As stated in the catalogue, MIT expects you to
complete the requirements for a single SB degree in four years; the usual load of subjects is approximately 45–54 units of credit per term. However,
with the approval of your faculty advisor, you may follow a program leading to an SB degree in more or less than eight terms; you may also pursue a double major, minor(s), and concurrent SB/MEng degrees.
It is normally expected that most of the core science subjects can be completed during the first year and that the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology and half of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement can be completed during the first two years.
The Institute also urges students to complete the Physical Education Requirement before the third year.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
MIT expects you to compile a satisfactory record each term. A satisfactory record means that you have completed at least 36 units of credit with a term rating (grade point average for the term) above 3.0 on the 5.0 scale. (Occasionally CAP may set a higher level of minimum performance for a student with a previous poor record.)
You must also be making progress toward the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) and your major program.
If you do not meet these standards in a term, your department and CAP will review your record and take appropriate action. See End of Term Review
for details of this process.
Note that some scholarship-granting agencies (e.g., US Federal Title IV financial aid, ROTC programs) have stricter minimum academic standards than those of MIT itself. If you have any questions about your academic standing and financial aid, consult your Financial Aid Officer in Student Financial Services.
Light Load refers to a term registration of fewer than 32 units. Undergraduates are permitted no more than two terms on Light Load (Academic Guide, Section 3). Exceptions to this policy may be requested by petition to CAP. If you plan to petition for an additional term on Light Load, be sure to discuss your situation with a dean in Student Support Services (S3). Also note the information on the Registrar's website regarding financial and legal implications of Light Load.
Students who initially register for fewer than 32 units, or who drop subjects before Drop Date to a level below 32 units, should submit a Tuition Light-load Adjustment Form to the Registrar. Such students who have already completed two or more terms on Light Load must submit a Petition to Continue on Light Load to CAP (link below).
After Drop Date, students petitioning CAP for a Late Drop must consult a dean in S3 to document the circumstances before submitting the petition. If the petitioning student has already been on Light Load for two or more semesters, a new Petition to Continue on Light Load (link below) must be submitted with the Late Drop. See Dropping a Subject for details of both petitions. (If CAP approves the Late Drop and Continue on Light Load petitions, tuition will be adjusted according to the Registrar's proration tables.)
CAP and the Communication Requirement
The Communication Requirement is the only "paced" General Institute Requirement (GIR), that is, you are expected to pass one Communication-Intensive (CI) subject each year. Working with departments and the Communication Requirement Office, the Committee on Academic Performance monitors progress toward this requirement. At its End of Term Reviews, CAP takes action on students who are behind pace with the Communication Requirement. Actions include two levels of Warning and, in rare cases, Required Withdrawal.
Visit the Communication Requirement website for a full description of the requirement. Contact the Communication Requirement Office (12-126, email@example.com, 617-253-2313) for help, especially if you need to set a different pace for meeting the requirement because of a change of major or other circumstance.