To be recommended for the degree of Bachelor of Science, students must have attended the Institute not less than three regular academic terms, which ordinarily must include the term of graduation. Also, students must have satisfactorily completed programs of study approved in accordance with the faculty regulations, including the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) described on the following pages, and the departmental program of the Course in which the degree is to be awarded. A student must petition the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR) for any substitutions in the Communication Requirement; the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement (SHR) for any substitutions in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement; and the Committee on Curricula (COC) for any substitutions in other GIRs. Departures from the departmental programs are allowed with departmental permission. The departmental programs and degree requirements appear in Part 2.
[see chart of General Institute Requirements]
MIT expects its graduates to have an understanding and appreciation of the basic concepts and methods of the physical and biological sciences. These concepts and methods are needed in most degree programs at the Institute. More important, they are an essential part of the background that MIT graduates bring to their roles as professionals and as broadly educated citizens in a world strongly influenced by science and technology.
Students begin with six science core subjects in mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry, and then add the Laboratory and Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirements, both described later in this section. These requirements introduce basic elements of the scientific method: experimental foundations and techniques, mathematical analysis, and conceptual models for experimental facts. Important experimental as well as conceptual aspects are introduced by the chemistry and biology requirements and by the Laboratory Requirement. Mathematical methods common to much of science and technology are explored in the mathematics requirement. Basic concepts that underlie many physical phenomena are defined and elucidated in the physics and REST requirements.
In addition to a rigorous introduction to the sciences, these requirements are intended to stimulate and challenge each student to review critically his or her knowledge, and to explore alternative conceptual and mathematical formulations that may provide better explanations of natural phenomena or may lead to better applications of technology. The development of critical and constructive approaches to both theory and practice in science, engineering, and other professions is a central objective of the Institute's educational programs.
The Institute requirement in biology may be satisfied by one of five introductory subjects: 7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016. These five subjects, denoted as Biology (GIR), cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. In addition, each subject has its own distinctive material. Subjects 7.012, 7.015, and 7.016 are offered in the fall term; 7.013 and 7.014 are taught in the spring.
The Institute requirement in chemistry may be satisfied by taking 3.091 Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry, or 5.111 or 5.112 Principles of Chemical Science. These three subjects are denoted as Chemistry (GIR). Subject 3.091 is designed for students who are particularly interested in the chemistry of the solid state. Subjects 5.111 and 5.112 emphasize basic chemical principles and their applications. Subject 5.112 is intended for students with a strong background in high school chemistry. The content of subjects 5.111 and 5.112 is formally coordinated with more advanced subjects taught by the Department of Chemistry (e.g., 5.60 and 5.12), although any one of the three GIR subjects (5.111, 5.112, or 3.091) may be used as the prerequisite for those more advanced subjects.
The Institute requires all students to complete single-variable calculus [18.01 or equivalent, denoted as Calculus I (GIR)] and multivariable calculus [18.02 or equivalent, denoted as Calculus II (GIR)].
Students with advanced-standing, advanced-placement, or transfer credit for 18.01 may go directly into multivariable calculus. Two versions are offered in the fall term: 18.02, the basic version, and 18.022, a more theoretical version. Both 18.02 and 18.022 present calculus as it is used in science and engineering.
The sequence 18.014–18.024 Calculus with Theory assumes a substantial background in calculus and emphasizes proofs.
Students with a year of high school calculus may qualify for 18.01A–18.02A. This sequence covers the material in one and a half terms. (See the online MIT Subject Listing & Schedule, http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi, for more information.)
Students with advanced-placement, advanced-standing, or transfer credit for 18.01 lose it if they take 18.01, receive 3 units of elective credit if they take 18.01A, and receive 9 units of elective credit if they take 18.014.
The Institute requirement in physics may be satisfied through several combinations of introductory physics subjects. Subjects 8.01, 8.01L, 8.011, and 8.012 are denoted as Physics I (GIR); 8.02, 8.021, and 8.022 are denoted as Physics II (GIR). Most students find the 8.01–8.02 sequence suited to their needs. The sequence 8.012–8.022 covers essentially the same subject matter as 8.01–8.02, but is more advanced mathematically; calculus is used freely from the beginning of the term. Subject 8.01L is offered in the fall term for students who have had little exposure to physics with calculus in high school. A student may switch from a Physics I (GIR) subject in one sequence to a Physics II (GIR) subject in another.
