MIT Earth Resources Laboratory (ERL) seeks graduate students with strong academic backgrounds in the sciences who are interested in applying their skills to sub-surface research. We accept about a half dozen new graduate students each year.  We prefer students who have the initiative to take full advantage of MIT’s rich educational and research environment.

Any student admitted to our doctoral program can expect to receive financial support that includes a stipend, full tuition, and health insurance.   For details, please see the departmental pages linked below.

Why Apply

Academics: ERL students learn from and work alongside leading faculty in their fields, at one of the world’s most respected institutions.  Our program encourages students to take classes in other departments such as Mathematics or Civil and Environmental Engineering and Computer Science.  

Industry Engagement: ERL provides students opportunities to work on real-world problems posed by our sponsors and other companies, often in close collaboration with researchers and leaders from those companies.  Students present their work to our member companies at our annual meeting or other conferences or events.  The research divisions of several major companies have offices nearby the MIT campus, and industry recruiters visit us regularly. We encourage students to pursue internships in order to get team experience on an industry project.  Many of our alumni go on to be researchers and leaders in industry.

Environment: ERL Headquarters is located within the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) in the center of the MIT campus, surrounded by some of the world’s leading science and engineering departments.  The Boston area, known for its history and commitment to education, is home to many outstanding universities and innovative tech companies.   ERL sponsors a weekly seminar series that includes talks by our own researchers as well as visitors from other schools and companies.  In addition ERL students have access to countless academic talks within EAPS and across MIT and neighboring schools.  MIT is known for its interdisciplinary spirit and provides many opportunities for interaction and collaboration across fields.

How to Apply

ERL is an interdisciplinary laboratory.  Many of our graduate students are admitted to MIT through the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).  Some are admitted through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) or the Department of Mathematics.  Before applying, we recommend browsing the ERL People page to determine which of our researchers are doing work that matches your interests.

To apply to ERL, apply to one of these Departments and indicate your interest in ERL in your application.  If you are interested in working with specific ERL researchers, you may indicate that as well.  Instruction for applying, as well as details of the academic programs and financial support, can be found at the departments’ pages:

    EAPS Graduate Admissions

    CEE Graduate Admissions

    Mathematics Graduate Admissions