MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For Advisors
The First Year at MIT

First-Year Academics: Freshman Credit Limits

Freshmen are subject to a credit limit by Faculty rule. The limit aims to help students adjust to MIT's workload while learning to live a balanced life. The credit limits for each term of your freshman year follow:

A first-semester freshman, may take no more than 54 units. Since most MIT subjects are worth 12 units of credit, this works out to 4 full subjects (48 units), plus an additional 6 units that students may or may not choose to use. Popular options for using the extra 6 units in the fall are a Freshman Advising Seminar or one of the music performance groups like MIT Symphony or Concert Choir. Many freshmen choose to forgo the units to spend non-academic time on varsity sports or student activities.

Exceptions to the Fall 54-unit limit are as follows: Students in Terrascope may take a total of 57 units (4 full subjects plus Mission 2019). Students in Seminar XL may exceed the 54-unit credit limit by 3 or 6 units (one or two XL groups).

Note: Physical Education classes are based on a point system and do not count toward the credit limit. Further, ROTC subjects, while they carry academic credit, do not count toward the freshman credit limit.