed. Your unofficial score report from the testing institution is sufficient for application. If you are admitted to the program, you will be required to submit your official test score for verification.    

    We do not have a minimum score requirement. We do not offer test waivers. Registration information for the GMAT (code X5X-QS-21) and GRE (code 3510) may be obtained at and respectively.

  • TOEFL/IELTS Scores

    We require either a valid TOEFL (minimum score 577 PBT/90 IBT ) or valid IELTS (minimum score 7) for all non-native English speakers.

    Your unofficial score report from the testing institution is sufficient for application. If you are admitted to the program, you will be required to submit your official test score for verification.   

    Registration information for TOEFL (code 3510) and IELTS may be obtained at and respectively.

    • The TOEFL/IELTS test requirement is waived only if you meet one of the following criteria:

      • You are a native English speaker.
      • You attended all years of an undergraduate program conducted solely in English, and are a graduate of that program.


    Please do not contact the PhD Program regarding waivers, as none will be discussed. If, upon review, the faculty are interested in your application with a missing required TOEFL or IELTS score, we may contact you at that time to request a score.

  • Transcripts

    We require unofficial copies of transcripts for each college or university you have attended, even if no degree was awarded. If these transcripts are in a language other than English, we also require a copy of a certified translation. In addition, you will be asked to list the five most relevant courses you have taken.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    We require three letters of recommendation. Academic letters are preferred, especially those providing evidence of research potential. We allow for an optional fourth recommendation, but no more than four recommendations are allowed.

  • Resume

    Your resume should be no more than two pages. You may chose to include teaching, professional experience, research experience, publications, and other accomplishments in outside activities.

  • Writing Sample(s)

    Applicants are encouraged to submit a writing sample. For applicants to the Finance group, a writing sample is required. There are no specific guidelines for your writing sample. Possible options include (but are not limited to) essays, masters’ theses, capstone projects, or research papers.

  • Video Essay

    A video essay is required for the Accounting research group and optional for the Marketing and System Dynamics research groups. The essay is a short and informal video answering why you selected this research group and a time where you creatively solved a problem.
    The video can be recorded with your phone or computer, and should range from 2 to 5 minutes in length. There is no attention — zero emphasis! — on the production value of your video.

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