BE Application Assistance Program

Announcement: The Office of Graduate Education is hosting a detailed webinar on Thursday, Nov. 18th, at 4 PM EST covering what a PhD entails, the path to graduate school, how to navigate applications, and what to expect once you’re at MIT BE. The webinar, known as a GradCatalyst, will also feature a student panel for audience Q&A. Please register here if you are interested (disregard the “Register by Thursday, Nov. 11th“ text and register anyhow). Also, BEAAP hosted a Zoom webinar on Oct. 21st to help answer frequently-asked applicant questions, a recording of which can be found below. Please watch & refer to it if you have application questions but feel that don't need one-on-one mentorship or don't identify as under-supported or under-represented in STEM.

The Biological Engineering (BE) Department is committed to advancing a respectful and caring community that enables all of our students to succeed at MIT. We are looking for applicants who bring a diversity of thought and experience to our student body, including students from groups underrepresented in STEM, students with non-traditional academic backgrounds, and students from academic institutions which have not historically sent many students to MIT. We recognize that applicants receive disparate degrees of support during the graduate admission process, and encourage applicants with less support to use the BE Application Assistance Program (BEAAP).

BEAAP is a volunteer-based, student-run program which provides assistance to BE applicants from underrepresented groups. Applicants are paired with a graduate student who can answer questions about BE and MIT, provide feedback on materials to create a stronger application, and guide applicants through the BE application process. BEAAP is supported by the BE Graduate Admissions Committee and the BE Graduate Student Board. BEAAP mentors are trained by a faculty member on the Graduate Admissions Committee on BE's admissions criteria and by the Communication Lab on providing feedback for application materials. This support is by no means a guarantee of admission as the MIT BE admissions process is completely separate from BEAAP. Participation in BEAAP is not considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee during application evaluation. 

The BE Department is excited that you are considering us in your application process! The application to participate in BEAAP for the 2021 application cycle is now open until December 1st, 2021. To join the program, please fill out a short application here. After we receive your application, we will contact you for more information and pair you with a volunteer graduate student mentor. You can email us with questions related to BEAAP at For questions about the BE graduate program in general you can email

Please note that BEAAP is purely volunteer-based: graduate students are offering their time to support prospective applicants, and this support is not considered as part of the admission process. BEAAP will accept requests until December 1 in order to provide assistance before the December 15 BE application deadline. We encourage applicants to connect with BEAAP early, as we may not be able to guarantee a mentor match late in the application season.

BEAAP hosted a webinar on Oct. 21st to help answer common questions and support those who many not need one-on-one mentorship. A recording of the webinar is embedded below, and the presented slides can be found here.

Please contact with any webinar-related questions.

Statements of support

The Biological Engineering (BE) Graduate Admissions Committee enthusiastically supports the BE Application Assistance Program (BEAAP). Our department is committed to advancing a respectful and caring community that enables all of our students to succeed at MIT. We value applicants who bring a diversity of thought and experience, and recognize that many of these applicants have not had the same support in the graduate admission process as other students. We are excited for BEAAP to help fill that gap and have made ourselves available to the graduate student leaders and volunteers in support of BEAAP.

Angela Belcher
Biological Engineering Department Head
Christopher Voigt
Biological Engineering Graduate Admissions Committee Chair

The Biological Engineering (BE) Graduate Student Board is excited to support the BE Application Assistance Program (BEAAP). The Board values and actively supports diversity among our graduate community, and we are committed to promoting a collegial and respectful environment for all graduate students. We look forward to assisting BEAAP in its goal to support applicants from underrepresented groups.

Krista Pullen
Viraat Goel
Biological Engineering Graduate Board Coordinators