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ESG admits about 55 first-year students using a lottery-based system each year.


Each year ESG admits approximately 55 first-year students into the program.  Students wanting to join ESG must first participate in one of our information sessions, which are offered in April, June, and August.  If we have more applicants than the allotted number of spots, ESG runs a lottery to decide who is admitted.

If needed, two separate lotteries are run for ESG. An early lottery is run in July for those who participate in our information sessions either during Campus Preview Weekend (CPW ) in April, or during our remote information sessions in June.  A second lottery is run in August for those participating in information sessions during orientation. If anyone who wins a lottery decides to forfeit their spot, those who are wait listed will be contacted immediately, which usually happens (if at all) shortly after the lottery results have been announced.

Please note: In response to changes taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESG is likely to select it’s full cohort of ESG students during the summer lottery. If this is the case, there will be no information sessions held during orientation this year. We recommend that anyone interested in joining ESG participate in one of the remote information sessions taking place between June 12 and June 18. To sign up for a remote information session, send a query to esglizards@mit.edu before Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 5:00 PM. These sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Generally there is a small amount of attrition before second semester, mostly by students who have taken all that they can in ESG and are moving onto a full course load in the regular curriculum. If that happens, students on the wait list may be invited to join ESG in the spring.

To apply to ESG, you need to participate in an information session and complete an online application. You can participate in an information session in any of the following ways:

  1. Come to ESG during Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), April 16-17, 2020;
  2. Participate in a remote information session on June 12, 15, 16, or 18, 2020 (international students or others who are unable to attend CPW are encouraged to participate in this);
  3. Come to ESG during orientation, August, 2020.

Those who attend an information session during CPW or attend a remote information session will be entered into the early lottery. All applications are due on June 22, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.  The early lottery results will be announced the 3rd week in June.  Those who win the early lottery will have until 11:59pm on Thursday, June 25 to accept their spots.  Up to 40 students will be selected early, depending on the number of applicants. Those who attend the information sessions during Orientation will be entered in a second lottery in August.

Access to the online application will be available only after you have participated in an information session.