Master of Engineering in CSE

Harvard's second degree in Computational Science and Engineering is the two-year Master of Engineering (ME)

The ME is a two-year program requiring a thesis. The student is expected to spend most of the second year conducting research.


Students are admitted to the program through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. GSAS requires online submission of applications for graduate study. In general, applicants must hold the BA or equivalent degree. GSAS considers students for admission to the fall term only. Additional rules and requirements, including SEAS program requirements and application deadline for graduate admission, are outlined on the GSAS website.  Application information specific to the CSE program can be found here.

Answers to questions frequently asked by both external applicants and Harvard students interested in the master's program can be found in the FAQ.

IACS welcomes inquiries from all qualified prospective students interested in exploring the emerging field of computational science. For detailed information about studying CSE at Harvard, please contact Daniel Weinstock, Associate Director of Graduate Studies in CSE.

ME Degree Requirements

Requirements for the ME degree address the same learning outcomes as the one-year SM degree. Additional research experience allows students to build research and technical skills, apply computation to a domain of interest, complete a substantial project with a research mentor, and demonstrate the ability to take a substantial project to completion.

A total of 16 courses are required, of which eight are thesis credits.

Each student's plan of study for the ME degree will include:

  • at least three of the four core courses.
  • at least one Applied Math elective and one Computer Science elective chosen from the suggested electives list.
  • up to two “domain electives”—approved courses within a domain of study. If two domain electives are included in a plan of study at least one of them must be computation-intensive.
  • up to one semester-length independent research projects.
  • up to one semester of the AC 297r capstone project course.
  • up to one semester of the AC 298r seminar course.
  • completion and defense of the thesis.

ME thesis

The CSE Master's of Engineering program requires that students complete and defend a thesis project. CSE ME thesis projects should be substantial computational projects that students will spend the majority of their second year working on. While all theis projects must have a significant computational component, students are given leeway in finding a project that applies computation to solve a problem in a domain of study that fits with their background and interest.

All ME students must find a research advisor and submit a master's of engineering thesis proposal and a letter of support from the thesis advisor by February 15th of their first year of study. Thesis proposals will be evaluated by the CSE faculty committee and only those students whose propsals are accepted will be allowed to continue for the second year of the program.  

ME requirements at a glance:

  ME requirements min max
1. Core 3 4
2. Applied Math electives 1 4
3. Computer Science electives 1 4
4. Domain electives 0 2
5. AC 297r capstone project course 0 1
6. AC 298r seminar 0 1
7. AC 299r independent study research course 0 1
8. Thesis
  Total 16