Students who score a 5 on Parts I and II of the Physics C Advanced Placement test receive credit for 8.01.
Students with advanced-placement or advanced-standing credit for 8.01 who elect to take 8.012 receive 6 units of elective credit in place of 8.01.
The Communication Requirement makes the development of effective writing and speaking an integral part of undergraduate education at the Institute. The Communication Requirement ensures that all undergraduates receive substantial instruction and practice in general expository writing and speaking and the forms of discourse common to their professional fields.
The Communication Requirement consists of four Communication-Intensive (CI) subjects sequenced throughout a student's undergraduate career. Students take two CI subjects in the humanities, arts, and social sciences (CI-H) and two CI subjects in their major program (CI-M). Students must maintain a minimum pace in completing their CI subjects in order to remain in good standing with the Communication Requirement. They must complete one of their CI subjects by the end of the first year, two by the end of the second, three by the end of the third year, and four by graduation.
Students must earn a passing grade to receive CI credit. CI subjects must be taken for a letter grade. Students may not use their junior-senior P/D/F option. Only one CI-H subject per term may be counted toward completion of the Communication Requirement. However, students may receive credit for more than one CI-M subject in the same term or a CI-H and a CI-M completed concurrently.
The general structure of the requirement is described below. Additional information can be found at http://web.mit.edu/commreq/. More information on CI-H subjects is included in the section of the Bulletin on the HASS Requirement. Specifics on the CI-M subjects for each major appear in the descriptions of the individual undergraduate degree programs.
First year. Students must pass one CI-H or CI-HW subject by the end of their second term at the Institute. A list of CI-H and CI-HW subjects may be found at http://web.mit.edu/commreq/cih.html.
Before entering MIT, all students are asked to take the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE). The FEE is a placement tool used to determine the best program for each undergraduate within the Communication Requirement. Students who receive a score of "CI-H/CI-HW Required" on the FEE or receive a score of 5 on either the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test or the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Test or receive a score of 7 on the English A or B Higher-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam have the option of taking any CI-H subject, including a writing-focused CI-H subject (CI-HW).
All other students must take one of the designated Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences—Writing Focused (CI-HW) subjects as their first CI subject.
Students who do not complete a CI-H/CI-HW subject in their first term at MIT may not advance to sophomore standing in their second term.
Second year. Students must pass at least two CI subjects by the end of their fourth term at the Institute. In most cases, these first two CI subjects will satisfy the CI-H portion of the requirement, providing a foundation in written and oral exposition.
Third year. Students must pass at least three of the four required CI subjects by the end of their sixth term. Most students will take their first CI-M subject as juniors and begin to develop the communication skills specific to the professional and academic culture of their discipline.
Before receiving an SB degree. Students must complete two CI-H subjects and the two CI-M subjects specified for their SB degree program prior to receiving their degree.
Noncompliance. Students who fall behind the minimum pace of completion for the Communication Requirement are in noncompliance. At the end of each term, the names of noncompliant students are forwarded to the Committee on Academic Performance, which may take further action to bring such students into good academic standing.
Double majors. Students who wish to complete two majors must pass two CI-H subjects and complete the CI-M subjects that fulfill the communication component of each major. Normally, these students will take four CI-M subjects, that is, two in each major program. In certain cases a CI-M subject may be common to both departments and may be used to fulfill the communication component of two majors simultaneously.
Communication Requirement information. For more detailed information about CI subjects or for assistance with any aspect of the Communication Requirement, including petitions, visit the Communication Requirement website at http://web.mit.edu/commreq/. Students may also contact the Office of the Communication Requirement (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss their individual circumstances.
MIT provides a substantial and varied program in the humanities, arts, and social sciences that forms an essential part of the education of every undergraduate. This program is intended to ensure that students develop a broad understanding of human society, its traditions, and its institutions. The requirement enables students to deepen their knowledge in a variety of cultural and disciplinary areas and encourages the development of sensibilities and skills vital to an effective and satisfying life as an individual, a professional, and a member of society.
More specifically, the objectives of the program are to develop skills in communication, both oral and written; knowledge of human cultures, past and present, and of the ways in which they have influenced one another; awareness of concepts, ideas, and systems of thought that underlie human activities; understanding of the social, political, and economic framework of different societies; and, finally, sensitivity to modes of communication and self-expression in the arts. Work in these areas will, where appropriate, display a special concern with the relation of science and technology to society.
