The main professional degree awarded at MIT Sloan, prior to 1995, was the SM in Management – an advanced professional degree combining the course requirements of the more widely-known MBA degree with a formal Master of Science dissertation. The completion of a dissertation was previously an Institute-wide requirement for all master's students. An exception was made for MIT Sloan students starting in 1995, and the school began awarding the MBA degree entirely on the basis of coursework. While some members of the MIT community felt that removing the dissertation requirement would reduce the educational merit of the degree , it was accepted since this was the practice at all other major business schools. MIT Sloan continues to offer the SM degree for students who choose to complete master's dissertations, but the vast majority of students now receive an MBA degree and do not write a dissertation. In practice, MIT Sloan's SM and MBA have always been viewed as equivalent in industry, although the SM is preferred as preparation for doctoral work.
In 2006, MIT Sloan launched a new program for entrepreneurs within the MBA degree called the Entrepreneurship & Innovation (E&I) Program. The E&I program centers on starting and evolving emerging technology enterprises. The program seeks to formalize MIT's long-standing and leading entrepreneurship offerings. E&I students benefit from a specialized weekly seminar for entrepreneurs. In addition, a one-week trip to Silicon Valley is coordinated in conjunction with the MIT Sloan MediaTech club.
Of the approximately 2,600 applications received last year for the MBA and Leaders for Manufacturing programs, about 500 were admitted and 372 matriculated .