Below are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we receive about Masdar Institute, our academic programs and the campus.


What graduate degree programs do you offer? 

Masdar Institute currently offers nine Master of Science programs based on the US graduate education system and an interdisciplinary PhD program in collaboration with MIT:

Would my degree be from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology or MIT? 

Masdar Institute graduates are issued, in conjunction with their Master of Science diploma, a certificate jointly signed by Masdar Institute and MIT in recognition and endorsement of the successful completion of the requirements for the Master of Science degree.

What kind of research is being done at Masdar Institute? 

The initial focus of Masdar Institute's research is in the following priority areas:

  • Clean energy production and efficiency
  • Energy storage
  • Electrical power transmission and distribution
  • Desalination
  • Waste treatment and utilization
  • Water resource management
  • Nanostructured composites
  • Computational materials engineering
  • Electronics and sensors
  • Technical and economic modeling for policy analysis
  • Information science

What is the Young Future Energy Leaders program? 

The Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program is an outreach initiative of the Masdar Institute that is designed to inspire, engage and empower bright young people from the UAE and abroad to become tomorrow’s leaders in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability.

Is the Masdar Institute a co-educational institution? 

Yes, Masdar Institute is co-educational and we have a high percentage of women in the student body as well as our faculty and administration. 

What are the additional courses?

Additional courses are offered to highly-qualified applicants to make up for the lack of the required GRE and/or TOFEL scores. Selected technical and math courses give Master’s degree students the opportunity to refresh and expand their knowledge of the principles that underlie the academic field of their choice. Upon successful completion of their additional courses and an optional summer continuing education program in the US, students are allowed to continue their studies in their chosen MSc program.

How long are the additional courses?

The courses can take up to two semesters with an optional summer term.


It is reported that the Institute campus has been built to consume less in cooling demand, in potable water, in domestic hot water energy and in electricity. How is this achieved?

The creation of shade routes encourages pedestrian activity at street level, while colonnades cooled by high thermal mass materials applied to soffits, walls and ceilings have been incorporated into the design in all buildings within the Institute. The building’s façades have been developed to passively mitigate heat transfer while also being highly sealed to minimize the energy required when conditioning the internal spaces. Materials, with a low thermal mass, act as a fast responsive system, which cools down very quickly at night to avoid radiantly heating the public realm. Materials with high thermal mass, if strategically used in shaded locations, can also help store “coolth” to radiantly cool shaded colonnades.

A 10MW solar photovoltaic plant provides clean energy to the Masdar Institute Campus and Masdar’s temporary on-site offices, as well as some of the ongoing Masdar City construction activities. A photovoltaic rooftop PV array above the buildings also helps provide 30% of the base electrical load of the campus.

Water-use reduction technologies include high efficiency appliances, low-flow showers, highly efficient laundry systems, a water tariff that promotes water efficiency, incentives, real-time monitoring, smart water meters that inform consumers of their consumption, reducing leakage ultimately to 1%, treated wastewater recycling, and high-efficiency irrigation and low-water use landscaping, particularly through use of indigenous desert flora.

The current wastewater system combines grey water and black water for processing and treatment at the membrane bioreactor (MBR) plant. The treated sewage effluent produced at the MBR will be used for landscaping. The biosolids resulting from the wastewater treatment can be reused for compositing and in any future waste-to-energy plant.

Masdar Institute buildings have separate waste chutes to allow for the separation of waste. Once collected, the waste is sorted into compostable, non-recyclable and recyclable waste. All appropriate bio-waste will be composted and the product used to enrich the landscaping. At a future date recyclable waste will be processed in the city or as close by as possible.

Where can I get more information about living in Abu Dhabi?

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has an excellent website where you can explore the different aspects of living in Abu Dhabi.


Who issues the degree?

Masdar Institute issues its Master’s degrees. The degree is not a joint degree with MIT.

I have a higher education diploma. Can I apply?

Only Bachelor’s degree holders in engineering, IT or science disciplines are eligible to apply at MI. We also do not accept the Higher National Diplomas.

My CGPA is below 3.0. Can I still apply?

The Masdar Institute admission’s requirement is a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4 point scale. If your CGPA is borderline but you have an excellent GRE score plus other strong qualifications, your application may still be reviewed.

My CGPA wasn’t graded on a 4 point scale at my undergraduate university. Can I still apply?

It is not possible to translate the many varied grading systems into a standardized CGPA. If your university does not use the CGPA system, then you can still submit the online application along with your undergraduate degree transcript. The MI admissions office will evaluate and advise you accordingly. This is also why the GRE is very important, as it gives an indicator of the value of your undergraduate grades.

I went to an American/UK/Australian University for my BSc. Do I still have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Native English speakers do not need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. Essentially, if you did your primary and secondary education in the US, UK or Australia (or other English-speaking countries), it is likely we can exempt you from TOEFL/IELTS. However, students from Africa or the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere will still be required to submit the TOEFL even though their education may have been completely in English.

What is the GRE and where can I take this test?

The GRE is the Graduate Record Examination and you are only required to take the general test. If you are in the MENA region, please visit the AMIDEAST website for information on this test. You can also check out to find out more about the GRE and the nearest test center to your location.

Links for GRE preparation:  


What is the institutional ETS code for GRE and TOEFL?

The institutional GRE code for Masdar Institute is 3870. The institutional TOEFL code for Masdar Institute is 5786.For more details, please visit


Must I have my TOEFL and/or GRE score before I apply?
For our Master’s programs we will accept your application even if you have not yet taken the TOEFL and GRE, but we will not be able to make a final admissions decision until we have received your scores. However, we can do a preliminary evaluation of your academic credentials and might be able to advise you on your application status. If you apply online, select a future date as to when you think you are likely to take the TOEFL and GRE. We recommend that you do your TOEFL (international) and GRE (general) as soon as possible and provide us with these scores.


What should I write in my statement of objectives’?

Please use the following guidelines for preparing your statement of objectives. The statement is very important so we encourage you to write it carefully and thoughtfully. We seek a statement of one to two pages (approximately 400 to 1,000 words) explaining the reasons for wanting to do graduate work at Masdar Institute.

The statement should describe:

  • How you think about the world and your professional objectives
  • The issues or problems you want to address during your studies at the Masdar Institute and the setting in which you eventually see yourself working professionally 
  • How your previous studies and work experience (if any) relate to what you propose to do at the Masdar Institute 
  • Why you are applying to the Masdar Institute and the specific program 
  • Other matters you think are important for us to know  


Will I need a car?

No. Masdar Institute will provide you with transportation from your residence to campus, downtown Abu Dhabi (shopping) and any healthcare needs.