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The academic work of the Institute is organized into six divisions:Biology and Biological EngineeringChemistry and Chemical EngineeringEngineering and Applied ScienceGeological and Planetary Sciences, the Humanities and the Social Sciences, and Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.

Graduate study at the Institute is divided further into a number of individual graduate options (degree programs),  which are supervised by those professors whose interests and research are closely related to the area of the option. Entering graduate students are admitted into one of these options.

The Committee on Graduate Studies, which includes the option representatives, elected members of the faculty at large, and graduate students appointed by the Graduate Student Council, exercises supervision over the requirements established by the faculty for all advanced degrees, provides policy guidance to the Dean of Graduate Studies, and certifies all candidates for graduate degrees to the faculty for their approval.