MIT: Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyClass of 2017

First Year Academics: Early Sophomore Standing

Every year a substantial number of freshmen complete at least one-quarter of their degree by the end of Fall term. They are offered the option of becoming sophomores at the beginning of the Spring term.

Who Is Eligible for Early Sophomore Standing?

In late November, at the request of Dean Julie Norman, the Registrar's Office determines which freshmen are potentially eligible, assuming successful completion of the first semester. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria.

There are no exceptions to these criteria or rules: they are determined by the Faculty. There is no petition process. You are either eligible, or you are not.

  • You must have completed a minimum of 25% of your SB by the end of December 2013.
  • You must have completed the majority of the math and science GIRs.
  • Your must have satisfied your freshman CI requirement.
  • Credit earned during IAP does not count in this assessment, with the sole exceptions of 8.01L and 18.02A, subjects that begin in Fall and end during IAP.

When Are Eligible Freshmen Notified?

In early December, Julie Norman, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, will write to eligible freeshmen with the offer of sophomore status. Dean Norman's letter will specify a deadline and include information on making the decision to accept or decline early sophomore status.

Dates and Deadlines for Processing Outstanding Credit

If you have outstanding scores from AP or other exams or transfer credit for subjects that offer MIT credit, you must take care of processing these immediately.

  • All outstanding credit must be documented no later than December 20, 2013, last day of final exams.
  • Credit processed after the end of the fall term does not count towards eligibility to be an early sophomore.

Deadline for Accepting Early Sophomore Standing

  • If you are offered early sophomore standing and wish to accept it, it is in your better interest to accept by January 17, 2014. This will assist your new academic department to assign you a new major advisor in a timely manner.

  • The official and absolute final deadline to accept Early Sophomore Standing is Spring Add Date, Friday, March 7, 2014.

Early Sophomore Standing and Advising Options

If you are offered early sophomore status and choose to accept it, you have two options:

  1. You may declare a departmental major. Your new department will assign you to a faculty advisor.
  2. You may remain an Undesignated Sophomore. You may continue to be advised by your freshman advisor or else the Associate Dean for Freshman Advising will assign you to a member of the UAAP Advising Team.

Benefits of Early Sophomore Standing

  • The primary benefit of being an early sophomore is that you can declare a departmental major and be assigned to a faculty advisor.
  • Early sophomores are no longer subject to the freshman credit limit and are on full A-F grading
  • Note also that Early Sophomores may designate one of their spring subjects as a Sophomore Exploratory option.

Factors to Consider in Making the Decision

Early sophomore standing is most beneficial if you are ready to declare a major and be assigned to a departmental advisor. Other factors to consider:

  • Remaining a freshman offers the protection of ABC/No Record grading. Hidden grades (received in early January) may help you decide. Did you just pass, or did you do really well?
  • Second semester is often a lot harder for freshmen; most, if not all, of the material to which you are exposed is new.
  • Have you learned to balance schoolwork with personal life?
  • Second semester is often a great opportunity to pick up activities for which there was no time in the Fall, e.g., UROP or a performance group. A heavy, graded course load may preclude these activities.

Questions about Early Sophomore Standing may be addressed to