Apply to the Comparative Media Studies Master’s Program

The Comparative Media Studies master’s program currently admits approximately 10 students per year, forming a cohort of 20 students working towards a Master of Science degree.

In response to the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, MIT has adopted the following principle: MIT’s admissions committees and offices for graduate and professional schools will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant.

In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/No Record (or Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail) and other grading options during the unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruptions, whether those decisions were made by institutions or by individual students. We also expect that the individual experiences of applicants will richly inform applications and, as such, they will be considered with the entirety of a student’s record.

Ultimately, even in these challenging times, our goal remains to form graduate student cohorts that are collectively excellent and composed of outstanding individuals who will challenge and support one another.

Questions or concerns about this statement should be directed to

The application deadline is January 1. Notification of acceptance comes by April 1.

Information session (encouraged but optional)

Information sessions are a great way to get to know the program, its people, and its research. We do require registration of those attending in person. The most recent information session was livestreamed and archived on our YouTube channel, and the next will be in November 2020.

Application, Tests, and Materials

The link to the application is  The application fee is $75.  All uploaded materials must be in PDF format, with a maximum size of 10MB.  All materials must be submitted by the deadline of January 1.

Required tests

  • GRE general test.  MIT’s code is 3514, the CMS departmental code “Radio, TV, and Film.”  If you select another departmental code, don’t worry; as long as the scores are sent to MIT – any department – we can access them.  Applicants who take the test after December 15 will not be considered for admission.
  • IELTS (international students only).  Minimum score: 7. To register for a test, visit Applicants who are tested after December 15 will not be considered for admission.  CMS does not accept TOEFL scores.  If the applicant holds a degree from an English-speaking institution, verifiable by transcript, we can waive the IELTS requirement.

Notes on the Application for Graduate Admissions

  • Subjects Taken: Please list all courses you feel are relevant to future study in Comparative Media Studies, even if they appear on your transcript(s). You do not need to fill in the textbook column.
  • Statement of Objectives: We recommend a length of 750-1000 words for the Statement of Objectives.
  • Academic Transcripts: Academic transcripts are required for all colleges or universities attended. Transcripts should be uploaded in the online application. If you are accepted, you will be required to send an official hard copy of your transcripts.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: At least two must be academic recommendations; online submission required.
  • Writing sample: This must be an academic research paper or one chapter of a longer project. Non-academic papers, such as journalistic pieces, do not qualify as writing samples, but may be included in a portfolio. If the context is not clear, please provide a brief description. If the work represents a collaboration, please explain. Writing samples should be uploaded in the electronic application.
  • Portfolio: Portfolios are optional and may be uploaded in the online application. If your portfolio is available on a website, please indicate this in the Test Scores/Experience section of the application.
  • Curriculum Vitae: Curriculum vitae or resumes should be uploaded in the online application.

Fee Waiver Requests

US citizens and US permanent residents* may request a graduate application fee waiver if they meet one of the criteria below:

  • Demonstrated financial hardship in the past year.
  • Participated in an MIT/ODGE sponsored diversity program in the past 5 years**.
  • Participated in a special fellowship program in the past 3 years.
  • Attended a diversity recruiting event in the past 3 years.
  • Served as a current or former member of the US Armed Forces.
    *US Permanent Residents must provide proof of this status, such as a copy of a green card.
    **International applicants, attending US colleges and universities, who participated in the MIT CONVERGE or MSRP programs are also eligible to apply.

Please fill out the form here to apply for a waiver.

For International Applicants

Before being admitted:

See IELTS and TOEFL information above.

After acceptance: