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Thank you for your interest in MIT ESD’s PhD Program. Starting in September 2014, MIT is hitting the pause button for admissions to this program. Our next regular class of doctoral students focusing on complex systems will be forming in September 2016, with the application opening September 15, 2015 and due December 15, 2015. We know that this is probably a disruptive and disappointing surprise for aspiring applicants to ESD, and we’re truly sorry.

However, we are doing this for an exciting reason.

MIT’s research and educational programs for addressing critical societal systems are going through a transformation. The MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and an emerging cohort of statistics researchers at MIT will be joining ESD to form a new, yet to be named, academic unit.

The proposed Entity embraces the collision and synthesis of ideas and methods from analytical disciplines including statistics, stochastic modeling, information theory and inference, systems and control theory, optimization, economics, human and social behavior, and network science. These disciplines are relevant for understanding complex systems, addressing overarching challenges (including sustainability and systemic risk) , and for presenting design principles and architectures that enable those systems’ quantification, management and provide a basis for the formulation of policy. (Read more.)

We’ll be developing the new program over academic year 2014-2015. The plan is to soft-launch it with a cohort of beta-testers (current ESD students who opt-in) around September 2015, so you should be seeing detailed descriptions of the new program and admissions criteria on our website around then. If that date changes, we’ll let you know. We’re also aiming to post preliminary descriptions starting in spring 2015, so stay tuned!

Please note: interdisciplinary collaboration is a core MIT value. MIT’s programs and departments are connected in many ways, including through faculty and researchers who have homes in multiple academic units, through research, and through cross-listed classes. Following these types of connections can yield good leads on other opportunities that might interest you.


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