Q. Am I eligible to join GEL?

All MIT School of Engineering students (students from other majors may also be eligible – please inquire) are eligible to join GEL. Students may first apply to the program in their sophomore year; they may enter as juniors or seniors. Prospective students should have an interest in working in engineering-related industries and have the bandwidth and willingness to commit to program requirements.

Q. What are some key benefits of GEL?

In addition to developing your engineering leadership abilities, GEL offers opportunities to grow your personal and professional networks, to collaborate with students across multiple engineering disciplines, and to make connections with potential employers. Many GELs have continued to maintain their GEL network years after completing the program; many are still in touch with their GEL mentors; and many continue to work at companies they’ve connected with through GEL. In more ways than one, GEL sets the stage for a successful engineering career and provides a foundation for becoming a leader in industry.

Q. How can I hear more about the GEL experience?

Visit our booth and talk to current students and staff at:

  • Career Fairs
  • Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) Fair
  • Information Sessions (typically held during the spring semester; check our website for dates)

Watch these videos:

Read this blog:

Q. How do I become a GEL? How do I advance to the second year of GEL

For GEL1, prospective students will fill out an application and complete an in-person interview (more information here). GEL’s admission season is typically early in the spring semester, check the website for deadlines and announcements.

For GEL2, the student must demonstrate a commitment to developing themselves while supporting their team and its leadership. The first year of GEL serves as a "year-long interview" in which student leadership, and program staff observe and assess your leadership potential. Additionally, the process involves a brief online application and self-evaluation, and in many cases a one-on-one interview with program staff (more information here).

Q. Why should I participate in GEL?

Consider joining GEL if you strive to enhance your leadership ability in engineering or technical contexts. Students join GEL at differing levels of leadership experience – this creates a wonderfully diverse cohort where students grow from each other’s feedback, energy and enthusiasm. Whether you’re an emerged leader or a novice leader, aspiring and current GELs share a passion for continued leadership development – GEL provides the instruction, practice, feedback and structure you’ll need to enhance your engineering leadership ability.

Q. What are the requirements of the GEL Year One and GEL Year Two programs?

Learn more about GEL1 Requirements.
Learn more about GEL2 Requirements.

Q. What do I receive as a result of participating in GEL?

In addition to receiving academic credit, you’ll receive a Certificate of Engineering Leadership (for successful completion of the GEL1 program) or a Certificate of Advanced Engineering Leadership (successful completion of the GEL2 program). These certificates are increasingly coveted by industry and are a strong addition to your resume. Students will be recognized at a formal completion ceremony.

Q. How do GELs support each other and the overall GEL community?

Before and after graduating, GELs are a vibrant community. Here is just a small sample of the ways that GELs contribute:

  • GELs play a vital role in recruitment and outreach during the GEL admissions season
  • GELs organize and host events
  • GELs fundraise for initiatives
  • GELs take the responsibility for building and enhancing the GEL student community

Our alums are particularly active; here are just a few ways they give back to the program:

  • GEL alums return to visit Engineering Leadership Labs
  • GEL alums mentor current GELs
  • GELs alums help make career connections for current GELs

Q. Where do GEL alums work?

Alums work at Apple, Adobe, Boeing, Bose, Google, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Shell, and many other companies. They also serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian government agencies such as NASA.

Q. How is GEL governed?

GEL receives guidance from an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), consisting of senior engineering leaders from top engineering companies throughout the country, and a Governing Board (GB) consisting of key MIT institute officials and financial supporters. GEL also collaborates with institute faculty members on educational and curricular aspects of the program.