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.

IACS hosted an on-campus information session for prospective students on Friday, November 3, 2017.  Watch the video of the program overview presentation here.
(NOTE: the CSE degree requirements have changed slightly since the Information Session on November 3.  Please see the ME DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section below for updates.)


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.  Applications to the Master of Engineering in CSE program are now being accepted for entry into the program in Fall 2018.  Apply Here.

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.

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.

The CSE faculty committee met on November 10, 2017 and approved some modifications to the degree requirements.  These modifications will take effect for students entering the program in fall 2018 and are highlighted below.

(Students who matriculated into the ME program before or during the fall of 2017 should view previous degree requirements here.)

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

  • AM 205: Numerical Methods (UPDATED CHANGE)
  • at least two of the three core courses.  (UPDATED CHANGE)
  • 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 project.
  • 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 Number Required
AM 205: Numerical Methods 1
Additional Core Courses: CS 025, AM 207, CS 207 2
Applied Math elective 1
Computer Science elective 1
Additional courses:

Applied Math electives (up to 3)
Computer Science electives (up to 3)
Domain electives (up to 2)
AC 297r Capstone Project course (up to 1)
AC 299r Indepenent Study Research course (up to 1)
AC 298r Seminar course (up to 1)
Thesis 8