Prospective Students

Comparative Media Studies/Writing is at the vanguard of media and writing education and practice.

We’re home to some of the world’s great talents: MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Lisa Parks, Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz, digital media scholars-and-makers Fox Harrell and Nick Montfort, ethnographer T.L. Taylor, fiction writer Helen Elaine Lee, Chinese media scholar Jing Wang, science writers Tom Levenson and Seth Mnookin, and many others.

CMS/W is where the humanities rise from the page and canvas into what we call “applied humanities”.

We also feature more than half a dozen research groups, where the humanities rise from the page and canvas into what we call “applied humanities”—work developed by faculty, staff researchers, and students who together produce games, tools for civic action, code for data visualization, workshops for collaborative documentary filmmaking, and much more.

As you look through our degree offerings below, you might ask, “What’s in a slash? Is CMS/W one thing or two?” The answer is: yes. As an undergraduate, you’ll major in either Comparative Media Studies, Creative Writing, Science Writing, or Digital Media. As a graduate student, you’ll graduate with a degree in Comparative Media Studies or Science Writing. Likewise, your curriculum will be shaped to meet the requirements of those courses of study.

But the faculty, lecturers, staff, research groups, subject offerings, events, and thus the ethos of CMS/W contribute to form a single unit.

And now the nitty gritty about the degree programs themselves, how to major, and how to apply…

Degrees and Majors

Comparative Media Studies

Undergraduate Major, Minor or Concentration

Master’s Degree


Undergraduate Majors, Minor, Concentration, or Joint Degrees

Undergraduate majors, minor, concentration, and joint degrees (with engineering or the sciences): for undergraduates already at MIT.

Majors and areas of study include:

  • Creative Writing
  • Science Writing
  • Digital Media

Graduate Program in Science Writing

Graduate Program in Science Writing (Master’s Degree): for prospective students who already hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

International Applicants

All programs are open to students from outside the United States. Materials needed for admission are largely the same but must also include test scores proving English proficiency. Learn more at the MIT Office of Graduate Admissions and the International Students Office.

Visiting Students and and Special Students

  • Visiting student: for students currently enrolled in another graduate or undergraduate degree program who have been invited by CMS/W faculty to participate in research here.
  • Special student: for people not currently enrolled in a degree program, who wish to take classes in CMS/W.