Advanced Study Program
In order to apply, you must have:
- An undergraduate degree
- Minimum three years’ work experience or be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program elsewhere
- And the ability to thrive in a rigorous academic environment
International students must have TOEFL, TOEICS, or IELTS test scores from the past two years to apply. Strong candidates will score 100 or better on the internet-based TOEFL, 600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL, or 7.5 or better on the IELTS (International English Language Test).
Application decisions are generally made within eight weeks of the deadline. The Advanced Study Program does not accept students for the summer.
Most Common Questions
Is the Advanced Study Program a degree program?
No, the Advanced Study Program is not a degree program. However, many students attend classes to strengthen their future applications to degree programs. Fellows will earn MIT academic credit and have an MIT transcript after taking classes.
Will I receive MIT credit?
Is MIT credit transferable to degree programs at MIT or another school?
Many other schools and programs accept MIT credit. However, each institution or program determines whether that credit is accepted and how it may be used. If you apply and are accepted into an MIT degree program, that program will decide if prior classes taken while an ASP Fellow are transferable.
How long can I stay in the program?
Admission is on a semester-by-semester and class-by-class basis. Continuing in the Advanced Study Program is dependent on maintaining a minimum grade of a B in each class to be considered for re-admittance into the program. ASP Fellows who earn at least a B in each class and who remain in good financial standing may be considered for following semesters. Fellows who wish to continue with the program must complete a “Returning ASP Participant” application for each successive semester.
How do I find out what classes are available?
The fall semester schedule of classes is released in late April, and the spring semester schedule is released in late November. You can find the current course catalog at the MIT Subject Listing & Schedule page, which will give you an idea of classes offered. Check the symbols help page for definitions.
How many classes may I take?
Students attending MIT part-time can take one class (up to 12 units of credit) or two classes (up to 24 units of credit). Full-time ASP Fellows register for three or four classes, which is between 36 to 48 units of credit. ASP Fellows may not take more than 48 units of credit in one semester.
International students who require U.S. student visas must be enrolled in a minimum of 36 units of credit.
How do I calculate the units of credit for a class?
In the MIT Catalog, under the number and title of a class, are “Units” with three numbers separated by dashes. Add these three numbers together and you have the number of units of credit for the class. The numbers indicate a subject's time distribution. The first is for recitation and lecture; the second number is hours of laboratory, design, or fieldwork; and the third number is the number of hours of homework or preparation per week. Added together, these numbers equal the total credit for a class.
Should I contact the instructors if the class description states the prerequisite is “Permission of instructor”?
No, ASP applicants should not contact the instructors. The Advanced Study Program works directly with all departments to gain approval for our students to enroll in their classes.
Who should I contact with questions?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Can I pursue an MIT degree after the Advanced Study Program?
Yes. Some Fellows have later earned MIT degrees. To be admitted to a degree program, Fellows must apply to the department of choice. Each department makes their own acceptance decisions.
How long is a semester?
A semester at MIT lasts16 weeks. Fall semester begins in early September; spring semester begins in early February. Check the academic calendar for exact dates.
Can I take business courses at the Sloan School of Management?
There are limits on registration in Sloan classes (all classes numbered 15.xxx). Some Sloan classes are available only to Sloan degree students. Sloan classes that require Sloan Course Bidding (as noted in the course catalog) are not open to ASP Fellows. Advanced Study Program Fellows can take up to 50 percent of their classes at Sloan. Enrollment also depends on meeting prerequisites and class size limits.
How do I pre-register for classes?
ASP fellows register on registration day. The Advanced Study Program team sends registration information to all Fellows before registration day.
Who is my advisor?
The Advanced Study Program director is the graduate advisor for ASP Fellows. The director is available to meet with Fellows as needed. Fellows are required to stay in touch with the ASP director regarding their progress and in particular to notify the director of any change in study plan or other academic issues. At times, full-time students may also choose to work with a faculty advisor. Please see the ASP director for more information.
What if I’m not sure which classes to take?
Fellows can email, call, or meet with the ASP director at any time for advice on their program. MIT allows students to add and drop classes during the first two weeks of the semester. You can also look up classes you are interested in on the MIT Open Courseware website. If the class is listed, you can browse the syllabus and get a better sense of what the class offers.
Can I conduct research at MIT?
