Special Student Application Procedures


Download Special Student Application


Qualifications for admission as an Undergraduate or Graduate Special Student are not appreciably different from those expected of a regular student. The department to which the student applies will evaluate an applicant’s qualifications for the specific course(s) desired. Prior instructor approval does not ensure admission. If an individual is applying to take subjects in more than one department, approval of the Registration Officer in each department is required. Final approval is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. All admitted Special Students must receive satisfactory grades in order to reapply for future terms.

A person who does not possess an undergraduate degree will be considered an Undergraduate Special Student. Undergraduate Special Students are limited to two terms. Special Student status is a guest status only and not a means to an undergraduate degree at MIT.

A candidate for admission as a Special Student who holds an undergraduate degree and is currently enrolled in a graduate degree program will be considered a Graduate Special Student. Graduate Special Students are limited to three terms. NOTE: The Department of Mechanical Engineering will not accept a Special Student application from anyone who has been denied admission to their graduate degree program.


Application Procedure

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and are not currently enrolled in a degree program, you must apply through MIT’s Advanced Study Program. Please visit their website or contact them at advancedstudy@mit.edu for more information.

A person seeking admission as an undergraduate Special Student must apply through the Office of Admissions. Complete applications for a given term must be filed before the appropriate deadline, including a $75 application fee. Late applications may be accepted in some circumstances only up to two (2) weeks after the deadline, and then only upon payment of a $40 late fee. You must receive permission from the special student admissions office before submitting a late application.

The deadlines for special students applications are:

Fall: August 1 (June 1 for international students)
Spring: January 1 (November 1 for international students)
Summer: May 1 (March 1 for international students)

The Office of Admissions notifies all applicants of admissions decisions. If the applicant is admitted, he/she must arrange to pay tuition and complete the registration process at the Student Services Center, Room 11-120. These transactions must be completed as soon as possible.

Current course offerings are listed online in the MIT Bulletin (Course and Degree Catalog).


International Students

A student who is neither a United States citizen nor a United States Permanent Resident is considered an International Student.

In addition to the academic documentation required for admission as a Special Student, international applicants must submit a photocopy of their official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score. The minimum required scores are 90 on the TOEFL internet-based test and 7 on the IELTS. Some departments may have higher score requirements; please visit the relevant department's website for further information regarding minimum score requirements. A completion certificate from an English language program may be submitted in lieu of these test scores. All transcripts must be certified and officially translated into English.

The term deadlines for international special students applications are:

Fall: June 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: March 1*

After admission to MIT, the applicant must provide evidence of their ability to meet all financial obligations of study at MIT, including tuition and living expenses. Please note that living expenses for married students are substantially higher.

The form 1-20 or DS 2019 will not be issued for subject registration of less than 36 units. Most subjects at MIT are either 9 or 12 units each. Full-time tuition (covering 36 units or more) for one semester in 2011-2012 is $20,230. (Note: Different tuition rates apply for classes taken in the Sloan School of Management.