IAP 2009
overview participate organize offerings calendar

Participation and Eligibility

Using the On-Line Guide

Updates and Schedule Changes

Snow Days

IAP Staff And Contact Information

Also see:

IAP 2004 Dates to Remember page


The Independent Activities Period (IAP) is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month.

For more than 30 years, IAP has provided members of the MIT community (students, faculty, staff, and alums) with a unique opportunity to organize, sponsor and participate in a wide variety of activities, including how-to sessions, forums, lecture series, films, tours, recitals and contests.

IAP offerings are distinguished by their variety, innovative spirit, and fusion of fun and learning. Past IAP activities have ranged from credit activities such as electron microprobe analysis and the Martin Luther King Jr. design seminar, to noncredit activities such as introductory blacksmithing and ballroom dancing.

For students and faculty, IAP provides a welcome break from the academic routine of the fall and spring semesters. It offers opportunities for creativity and flexibility in teaching and learning. Students are free to set their own educational agendas, pursue independent projects, meet with faculty, or pursue many other options not possible during the semester.

IAP 2004 takes place from January 5 through January 30. For a list of important IAP dates and deadlines, please refer to the IAP 2004 Dates to Remember page.


Participation and Eligibility

  • Non-credit activities are only open to members of the MIT community:

    • faculty
    • students
    • staff
    • MIT alumni

  • Non-credit Activities should be organized for the entire MIT community, not non-MIT groups or for the public at large. The number of participants in IAP activities may be limited, but the ability to participate may not be limited to members of a particular group.

  • All members of the MIT community can join the non-credit activities found in the IAP Guide; activities are generally available in more than thirty-five different categories (for more information, see the IAP Categories page). Some activities require advance sign-up, but in many cases participants can simply show up at the stated time.
  • IAP subjects (for credit) are available to all students registered in the fall or spring terms of the academic year.

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Using the On-line IAP Guide

NOTICE: MIT is closed from December 25, 2003 to January 5, 2004 (first day of IAP). Activity and subject descriptions posted during that period will not be reviewed and placed on line until January 5th. As MIT community members peruse IAP listings during November and December, organizers are encouraged to submit listings prior to December 24.

Here's how to find subjects and activities using the on-line IAP Guide:

All IAP Subjects and Activities are indexed with an IAP search engine. See the Search the IAP Guide page.

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Updates and Schedule Changes

Updates will be made each evening to the on-line IAP Guide throughout IAP. You will be able to check on what's currently happening on campus, see any changes in activities' schedules, and find out about new activities.

Snow Days

If the Institute must close due to snow, activity organizers will decide whether to hold or cancel their activities. If they do cancel, they should try, to the extent possible, to notify participants (for instance, with a sign on the door or by e-mail) and may reschedule the classes as they wish. Organizers should notify the Academic Resource Center of rescheduled meetings so that they may be posted on the web site.

IAP Staff and Contact Information

If you have questions regarding IAP please write iap-www@mit.edu or call (617) 253-1668.

The Indpendent Activities Period is coordinated and administered by the Academic Resource Center, located in Room 7-104.

  • Leslie Bottari, Administrative Assistant, bottari@mit.edu

  • Michael Bergren, Assistant Dean, Academic and Research Initiatives, mberg@mit.edu

  • Julie B. Norman, Associate Dean for Academic Resources and Programming

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IAP Offerings are distinguished by their variety, innovative spirit, and fusion of fun and learning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Comments and questions to iap-www AT mit.edu | Last update: 19 August 2008, DUE staff, 617-253-1668