The student's program in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) is based on the following Institute requirement:
Minimum. Every candidate for a bachelor's degree must have completed a minimum of eight term subjects in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, including distribution and concentration components. Subjects must be taken for a letter grade and students may not use their junior-senior P/D/F option. Two HASS subjects that are designated Communication Intensive may also be used toward the Communication Requirement. See the description of the Communication Requirement earlier in this section.
Distribution. Three of the eight subjects must be selected from designated categories: humanities, arts, and social sciences.
The three subjects may be taken at any stage of the student's undergraduate career, although students are encouraged to complete their distribution by the end of their junior year. Over 600 subjects may be used to fulfill this requirement. For a complete list of the subjects in each category, consult the online subject listing and schedule (http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi).
Concentration. Each student should designate a field of concentration, in consultation with a designated advisor in the field, by submitting a Concentration Proposal Form no later than the end of the first week of classes in the second term of junior year. Concentration requirements are set by each field and consist of either three or four subjects. One of the subjects that counts toward the distribution may also be designated as a concentration subject with the permission of the concentration advisor. Upon completion of all of the subjects noted on the Proposal Form, each student should submit a Concentration Completion Form no later than the end of the first week of classes of the final term prior to graduation. For more information, visit the HASS Requirement website at http://web.mit.edu/hassreq/.
Currently, the following fields of concentration are offered:
African and African Diaspora Studies
Ancient and Medieval Studies
Archaeology and Archaeological Science
Art, Culture and Technology
Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies
Comparative Media Studies
Foreign Languages and Literatures (Chinese, ELS, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Studies in International Literature and Cultures, Theory of Languages)
History of Architecture and Art
Latin American and Latino Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
Russian and Eurasian Studies
Science, Technology, and Society
Women's and Gender Studies
In individual cases, a special concentration may be arranged with advance approval. For more information, visit the HASS Requirement website at http://web.mit.edu/hassreq/.
Electives. The remainder of the eight-subject requirement, above and beyond the Distribution and Concentration, may be fulfilled by subjects from any distribution category or by subjects that are designated as HASS electives.
HASS Information. For detailed information on distribution subjects and on the concentration requirements in any field, and for assistance with any aspect of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, including petitioning for a substitution, visit the HASS Requirement website at http://web.mit.edu/hassreq/. Students may also contact the Office of the HASS Requirement (email@example.com) to discuss their individual circumstances.
Through Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement subjects, students can broaden and deepen the educational foundation in basic science begun in the first-year program and further the understanding of scientific inquiry. These subjects are designed to give students the opportunity to proceed further in areas already studied, or to explore other areas of potential interest.
REST subjects vary in approach and emphasis. Some give a systematic introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles of a field; others illustrate through examples some of the attitudes, concerns, and methods that characterize professional work in the field. In general, REST subjects are not too specialized, too advanced, or devoted chiefly to instruction in a particular skill. Students typically take REST subjects in the second year, although with the proper prerequisites they may begin taking them in the first year.
Students meet the REST Requirement by taking two subjects from the list below. Of the subjects used to fulfill the requirement, the student can take no more than one in his or her department. However, subjects designated with a J that are offered jointly with another department do not fall under the departmental limitation.
In many cases, subjects required by a Departmental Program for the SB degree are also on the lists of REST and Laboratory Requirement subjects. Thus, students who follow a particular Departmental Program may simultaneously satisfy some part of these requirements.