It is very rare for an Advanced Study Program Fellow to take part in research while they are at MIT. Students who are able to arrange for a research project are ASP Fellows for a year or more. Research requires special arrangements and depends on the availability of a faculty member to supervise the research. It’s helpful if the faculty member is in your field of interest and is familiar with your work through coursework or other contacts. Interested Fellows should discuss the process of setting up a research project with the director of ASP.
Does the Advanced Study Program offer online classes?
MIT doesn’t offer online classes for units of credit at this time. All classes taken for units of credit are held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If you are interested in looking at MIT online classes and materials, you can look at MIT’s Open Courseware and MITx and edX.
Do my transcripts have to be originals?
Yes, transcripts must be originals and in English. Transcripts may be mailed, or your university can send an electronic copy of your transcript to email@example.com. If your institution does not provide English transcripts, you must have them translated and certified by an accredited translation service, and both the originals and translation must be submitted.
Physical transcripts may be mailed to:
MIT Professional Education
Attn: Advanced Study Program
238 Main Street, Building E48-401
Cambridge, MA 02142
Who can serve as a reference?
Recommendations are accepted from past professors or work-related colleagues, such as a manager, who can speak to your ability to do MIT-level work. Your recommender should provide a candid evaluation of your ability to work independently and under pressure, and an assessment of your writing ability, responsibility, and relationships with supervisors, co-workers, and others. Please also ask your recommender to clarify how long, and in what context, they have known you.
Can my references and/or nomination be sent by email?
When you apply online, you will have the option of sending an automatic request to your recommender’s email address. They will be provided with a link to upload their recommendation. If you prefer, you can ask your recommenders to send a recommendation by email with the subject line “Recommendation for (your name)” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have not completed an undergraduate degree – can I apply?
Individuals who do not yet have their undergraduate degree but are interested in studying at MIT should apply through the Special Students Program.
Is there an interview?
No. Prospective fellows are welcome to contact the director before applying if they have questions or would like advice on their program.
Is financial aid available?
No financial aid or scholarships are available. Applicants should secure sponsorship or funding before applying.
Can I pay my own tuition?
Fellows can pay their own tuition, or it may be paid by a company sponsor, scholarship, or other outside funding source. Payment of tuition is due prior to the start of classes, except for MIT staff who are Tuition Assistance Plan eligible.
Does MIT accept credit card payments?
MIT Professional Education does accept payment by credit card. Instructions will be included in your invoice when you are accepted.
When is the tuition due?
Tuition must be paid in full before the start of the semester.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I apply?
Yes. If you are currently in the U.S. on a work visa, you are limited to a maximum enrollment of one class. If you are an international student attending on a student visa, you are required to enroll full time for at least 36 units of credit and have sufficient funds during your stay.
Are there many international Fellows?
Yes. Generally about half of the Fellows are international.
Who has to take the TOEFL?
All non-native English Speakers must provide test scores for English language proficiency.
What score do I need on my English language test?
International students must have TOEFL, TOEICS, or IELTS test scores from the past two years to apply. Strong candidates will score 100 or better on the internet-based TOEFL, 233 or better on the computer-based TOEFL, or 7.5 or better on the IELTS (International English Language Test).
Am I eligible to receive MITís Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) benefit?
MIT employees must check with their HR representative to determine if their position is eligible for the Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP).
How much of my tuition will the MIT Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) cover?
If your position is TAP eligible, your benefit may cover up to 100% of the cost of tuition. Speak with your HR representative to determine what percentage of your tuition will be covered.
What are the requirements for receiving the Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) benefit?
In addition to being employed in a position that is TAP eligible, you must earn a B- grade or better in a graduate-level class, or a C- grade or better in an undergraduate-level class. Your position and employment status must also remain TAP eligible through the end of the semester.
How much do I owe if I withdraw (drop) my class early?
If you withdraw from the program (drop your class) before the end of the semester, you will be responsible for paying your tuition. The percentage of tuition owed depends on the date you withdraw. You can find dates and associated percentages on MIT’s Pro-ration Tables for your semester.
If I’m admitted into the Advanced Study Program, am I automatically approved to take classes in future semesters?
Continuing in the Advanced Study Program is dependent on maintaining a minimum of a B grade to be considered for re-admittance into the program. This is different from the minimum B- grade needed to receive Tuition reimbursement (TAP). MIT employees who wish to continue with the program must complete a ‘Returning MIT Staff Participant’ application for each successive semester.