Frequently Asked Question topics

Where to go for more information: FEE, UAAP, Enrollment Tools, HASS Requirement.

Advanced Placement

Question: I received a score of 5 on one of the Advanced Placement English exams. Do I need to take the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE)?
Answer: No, you do not need to take the FEE. You may take any CI-H or CI-HW subject as your first CI subject during your first year. Be sure that MIT received your AP exam score, however.
Question: I received a score of 5 on my Advanced Placement English exam, but I've been told I need to register for a CI-HW subject? Why can't I take a CI-H subject?
Answer: If we indicated that you must register for a CI-HW than it's likely that MIT did not receive your AP Score results. Check with the Advanced Placement Office. You may need to request that ETS send the scores to MIT. Be sure that they are received before spring registration, so that you may register for the proper CI class.
Question: I received a score of 7 on the International Baccalaureate Exam for English Language A. Do I still need to take the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE)? If not, am I still eligible to take any CI-H subject?
Answer: Beginning with students entering in Fall 2012, those who scored a 7 on the English A or B Higher-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam will also be exempt from the FEE. If you earned a 7 on either of these IB exams, please email commreq@mit.edu and ap@mit.edu to verify your placement. You may take any CI-H or CI-HW subject.
 

CI-HWs

Question: If I received a score of "CI-H/CI-HW Required" on the FEE may I take a CI-HW course?
Answer: Absolutely! The CI-HW subjects are intended for all students interested in an expository writing class. If you take a CI-HW you will receive CI credit, and the subject will count as your first CI-H subject.
Question: I received a score of "CI-HW Subject Required" on the FEE. May I take a CI-H class instead of a CI-HW and receive CI credit?
Answer: You may take a CI-H subject, but you will not receive CI credit for it. Students receive a score of "CI-HW Subject Required" when it has been determined through their FEE that they need an intensive, focused writing subject to provide them with the background and skills needed to write effectively at the university level. The CI-HW subjects provide this intensive, structured experience. You will not receive credit for any CI subject until you pass a CI-HW subject.
Question: I received a score of CI-H/CI-HW Required" on the FEE, but my comments recommend that I take a CI-HW subject. Do I have to take a CI-HW course?
Answer: You are not required to take a CI-HW subject. However, you and your advisor might wish to review your essays and comments when you meet and discuss whether or not it might make sense for you to take a CI-HW subject. Keep in mind that a CI-HW subject will count as your first CI-H subject.

CI-Ms

Question: If I take a CI-M subject outside my major does it count towards the Requirement?
Answer: You may petition the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR) to substitute a CI-M outside your major to count as a CI-M for your major. The outside CI-M must be part of a coherent program approved by your academic advisor. Please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement to discuss your individual circumstances and whether or not a petition is appropriate in your case.
Question: I am taking a CI-M subject in a department that is not my major department. Do I have to complete the writing assignments designed for the majors?
Answer: The CI-M subjects are intentionally designed so that all of the students enrolled in the subject have the same experience, regardless of whether or not the subject serves as a CI-M for them. All students in a subject that is designated as a CI-M are expected to participate in and complete all exercises and requirements associated with the subject as it is being offered.
Question: Could you please tell me if it's OK for freshmen to take a CI-M to fulfill the first year of the Communication Requirement?
Answer: Freshmen cannot declare majors during their first year, so they may not receive CI-M credit for a subject. All freshmen must take a CI-H or CI-HW subject during their first year.For students who subsequently declare that major, the CI-M will count toward fulfilling the Communication Requirement.

Consequences

Question: What will happen if I do not complete a CI subject each year?
Answer: The Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) will likely place you on academic warning and restrict your credit limit for the following term in order to return you to compliance with the Communication Requirement. For more information please see the CAP website. If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances, please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement.

Double Majors

Question: I am currently pursuing two majors. How does this affect my Communication Requirement standing?
Answer: 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. These CI-M subjects may be used to fulfill the communication component of the two majors simultaneously. Please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement to discuss your individual circumstances.
Question: I am planning a double major. Will a CI-M in my second major count toward the pace component of the Communication Requirement?
Answer: If you have officially declared your second major and it is reflected in your student record, then a CI-M for your second major will count toward the pace of the requirement.

General

Question: What is the difference between a CI-H subject and a CI-HW subject?
Answer: CI-H subjects provide students with a foundation in effective expository writing and oral communication. CI-H subjects are writing classes or classes in the HASS curriculum in which students plan, organize, draft, and revise a series of sequenced assignments based on course material. CI-HW subjects are a subset of CI-H subjects concentrating more particularly on the writing process. Given how important revision is to composition, most, if not all, assignments in CI-HW subjects will be revised.
Question: What is the difference between a CI-H subject and a CI-M subject?
Answer: CI-H subjects are either writing classes or classes in the HASS curriculum which students plan, organize, draft, write and revise a series of sequenced assignments based on course material. CI-M subjects are communication intensive subjects within a major course of study. These will teach the specific forms of written and oral communication integral to a student's professional field.
Question: How can I tell if a class is a CI-H or CI-M subject?
Answer: You may look at the list of CI-H subjects at:
http://web.mit.edu/commreq/cih.html and look at the list of CI-M subjects at: http://web.mit.edu/commreq/cim.html.

