IDM FAQ

How long is the program?

IDM has both a one-year and a two-year curriculum. We highly recommend the two-year option. We believe it allows students to be immersed in IDM and the MIT community in a manner that serves them well.

In two years, the students are able to complete the core curriculum in year one and to complete thesis work and electives in year two. Additionally, this approach enables students to dedicate time to starting their own companies, or participating in teaching or research assistantships.

Our program does have a one-year (13 month) option. For the students who are hoping to complete IDM in one year need to seek approval from the program director. Students should make the request only after having been admitted. This option may be applied for dual IDM-MBA degree candidates.

IDM begins each year with a two-week orientation in the end of August and classes begin each September. We only have one start term.     

What are the admissions application requirements?

Please view our admissions requirements webpage for the most updated information.   

Is work experience a requirement?

Yes. IDM requires a minimum of 3 years of experience prior to enrollment. Students in the program learn from world-class faculty and their peers. Because we admit people from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, students learn a great deal from each other.

Experience that we count towards the 3 years required includes: starting and operating a company, relevant or extraordinary volunteering, remarkable life choices, and extraterrestrial travel. The average number of years of experience for the 2018 cohort was 5.7 years.

How should I approach the portfolio?

The portfolio should be broken down into two parts. Our advice to you is to use the first portion of the portfolio, the part that reads: “4-6 slides that tell the story of a project or product that you are proud of. Be sure to explain your design/innovation/business process, insights and values,” to focus on your strengths in the field that you feel strongest in. There, go into depth (as far as you can) to show us your work on one specific project or product. The second portion of the portfolio, can be a snapshot of multiple projects that you’ve contributed to – an overview of a handful of projects so that we can continue to see the breadth of your skillset.

What is the average GRE or GMAT score for admitted students?

The GRE or GMAT is mandatory for our application process/review. We will only waive that requirement, if a candidate has a PhD in a related field. That stated, we do not publish our average scores. We want every applicant to do their best on the test without undue pressure. Additionally, we do not want to discourage anyone from applying, regardless of their scores.

How do I calculate tuition?

Please visit our Tuition and Fees page for the latest and most accurate information.

In general, the tuition for the two-year program and the one-year option are roughly the same. The total tuition for the school year 2018-2019 ranges between 70-74k. Tuition is charged per term. The low course load tuition rate is $19,298, while the high course load rate is $28,937 per semester.

The low course load tuition value (currently at $19,298) at 4 semesters, or two years is $77,192. Please keep in mind that this does not include the annual tuition adjustment. Tuition for the forthcoming academic year is set each April by the MIT Corporation based on a recommendation from the Academic Council. Historically, SDM and IDM have seen 2-5% increases, and we strive to keep that as low as possible.

Please also consider that there is health insurance, MIT student fees, and costs of living.

If a student wishes to complete the programs in one year or 13 months, we tell them to take the high tuition value (currently $28,937) and multiply that times two semesters, then add one thesis only semester (at $17,146). The total is roughly $75,020. Again, please consider other costs and fees as well.

How can I apply for financial aid, scholarships, or fellowships?

IDM does not offer financial aid, scholarships, or fellowships directly through the program.

For financial aid assistance please visit MIT Student Financial Services and/or the Office of Graduate Education.

Although IDM doesn’t offer any scholarships or fellowships directly through the program, there are many opportunities for students to find funding within the MIT network.

Does IDM offer any tuition assistance?

One opportunity to keep in mind, is that many of our admitted students are able to secure a research or teaching assistantship after they have spent a semester in the program. Once students develop relationships with professors or research groups, they can apply for a position working for the professor or group. The tuition funding and stipend amounts range depending on the position.

IDM offers two teaching assistantships to second-year students—one TA for the core and one for the workshop.

What career development and recruiting support does IDM offer?

IDM shares with our sister track, SDM, a career officer, who works with students on career skills, vision planning, and job search preparation. Here is a copy of our employment report.     

Can I take the program part-time?

Both the low course load and the high course load are considered full time. The “low course load” terminology just means that you are taking fewer credits than the “high course load.” International students in the two-year program need to be enrolled in exactly 36 credit hours each term to complete the program in 21 months and maintain full time student status.

When can I expect to hear from IDM regarding acceptance to the program?

The application deadline is Feb. 1. All finalists for IDM admission are required to attend an in-person or phone/video interviews prior to receiving a final decision. These applicants will be contacted directly by the IDM Admissions Office. Final decisions will be released in April.          

Can I transfer credits to IDM?

Because our Core curriculum is custom to IDM, we do not accept transfer credit. Also, since MIT courses are of high caliber and the classes in the IDM program are specific to the degree, we will only consider transfer credit once a student is admitted. The program director has discretion approve any requests for transfer credit.    

How important are GRE or GMAT scores?

Every application is carefully reviewed in full. We consider all aspects of each candidate’s application package, including the vision statement, letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts, portfolio, and, when applicable, the interview in making our decision. Therefore, all decisions from the committee are final.       

Is IDM customizable? Will I be able to take MIT classes that interest me?

The curriculum is customizable to your career and academic goals and interests. The IDM Core is mandatory, as is the thesis requirement. Students are also required to take supplementary courses through the Sloan School of Management and School of Engineering, but the options are wide-ranging. There are lists of the available management electives and engineering electives for IDM students. Details about individual courses–descriptions and schedule information–are available on the MIT Subject Listing and Schedule pages. Additionally, there are 30 units available to students that can be taken from any department at MIT, and some at Harvard.  

Can I attempt a dual MBA degree?

Yes. The options that we have mapped out for completion of the dual Sloan MBA degrees are within 3 years. One would essentially take the high course load at IDM and plan to complete as many credits as possible, with the exception of thesis work, within one year. The MBA is a two-year program. Separate applications are required, and our admission processes are independent of each other. If/once you are accepted, you will work closely with representatives from both Sloan and IDM to ensure that all registration, orientation, and other new student requirements are met for both programs.

I am an international student, what is the CIP code for the IDM Program and is the degree eligible for OPT extension?

The degree granted by IDM falls under “System Engineering” with CIP code 14.2701 which is included in the USCIS STEM list. Students from these programs will be eligible for 2-year OPT extension.