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MIT Course Catalog 2014-2015

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Freshman Admissions

The information provided here contains a broad overview of Admissions policies and procedures. For specific information and application deadlines, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website at

Secondary School Preparation

The majority of undergraduate men and women enter MIT as members of the freshman class directly following completion of secondary school studies. MIT expects that its applicants will have enrolled in a broad, rigorous program in high school. Applicants should be able to read with intelligence and sensitivity and to express ideas clearly in spoken and written form. In mathematics, emphasis should be on mastery of fundamental principles, operations, and definitions, and on preparation for the study of calculus. Work in the sciences should stress basic concepts and quantitative understanding, both in the classroom and in the laboratory. Ideal preparation for MIT includes English (four years), history and social studies (two or more years), mathematics (four years, including a strong preparation in algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry, and calculus), sciences (four years, preferably including general science, biology, chemistry, and physics), and a foreign language. However, interested students whose high school program does not match this curriculum in every detail are also invited to apply.

Application Procedures

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Admissions website at and register for a MyMIT account, through which prospective students can apply, track their application and financial aid forms, and arrange for day visits. The application will be available online beginning in the summer of the year prior to proposed entry. Early Action (available to citizens and permanent residents of the United States only) has a November 1 deadline. Regular Action candidates must complete the application process by January 1 of the year of intended entrance. Completed Early Action applications will be considered in mid-December. At that time the committee may offer admission, deny admission, or defer the decision to Regular Action. Deferred applications are reconsidered without prejudice in March. A student who seeks early consideration in this way is free to file applications at other colleges and, if offered admission at MIT, is not required to reply to the Institute before the candidates' reply date in early May. There is an application fee for both Regular and Early Action which may be waived with the submission of a fee waiver request.

Additionally, MIT participates in the QuestBridge National College Match program. Interested applicants should consult

Applicant Interviews

MIT highly recommends that applicants interview with a member of the MIT Educational Council. Council members are MIT graduates who have volunteered to interview for the Office of Admissions. Applicants will be referred via their MyMIT account to a member of the council near the applicant's home. Details and interview deadlines can be found on the Admissions website,

Campus Tours and Information Sessions

Prospective applicants and their families are welcome to visit the Admissions Reception Center in Room 10-100, Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. Undergraduate admissions information sessions are offered year round each weekday (except holidays) at 10 am and 2 pm. Student-guided tours of the campus follow immediately after at 11 am and 3 pm. Visit for the most up-to-date schedule and to register for an information session and campus tour.

Deferred Admissions

Occasionally, students may wish to take one or two years off between secondary school and college. In such cases, it is recommended that the student follow normal admissions procedures, as if going directly on to college, and then request deferment. Deferrals are granted for many reasons, except full-time enrollment at another school.

Advanced Placement

MIT has always encouraged students to move ahead academically according to their capabilities. There are four procedures by which students entering from secondary schools may receive credit and/or placement: the College Board Advanced Placement Program; A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U, and other international exams; college transcript; and Advanced Standing Examinations at MIT. Students are responsible for submitting exam scores or other materials in support of credit and placement requests. For detailed information, see websites for the Class of 2017 and Transfer Students.

Students who take college-level subjects offered in their schools in cooperation with the College Board Advanced Placement Program should take the appropriate examinations administered by the board each year and instruct the board to send the scores to MIT. Degree credit for some MIT subjects and, where appropriate, advanced placement, is given on the basis of a high achievement on the exams (in most cases a score of 5). A score of 5 on humanities, arts, and social sciences exams recognized by MIT grants 9 units of credit, applicable to the unrestricted elective requirements only, for each recognized exam. This credit does not reduce the General Institute Requirement of eight one-term subjects in the areas of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

In some secondary schools, selected students take college-level subjects at a local college. Such students may submit an official transcript from the college showing subjects taken and grades earned in order to seek MIT credit under the regular college transfer procedures. Decisions on transfer credit are made by MIT's academic departments; they rarely approve transfer credit for online study or for dual-enrollment classes taught in high schools. The departments of Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics review transfer credit requests during the summer before matriculation; all other transfer credit must be requested after the academic year begins. Advanced Standing Examinations for incoming students are given during Orientation. Incoming students will be notified before fall registration about credit earned from Advanced Placement and international exams; math, physics, and chemistry transfer credit; and Advanced Standing Examinations.

Standardized Testing Requirements

Specific SAT, ACT, and TOEFL testing requirements are outlined in detail on the Admissions website, The last acceptable testing date for Regular Action freshman admission to the Class of 2018 is the January 2014 testing date. If you take January tests, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores or we will not receive them in time for our review. Note that the closing dates for registration are usually four to six weeks (five to seven weeks outside the United States) before the testing date. Students should request that the testing agency send all scores directly to MIT (code 3514 for the SAT and TOEFL; code 1858 for the ACT).

These examinations are offered throughout the world. The test dates, locations, and fees for the SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Tests and TOEFL are outlined in an information bulletin that may be obtained online at, most guidance offices, or by writing directly to the College Board, 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Information about the ACT may be obtained at or by writing to ACT, 500 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243.

English Proficiency

Lectures, laboratory sessions, and written and oral examinations at MIT are conducted in English.

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College Transfer Admissions

Students who have completed a minimum of one year and a maximum of two and one-half years at the time of entry to MIT may be considered for transfer admission.

A student contemplating transfer to MIT should plan a program of studies to include as many as possible of the mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, and humanities, arts, and social sciences subjects as are included in the typical first two years of MIT.

Specific testing requirements are outlined in detail on the Transfer Admissions website, at

Transfer applicants from foreign countries are admitted only for September entrance. Admitted and enrolling transfer students are required to complete at least three terms at MIT in order to earn a degree.

Application Procedures

Visit for detailed information on application procedures.

Application Cycles

For September entry, the application and all supporting documents are due by February 15. For domestic applicants seeking February entry, applications are due by November 15. (Citizens of foreign countries may apply for September entry only.) There is a nonreturnable application fee for transfer admission.

Applicants must submit the following documents:

For transfer student financial aid information, see the section on Financial Aid.

Advanced Credit

Students admitted by transfer may receive credit for subjects of study completed elsewhere (with a grade of C or higher) that are substantially equivalent to corresponding Institute subjects.

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Special Student Admissions

The Institute can accept a limited number of undergraduates who wish to undertake special studies and who are not degree candidates at MIT, but who have had at least one year of study at another college or university. Special Students enjoy most of the privileges of the regular student but are not eligible for research, campus housing, or financial assistance from MIT. Students wishing to apply for special student status should visit the Special Student website.

Special student status is granted for one term only, and a new application for this status is required for any successive terms. Admission as a special student does not carry any implication for other applications. It is a guest status only and not a means to an undergraduate degree at MIT. Applicants must present strong academic credentials. Admission is also subject to available places in the classroom or laboratory.

More information, including application deadlines and fees, and the downloadable Special Student application can be found on the Special Student website,

Deadlines for filing applications are August 1 for fall term, January 1 for spring term, and May 1 for summer term. Deadlines for international student applicants are June 1 for fall term, November 1 for spring term, and March 1 for summer term. International students living abroad are not permitted to apply for the summer term.


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