What are the benefits of ACCESS?

ACCESS is an opportunity to experience firsthand the exciting opportunities available to graduate students in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science. ACCESS participants interact with students and professors working on cutting edge research and attend workshops designed to strengthen problem-solving skills and demystify the graduate application process. Did we mention it's fun? Events include social dinners and off-campus activities, allowing participants the opportunity to experience the rich history and scenery of Boston and Cambridge.

Does it cost money to attend ACCESS? How do I set up my travel and hotel arrangements?

ACCESS is completely supported by MIT and the Dow Chemical Company. Participants will not have any out-of-pocket costs. The ACCESS program staff will arrange for all travel and hotel accommodations. Participants will be contacted with further details once they have been accepted.

What will I be doing for two whole days?

ACCESS is an intensive program designed to provide participants with skills essential to pursuing higher-level academic research and success. The two days provide an introduction to graduate study in the sciences, with events including skill building workshops, informational meetings with students and faculty, and evening social activities.

I'm not sure if I want to attend graduate school. Why should I attend ACCESS?

ACCESS is designed to show participants why graduate study is a viable option after graduation, and the doors it can open for the future. Whether or not you ultimately attend graduate school, ACCESS is a fun and all-expense-paid opportunity to broaden your horizons and meet new people.

If I attend ACCESS, will my chances of getting into graduate programs be improved?

By attending ACCESS, you will learn more about the graduate admissions process and will gain the skills to develop a stronger graduate application. However, attending ACCESS neither implies nor guarantees that you will be accepted into MIT or other graduate programs.

If I don't attend ACCESS, does that mean I won't be admitted to MIT for graduate programs?

There is no connection between ACCESS and the admission selection process. Department admissions committees will not know if an applicant either attended or applied to the ACCESS program.

I'm not sure I can afford to go to graduate school. Are there ways to help pay for it?

Graduate students in the sciences are typically funded by a variety of fellowships, research positions, and teaching assistant positions for the duration of their graduate experience. These types of appointments usually pay tuition, a competitive stipend for living expenses, and cover health insurance. Additionally, there are many opportunities for graduate-level scholarships and fellowships, both in general and specifically for underrepresented minorities, which you can learn about at ACCESS. All graduate students are encouraged to seek outside fellowships to help finance their graduate studies.

"The two minute elevator pitches allowed me to hone my presentation skills. The panel discussion with the MIT admissions faculty gave me valuable insight into how I can make my application as competitive as possible. But most importantly, ACCESS solidified my decision that graduate school is the right next step for my future."
Nick Burtch