Undergraduate Education

Selected Facts

  • MIT offers 54 undergraduate major and 58 minor programs.
  • The first semester at MIT is graded on a pass/no record basis, giving first-year students time to adjust to the rigor of MIT before receiving letter grades.
  • MIT’s General Institute Requirements are designed to give every student a broad and strong foundation in core fields of human knowledge, including mathematics, physical, natural, and social sciences, and the humanities and arts.
  • First-year students can choose to participate in a first-year learning community such as the Concourse Program, Experimental Study Group, or Terrascope.
  • More than 50% of graduating seniors in the Class of 2019 reported participating in an international experience while at MIT.
  • Each year, nearly 60% of MIT undergraduates participate in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, with 90% having done so by the time they graduate.

MIT’s strength—as represented by its official seal and motto, mens et manus, mind and hand—is the fusion of academic knowledge with practical purpose.

MIT believes the best education occurs when students are self-motivated and engaged participants in a dynamic community of learners. Thus, an MIT undergraduate education combines rigorous academics with a “learning-by-doing” approach.

One avenue for student engagement is the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), pioneered at MIT in 1969 and now emulated in academic institutions around the world. UROP offers students the opportunity to join a faculty-led research team or to initiate their own research project.

Students may also choose to participate in the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP), which provides them with coaching, experiential workshops, company field trips, one-on-one counseling, networking events, exclusive panel discussions with major companies, and access to internships with more than 2,000 employers.

Another unique feature of an MIT education is the Independent Activities Period, a special four-week term in January that encourages students to set their own agenda within a creative and flexible environment.

As part of a complete MIT experience, undergraduates are encouraged to add an international dimension to their education. Students may choose from Institute-wide or departmental study-abroad programs. They may also conduct research abroad, assist with building sustainable communities overseas, or venture out on fieldwork or internships arranged through MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives or the International Development Initiative.

Leadership training opportunities include the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program and ROTC programs in the United States Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force. In addition, Career Advising and Professional Development guides all students as they explore and prepare for careers, graduate study, and life after MIT.