Grading

Question: What grade do I need to receive in a CI subject in order to receive credit?
Answer: You need to receive a passing grade in order to receive credit for a CI subject.
Question: Can I take a CI as a Junior/Senior P/D/F and receive CI credit for it?
Answer: No, the Communication Requirement is a General Institute Requirement (GIR). No GIR subject may be taken using the Junior-Senior P/D/F Option; they must be taken for a letter grade.

Enrollment Tools

Question: I heard that there is a special process for registering for CI-H and CI-HW subjects. What should I do?
Answer: In order to manage enrollments in CI-H and CI-HW subjects, students must submit their choices as part of the pre-registration process.
  • Continuing students must select CI-H/HW subjects during pre-registration by the CI-H/HW deadline (June 16 for Fall term).
  • New Freshmen, Transfer Students, and Students Returning from Leaves must select CI-H/HW subjects when they register, before schedules are run (deadline of August 28 for Fall term).

Please see the Enrollment Tools site for additional details.

Pace

Question: I am a sophomore who took a CI-H subject last year, but don't wish to take one this year. What happens if I delay taking my second CI subject until my junior year?
Answer: The goal of the Communication Requirement is for students to receive regular instruction and practice in written and oral communication sequenced throughout the undergraduate program. The Requirement specifies that students complete one CI subject by the end of the freshman year, two by the end of the sophomore year, three by the end of junior year, and four by graduation. Petitions to defer completion of the second CI-H subject are very rarely approved. If you do not complete your second CI subject in your sophomore year, you will be in non-compliance with the CR.
Question: I am currently a sophomore and have passed a CI-H and a CI-M in my major. Am I in compliance with the pace of the Communication Requirement?
Answer: By the end of your sophomore year, you must have completed two CI subjects. By passing both a CI-H and a CI-M you have done so. You may take your second CI-H during your junior or senior year.

Petitions

Question: I am a double major and wish to petition for one subject to serve as a CI-M for both of my majors. Is this allowed?
Answer: You may petition the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR) to use one of your major’s CI-Ms to count as a CI-M for both of your majors. The outside CI-M must be part of a coherent program approved by your academic advisor. You should complete a Communication Requirement petition form and have your advisor sign it. Submit it to the Office of the Communication Requirement, Room 35-433. SOCR will then review the petition. Petition forms can be found here.
Question: I competed two CI-H subjects, however, it appears that I will not be able to take a CI-M during my third year because I changed majors and now do not have the pre-requisites for a CI-M at this time. Can I petition to defer completion of my third CI subject?
Answer: You may petition to defer completion of a CI subject. Such petitions are rarely approved except in cases where students change majors. Please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement to discuss your individual circumstances and whether or not a petition is appropriate in your case.

Proposing CI Subjects

Question: How do I propose a CI-H subject?
Answer: Faculty members wishing to propose new CI-H subjects should contact their department head and the Office of the Communication Requirement. Please see the section on CI-H subjects here for more information.
Question: How do I propose a CI-M subject?
Answer: Faculty members should contact the Undergraduate Officer in their department to discuss this possibility. All CI-M proposals are submitted through the department to the Office of the Communication Requirement using the proposal form found on the CR website. Proposals are reviewed by the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR) for their CI content before being forwarded to the Committee on Curricula (CoC) for curriculum review. Please see the section on CI-M subjects here for more information.

Sophomore standing

Question: Do I need to complete a CI-H before I can apply for sophomore standing?
Answer: Yes, you cannot be considered for sophomore standing unless you have completed one CI-H subject. If the results of your FEE indicated that you are CI-HW Required, your first CI-H subject must be a CI-HW.
Question: I accepted early sophomore standing. When do I need to complete my second CI subject?
Answer: You must complete your second CI subject by the end of your fourth term.
 

Transfer students

Question: I am an incoming transfer student. How should I plan to fulfill the CR?
Answer: All transfer students are required to fulfill the full Communication Requirement (2 CI-H and 2 CI-M subjects). You should complete your first CI subject within your first two terms at MIT. Each transfer student's situation is unique. Please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement to discuss your individual circumstances and options.

Two CI-Hs

Question: I'm a freshman who completed a CI-H in the fall term. Can I take another CI-H in the spring and finish my CI-H portion of the Communication Requirement?
Answer: You may take a second CI-H subject next semester and, if you pass both CI-H subjects, you will have fulfilled that component of the Communication Requirement.
Question: I am taking two CI-H subjects this semester. Can I receive CI credit for both subjects?
Answer: No, you may only receive credit for one CI-H subject per semester. You may, however, receive credit for both a CI-H and a CI-M taken during the same semester.

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