|1.00||Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving|
|1.000||Computer Programming for Scientific and Engineering Applications|
|1.050||Engineering Mechanics I|
|2.001||Mechanics and Materials I|
|2.003J||Dynamics and Control I [1.053J]|
|2.086||Numerical Computation for Mechanical Engineers|
|3.012||Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering|
|3.021||Introduction to Modeling and Simulation [1.021,10.333, 22.00]|
|3.046||Thermodynamics of Materials|
|4.42J||Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings [1.044J, 2.66J]|
|4.440J||Building Structural Systems I [1.056J]|
|5.07J||Biological Chemistry I [20.507J]|
|5.12||Organic Chemistry I|
|5.60||Thermodynamics and Kinetics|
|6.002||Circuits and Electronics|
|6.005||Elements of Software Construction|
|6.041||Probabilistic Systems Analysis|
|6.042J||Mathematics for Computer Science [18.062J]|
|6.071J||Electronics, Signals, and Measurement [22.071J]|
|8.04||Quantum Physics I|
|8.20||Introduction to Special Relativity|
|8.21||Physics of Energy|
|8.282J||Introduction to Astronomy [12.402J]|
|8.286||The Early Universe|
|9.01||Introduction to Neuroscience|
|12.001||Introduction to Geology|
|12.002||Introduction to Geophysics and Planetary Science|
|12.003||Introduction to Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics|
|12.102||Environmental Earth Science|
|12.400||The Solar System|
|12.425||Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques|
|14.30||Introduction to Statistical Methods in Economics|
|16.001||Unified Engineering I|
|18.05||Introduction to Probability and Statistics|
|18.440||Probability and Random Variables|
|20.110J||Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems [2.772J]|
|22.01||Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation|
|22.02||Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics|
|ESD.03J||System Safety [16.63J]|
The following combinations of six-unit subjects also count toward the REST Requirement:
6.0001 Introduction to Computer Science Programming in Python
6.0002 Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science
1.018AJ Fundamentals of Ecology I [7.30AJ, 12.031AJ]
1.018BJ Fundamentals of Ecology II [7.30BJ, 12.031BJ]
The Laboratory Requirement (one subject of 12 units or two subjects of 6 units) is met by enrolling in subjects designed for this purpose, and normally is fulfilled in the first two years. The available subjects are listed below.
A typical laboratory subject offers the student an opportunity to set up and carry out experiments dealing with phenomena of the natural world. Under faculty supervision, the student plays a substantial role in planning the design of the experiment, selecting the measurement technique, and determining the procedure to be used for validation of the data.
Hypotheses are formulated and then tested by comparing them with the results of the experiments. The student then compares and discusses the experimental results in terms of the current state of knowledge and prepares progress reports and final reports of the work.
The laboratory subjects call for a major commitment of the student's attention to one or more experimental problems and emphasize as much as possible work of project type rather than routine experimental exercises. The subjects are designed to stimulate the student's resourcefulness and ideas.
The Laboratory Requirement is not intended primarily to teach specific techniques for later experimental work, provide broad coverage of a particular field, or complement a specific subject. The laboratory subjects are planned to give each student, at an early stage of his or her educational experience at MIT, an opportunity to work on one or more experimental problems, exercising the same type of initiative and resourcefulness as a professional would in similar circumstances. If the subject is more than 12 units, 12 units will be used to meet the Laboratory Requirement and the additional units will be counted as elective units.
|1.101||Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I (0-3-3)|
|1.102||Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design II (1-3-2)|
|1.106||Environmental Fluid Transport Processes and Hydrology Laboratory (0-4-2)|
|1.107||Environmental Chemistry and Biology Laboratory (0-4-2)|
|2.008||Design and Manufacturing II (3-3-6) [gives 6 units of laboratory credit]|
|2.017J||Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems (3-4-5) [1.015J] [gives 6 units of laboratory credit]|
|2.671||Measurement and Instrumentation (3-3-6)|
|2.672||Project Laboratory (0-3-3)|
|3.014||Materials Laboratory (1-4-7)|
|4.411J||D-Lab Schools: Building Technology Laboratory (2-3-7) [EC.713J]|
|5.310||Laboratory Chemistry (2-8-2)|
|5.35||Introduction to Experimental Chemistry (2-8-2)|
|6.01||Introduction to EECS I (2-4-6) [gives 6 units of laboratory credit]|
|6.02||Introduction to EECS II (4-4-4) [gives 6 units of laboratory credit]|
|6.101||Introductory Analog Electronics Laboratory (2-9-1)|
|6.111||Introductory Digital Systems Laboratory (3-7-2)|
|6.115||Microcomputer Project Laboratory (3-6-3)|
|6.129J||Biological Circuit Engineering Laboratory (2-8-2) [20.129J]|
|6.131||Power Electronics Laboratory (3-6-3)|
|6.141J||Robotics: Science and Systems I (2-6-4) [16.405J]|
|6.161||Modern Optics Project Laboratory (3-5-4)|
|6.163||Strobe Project Laboratory (2-8-2)|
|6.182||Psychoacoustics Project Laboratory (3-6-3)|
