MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
for transfer students
The First Year at MIT

Academics: General Institute Requirements

All MIT undergraduates must complete 17 General Institute Requirements. The GIRs lay the foundation for study in your major. Transfer students are admitted to the Institute with the majority of their Science Core GIRs completed.

In your first and second semesters at MIT, you might need to take some additional courses to fulfill the Science Core of the Institute requirements. These might include Calculus, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. Many of these classes are prerequisites to more advanced classes within your major. We encourage you to read more about the GIRs in the online MIT Bulletin.

Communication Requirement

Transfer students need to complete a total of two CI-H and two CI-M subjects by graduation. During your first year at MIT, you must either pass a CI subject or receive transfer credit for one. If you do not receive transfer credit for a CI subject, you will need to take two CI classes during one of your academic years at MIT.

Transfer students make their CI-H/HW selections when they meet with their advisors and complete Online Registration.

For transfer credit requests associated with CI subjects, you must first seek approval of the department's Transfer Credit Examiner. Once the transfer credit examiner has approved the subject, you must then petition the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement in order to receive CI credit. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement or 617-253-2313.

For questions about this process, please contact Patty Fernandes.


MIT has an eight-subject requirement referred to as the HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) Requirement. Students need to take classes designated as HASS-A, HASS-H, and HASS-S. You will find out additional information on how to satisfy the HASS requirement at Transfer Student Orientation and may also visit the HASS website.

Physical Education

Transfer students need only complete four points of credit and the swim requirement to fulfill the PE requirement. If you are able to swim 100 yards, you are encouraged to arrange to take the swim test. For information about how to schedule a swim test, visit the Physical Education Office, Room W32-125, 617-253-4291 of go online: