UAAP
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Class of 2018
The First Year at MIT

First-Year Academics: General Institute Requirements (GIRS)

All MIT undergraduates must complete 17 General Institute Requirements (GIRs). During your first semester, most of your program will involve the GIRs, which will lay the foundation for study in your major. In your second semester, you might add subjects to help you explore your anticipated major.

Depending on your background and AP or transfer credit, during your first semester you'll most likely take 3 subjects in the Science Core—Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, or Physics—as well as an appropriate Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) subject. These subjects, all part of the GIRs, serve as your entrée into any major department.

You should also enroll in at least one Physical Education class in your first semester in order to complete this requirement by the end of sophomore year.

The GIRs include:

Freshman Science Core

The Science Core consists of subjects taken in Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics as detailed below.

Biology

In order to fulfill the Biology GIR, you'll need to take one of the following introductory 12-unit subjects: 7.012, 7.013, 7.014, or 7.016.

Also see the Biology page in this section for information on the variations of the Biology GIR.

View the Biology GIR Video: Prof. Hazel Sive

 

Calculus

In order to fulfill the Calculus GIR, you'll need to take two of the introductory 12-unit subjects listed below.

See the Calculus page in this section for information on the variations of 18.01 and 18.02.

View the Calculus GIR video: Prof. Haynes Miller

Chemistry

In order to fulfill the Chemistry GIR, you'll need to take one of the following introductory 12-unit subjects: 5.111, 5.112, or 3.091.

See the Chemistry page in this section for information about the differences among the Chemistry GIR subjects.

View the Chemistry GIR video: Prof. John Essigmann

Physics

In order to fulfill the Physics GIR, you'll need to take two of the introductory 12-unit subjects listed below.

See the Physics in this section for information on the variations of 8.01 and 8.02.

View the Physics GIR video: Prof. Nergis Mavalvala

Communication Requirement

The Communication Requirement is a paced requirement of four Communication Intensive subjects, one in each of your four years.

In your freshman year you must complete a Communication Intensive subject offered in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, labeled CI-H or CI-HW.

Complete information is on the Communication Requirement website. See the Class of 2018 Communication Requirement page for more information on the CR in freshman year.

View the Communication Requirement GIR video: Prof. Diana Henderson

Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

Over your four years you must take eight HASS subjects, fulfilling the three components of the HASS Requirement—Distribution, Concentration, Electives.

Complete information is on the HASS Requirement website. See the Class of 2018 HASS page for information on HASS in the freshman year.

View the HASS Requirement GIR Video: Profs. Diana Henderson and Chris Capozzola

Laboratory Requirement

Normally you will meet the Lab requirement in your second or third year by taking one 12-unit or two 6-unit subjects, designated for this requirement, in your major department.

Physical Education Requirement

You are expected to pass the swim test and earn 8 Physical Education points by the end of your sophomore year. PE classes earn 2 points each and are offered in 4 quarters during the academic year and in IAP, so it's quite possible to complete your PE requirement during your first year.

See the Physical Education website for complete information on the PE GIR.

View Physical Education video: Carrie Sampson Moore

Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST)

Students ordinarily take two subjects from a list of approved REST subjects in their second year. One is taken within the major department; the other must be from another department.