Program Overview

The Media Lab is a community of inventors who work atelier style as members of research teams, doing the things that conventional wisdom says can’t or shouldn't be done.

Students come to the Media Lab through the Program in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS), based within MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning. Each year, the program accepts approximately 30-40 master’s and PhD candidates with backgrounds ranging from computer science, to music, to architecture. MAS applicants should be:

  • committed and accomplished in their area of concentration prior to application, with an emphasis on creative extensions of that domain;
  • able to work in an engineering environment; and
  • proficient at computer programming and/or hardware design.

The approximately 400 projects under way at the Lab are as varied as the students who conduct them: from tools for learning and expression, to innovative devices for human adaptation and augmentation, to new modes of transportation for tomorrow’s smart cities.

MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, an interdisciplinary initiative investigating the interface between computer science and physical science, also admits students through the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. The Center is known for its global network of digital fabrication facilities.

All graduate students are currently fully supported (tuition/medical insurance, plus a stipend), and spend a majority of their time on research activities.

MAS offers approximately 30 graduate courses, several undergraduate subjects, and an alternative freshman year program. Media Lab courses explore several themes, including, for example, human-computer interaction, communications, learning, design, and entrepreneurship.

Examples of Media Arts and Sciences courses can be found on MIT OpenCourseWare.