Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following are some frequently asked questions that we receive from transfer students along with the associated answers.
Q: I need to mail some of my belongings to MIT before I arrival on campus, are there storage options available?
A: If you need to have baggage sent to Cambridge prior to your arrival, you must make arrangements with a separate company. You cannot ship directly to MIT. You must ship to a storage facility. The nearest storage facility is the Metropolitan Moving and Storage, Corp. Call 617-547-8180 for more information. All baggage transportation and customs charges on international shipping are your responsibility.
Q: How do I get my MIT web certificates?
A: To obtain your certificates, please go to http://ist.mit.edu/certificates. We recommend that you use the Certificate Wizard for step-by-step installation instructions. Please note that the form will require you to provide the following information in order to create and validate your certificate: your MIT ID #, your Kerberos Name (otherwise known as your Kerberos ID, MIT username, or MIT email username) and your Kerberos password (i.e. your MIT email password). Once your certificate has been obtained, you will receive a success message indicating that your certificate has been created.
Q: If I am an international student, must I participate in both International Orientation and regular Orientation?
A: Yes. International students should attend both international and transfer student orientation.
Q: What type of furniture they already have in the dorm so that I know what to buy?
A: Dorms usually have a desk with drawers, a chair (wooden; you might consider getting a cushion for it), a twin XL mattress and bed frame (sheets/linens not included), a closet of some form for hanging clothes, shelves, drawers for clothes, and a trashcan.
Q: What size sheets should I buy?
A: Most residence halls have twin extra-long mattresses.
Q: How do I get to MIT from Logan Airport?
A: You can take the MBTA from the airport to MIT. Look for the “Silver Line” or wait until the bus arrives. You can purchase your ticket on the bus and get off at the last stop, South Station. At “South Station”, you should look for a sign to the “Red Line”. Follow these signs and then find the platform form which subways towards "Alewife" or "inbound" leave. Your stop is "Kendall/MIT". Then to get to your dorm, just draw the path you want to take across campus onto this map: http://web.mit.edu/campus-map/pdf/campusmap.pdf. Find your dorm and Kendall here on this interactive map: http://whereis.mit.edu/.
Q: What type of transportation that MIT provide for students?
A: Most students walk from their dorm to main campus. Those who live in dorms that are farther from main campus, often have their own bikes. The Tech Shuttle takes students around campus to various locations. Some of the locations are corner of Mass Ave and Vassar, Stata/Building 32, and the Kendall T stop.
Q: When I transfer to MIT, what class year will I be a part of (e.g. freshman, sophomore, etc.)?
A: All transfers to MIT have 3 years (6 semesters) to graduate. That means that according to the Registrar -- whether you transfer in the fall or the spring of your sophomore year, or even if you were a senior at your former university -- during your first semester at MIT, you will be a first term sophomore. If you receive a lot of transfer credit and you are ready to graduate after 2 years rather than 3, you will need to file the application to graduate before Add Date of your final semester. It does not matter whether you are listed as a senior or a sophomore, as long as you are finished with your graduation requirements.
Q: Which class year will I be associated with?
A: Each graduating class elects a Class council that organizes social events, study breaks and ring delivery (the MIT "brass rat" class ring). To be included in events with your class, you should send an email to the Class council informing them that you are a transfer student who plans to graduate with your particular class year. For example, you would send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (e.g. email@example.com).
Q: Will I receive financial aid if it takes me more than 3 years to complete my degree.
A: While MIT expects transfer students to complete their degree in 3 years, some transfer students might need an extra semester or more to complete their degree requirements. You do not need to be overly concerned about this for a couple of year. Most transfer students are able to finish within 3 years. If you need additional time, you should visit your financial aid counselor for assistance.
Q: How many classes do you recommend transfer students take?
A: Although upperclassmen are not on a credit limit, we caution you to take a reasonable workload in your first semester at MIT. Classes are rigorous regardless of your college preparation at a former institution. The recommendation is that you take 4 (12 units each) technical subjects and 1 HASS your first term. Registering for 48 units will allow you time to adjust to the rapid pace of MIT and figure out how you will manage your time. This will also offer you the opportunity to explore extracurricular activities such as student groups, sports or musical groups.
Q: What is this "Sophomore Exploratory Option”?
A: Even the most focused students might not come to MIT knowing exactly what that they want to do with their degree. MIT provides sophomores with the opportunity to explore a little, and find what really interests them. From Registration Day through Add Date The Sophomore Exploratory Option gives sophomores the opportunity to designate one subject as Exploratory in each of their fall and spring semesters. For more details about the process, you may visit the Registrars web site: http://web.mit.edu/registrar/reg/grades/exploratory.html.
Q: Are there study guides available for the Advanced Standing Exams given in August? Do I need to register for these exams?
A: The Advanced Standing Exams are designed to be similar to a final exam in the subject. The chemistry and biology exams are the only Advanced Standing Exams requiring registration. All other exams are walk-in.
Q: Are finals administered at a set time that all students have to attend?
A: The Registrar's Office schedules the exam times throughout that week, with one 3-hr block of time for each course that all the students taking that course are expected to attend. The final exam schedule is released sometime in September.