|7.02J||Introduction to Experimental Biology and Communication (4-8-6) [10.702J] [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|8.13||Experimental Physics I (0-6-12) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|9.12||Experimental Molecular Neurobiology (2-4-6)|
|9.17||Systems Neuroscience Laboratory (2-4-6)|
|9.59J||Laboratory in Psycholinguistics (3-3-6) [24.905J]|
|9.63||Laboratory in Visual Cognition (2-1-9)|
|11.188||Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory (3-3-6)|
|12.115||Field Geology II (0-12-0)|
|12.119||Analytical Techniques for Studying Environmental and Geologic Samples (2-6-4)|
|12.307||Weather and Climate Laboratory (1-4-10) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|12.335||Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry (2-4-6)|
|12.410J||Observational Techniques of Optical Astronomy (3-4-8) [8.287J] [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|14.33|| Research and Communication in Economics: Topics, Methods,
|15.301||Managerial Psychology Laboratory (3-3-9) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|16.622||Experimental Projects II (1-7-4)|
|16.821||Flight Vehicle Development (2-10-6) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|16.831J||Space Systems Development (2-10-6) [12.431J] [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|17.871||Political Science Laboratory (3-6-6) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|18.821||Project Laboratory in Mathematics (3-6-3)|
|20.109||Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering (2-8-5) [gives 12 units of laboratory credit]|
|22.09||Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection (2-6-4)|
|24.909||Field Methods in Linguistics (3-1-8)|
The mission of the Physical Education Program is to provide learners with the instruction and skills necessary to lead healthy, active lifestyles and to foster both personal growth and a sense of community through physical activity. The program enables students to engage in physical activity while they are involved in rigorous academic study. Major emphasis is placed on the development of skills that can be used for lifetime fitness and wellness. Students receive a strong background in the fundamentals of the activity selected. Instruction is offered in fitness, wellness, individual and team sports, martial arts, dance, aquatics, and outdoor adventure activities. Information on classes, including descriptions of current offerings, is available at http://mitpe.com/.
To satisfy the Physical Education Requirement undergraduates entering MIT as freshmen must take four physical education courses (for eight points) and complete the swimming requirement. Transfer students need to complete four points (two courses) as well as the swimming requirement. A student may repeat a course at any level and receive points. The swimming requirement can be satisfied by taking a beginning swim class or students may elect to test out during orientation week in the fall (visit http://mitpe.com/ to see a video of the swim test). In addition to taking traditional physical education courses, students may earn physical education points in the following ways:
Students find it best to complete their four courses during their freshman year; however, students are responsible for completing their Physical Education Requirement by their sophomore year. In general, students must attend 11 sessions/classes to receive the two points for a physical education course. Freshmen are expected to complete the swim test on fall registration day or, if they can't swim, register during the swim test for a first-quarter swim course. Students who do not complete the entire Physical Education Requirement by the end of their second year (typically the sophomore year) must submit a plan for a time extension with the Physical Education Office at http://mitpe.com/.
Physical education courses are offered in two six-week quarters during the fall term and during the spring term. A fifth "quarter" is offered during the January Independent Activities Period. Two points are awarded for each course per quarter.
Physical education registration is open to undergraduates and graduate students. Registration is conducted online at http://mitpe.com/. Information on registration can be obtained through WebSIS at http://student.mit.edu/. Registration dates are posted in the Academic Calendar as well as at http://mitpe.com/.
Physical education courses offered last year included Group Exercise (Kickboxing, Pilates, PiYo, Step, Yoga), Archery, Backpacking/Hiking, Badminton, Basketball, Boot Camp for Athletes, Broomball, Cross-Country Ski, Dance (Tango, Salsa, Square), Fencing, Figure Skating, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Ice Hockey, Kayaking, Pistol, Rifle, Ropes Adventure, Running/Jogging, Sailing, SCUBA, Self Defense, Sport Taekwondo, Skating, Skiing/Snowboarding, Soccer (indoor), Squash, Stand-up Paddleboard, Tennis, Top Rope Climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, Unihoc, Volleyball, and Weight Training.
Students must wear appropriate attire for activity classes. Most classes provide all necessary equipment. Students must supply sticks for ice hockey courses. Non-marking court shoes are required for squash and tennis. Lab fees are required for some courses. Undergraduate and graduate students must activate their ID card annually to gain access to all MIT sport facilities.