Advanced Study Program
Planning a Powerful Experience
MIT Professional Education - Advanced Study Program students come with a vision of their future. Goals may include gaining expertise in an emerging field like nanotechnology or developing a software tool to help visualize genomes. They may need to build a foundation in localized drug delivery to take on new challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. Or understand how to apply systems theory to their organization. The Advanced Study Program gives each student the flexibility to gain knowledge across a spectrum of disciplines or to specialize in a core area.
Advanced Study Program fellows should explore MIT’s course offerings to map their academic interests to particular classes. Fellows may take courses throughout MIT, although enrollment in management classes at MIT Sloan is limited to 50% of total classes registered for. Enrollment also depends on meeting prerequisites and class size limits. The program director is available to provide advice and suggestions.
Fellows can discuss their course selections with the Advanced Study Program director before and after they arrive on campus. Students may also arrange to consult with faculty in their fields of interest. More than 2,000 courses are available, so students can match learning objectives with course options, sequences, and prerequisites to make the best choices.
Fellows take one to four courses during each semester. MIT courses are rigorous, and we do not recommend an academic load of more than 48 credits/units or four courses per semester. Many fellows choose to take 36 credits/units. Fellows may attend classes throughout MIT.
MIT subject listing and schedule lists current courses, schedules, and faculty. The first step is to start exploring course options. A brief summary of goals, including planned courses, should be submitted with the application. Subject listings include prerequisite courses, which may sometimes be waived with the professor’s permission, as well as comparable courses (both can’t be taken for credit.)
“Courses” and “courses”
At MIT, departments historically have been called Courses (note the capital C), so, for example, Chemical Engineering is often called Course 10. Classes begin with the Course number, so Chemical Engineering classes begin with 10.xxx.
Semester-long courses (note the lower-case c), or classes, generally meet two-to-three times a week, with laboratories requiring more class time than lecture-based courses.
MIT courses generally grant 9-12 credits/units. A full-time schedule is three-to-four courses or 36-48 credits/units. Part-time students take one or two courses.
Course credit numbers have three digits separated by hyphens, such as 3-6-3. The first number is the number of hours given to lecture and recitation each week. The second is laboratory, design, or fieldwork time; the third, preparation. Adding the three numbers produces the total units of credit for the course. One unit represents about one hour of work per week or 14 hours per semester. Because of this, units are sometimes also called hours.
Fellows can explore departmental Web sites for faculty biographies, research interests, and related labs and centers. MIT’s Education page links to schools and departments.
MIT’s disciplinary groups:
Course 1 - Civil and Environmental Engineering
Course 2 - Mechanical Engineering
Course 3 - Materials Science and Engineering
Course 4 - Architecture
Course 5 - Chemistry
Course 6 - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Course 7 - Biology
Course 8 - Physics
Course 9 - Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Course 10 - Chemical Engineering
Course 11 - Urban Studies and Planning
Course 12 - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Course 13 - Ocean Engineering
Course 14 - Economics
Course 15 - Management*
Course 16 - Aeronautics and Astronautics
Course 17 - Political Science
Course 18 - Mathematics
Course 21 - Humanities
Foreign Languages and Literatures (21F)
Music and Theater Arts (21M)
Writing and Humanistic Studies (21W)
Course 22 - Nuclear Engineering
Course 24 - Linguistics and Philosophy
BE - Biological Engineering
CMS - Comparative Media Studies
ESD - Engineering Systems Division
HST - Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
MAS - Media Arts and Sciences
STS - Science, Technology, and Society
* Fellows’ enrollment in management (15.xx) courses is limited to 50 percent of their total program, and some courses are not available.