MIT: Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyClass of 2017

First Year Academics: Communication Requirement

In order to graduate, you must complete four Communication Intensive subjects:

  • two CI-H subjects (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences)
  • two CI-M subjects (Communication Intensive in the Major).

The Communication Requirement is paced: you must pass one appropriate CI-H subject during your freshman year, Fall or Spring.

In this section, we focus on your first-year requirement:

View the Communication Requirement GIR video: Prof. Diana Henderson


FEE Results and Your CI-H Choice

The result of the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE) determines which type of CI-H subject you may take to fulfill the freshman Communication Requirement. Depending on your score, you will either be required to take a Writing Subject (CI-HW) or may take any Communication Intensive HASS subject (CI-H or CI-HW).

  • Details for CI-H placement appear on the Communication Requirement website.
  • Your FEE result is posted to your Online Freshman Advising Folder.
  • Exemptions:
    • A score of 5 on the AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition exam exempts you from the FEE. You may take any CI-H or CI-HW subject to meet the freshman Communication Requirement.
    • A score of 7 on either the English A or B Higher Level IB exam exempts you from the FEE. You may take any CI-H or CI-HW subject to meet the freshman Communication Requirement.
  • Students who do not take the FEE and who are not exempt must take a CI-HW (Writing Subject) to meet the freshman Communication Requirement.

Planning Out Your Communication Requirement

  • You may take your first Communication Intensive (CI-H) subject in either Fall or Spring of your freshman year. However, most CI-H subjects have a maximum enrollment of 18-25 students, so you need to plan the year carefully to ensure that you are able to take the class of your choice and to avoid possible academic consequences.
  • All CI-H subjects also count toward the HASS Requirement; some require participation in the HASS-D Lottery for enrollment. See the HASS Requirement page for more information.
  • If you do not take the appropriate CI-H/CI-HW subject in the fall term, you must complete one in the spring term. Failure to complete the appropriate Communication Requirement subject in your first year will have academic consequences, including a credit limit, for sophomore year.
  • You are only able to receive CI credit for one CI-H subject per term.

Important Note about Early Sophomore Standing

In order to be eligible for early sophomore standing, you must complete an appropriate CI subject during the Fall Term of your freshman year. Otherwise, even if you have sufficient credit, you will not be eligible for early sophomore standing for the Spring.

For More Information

See the Communication Requirement website for more information, including the requirement beyond your freshman year. Send questions to