Advanced Study Program
FAQs about Academic Planning
Is the MIT Professional Education - Advanced Study Program a degree program?
The Advanced Study Program is not a degree program. All fellows receive a certificate of completion at the end of their studies. Fellows earn MIT academic credit and have an MIT transcript after taking classes.
How long can I stay in the program?
The needs of individuals and their organizations determine how long students take classes at MIT. The Advanced Study Program is flexible. Some fellows come for a semester; others stay for a year or two. Some part-time fellows stay in the program for several years. ASP fellows can stay in the program as long as they earn a grade of B- or better and stay in good financial standing.
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.
Do 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 are transferable.
After I finish my program, can I come back later to take more classes?
If you’re welcome to come back and take a class through ASP, as long as you finished your classes for credit with satisfactory grades (usually B+ or better). Go to the application webpage and complete a “return/continuing ASP application”. Before you can be accepted, your application will be reviewed by the department where your class is offered. If the department approves your application, we will send you an acceptance letter.
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.
How do I calculate the number of units of credit for a class?
In the MIT Catalog, under the number and title of a class you’ll see “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. Add the units together for the total credit for a class.
How many classes may I take?
Students attending MIT part-time can take one class at a time up to 12 units of credits or two classes for up to up to 24 units of credit. Students attending MIT full-time register for three or four classes which is between 36 to 48 units of credit.
MIT classes are very demanding. The MIT Professional Education office recommends limiting registration to 48 units of credit each semester.
International students who require U.S. student visas must be registered full time and must be enrolled in a minimum of 36 units of credit.
What classes may I take?
Most MIT graduate and undergraduate classes are open to Advanced Study Program fellows. ASP is flexible. Fellows can take classes from any of the five schools at MIT as long as the classes are not restricted to degree students. You can learn more by looking at specific classes listed online at the MIT Subject Listing & Schedule. Check the symbols help page for definitions
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 restricted to Sloan’s degree students. 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. Please contact our office in advance if you are interested in taking management courses.
How do I preregister for classes?
Incoming ASP fellows do not preregister; they register on registration day. ASP fellows continuing in the program, receive a preregistration notification, instructions, and deadlines by email. Additional information is available from our office. However, preregistration is not required; class selection may be made on registration day.
Are any courses restricted?
ASP fellows can register for most classes. A number of classes require the professor’s permission, either because of high demand or because a specialized background is needed. If you have been accepted into ASP, you may email a professor to request permission to attend a class. Many MIT Sloan management classes are restricted to Sloan’s degree students and are not available to ASP fellows.
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 or requested. 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 or difficulties. 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. Fellows may attend several classes during the first two weeks of the semester before making a final decision.
Can I do research at MIT?
It is very rare for an Advanced Study Program Fellow take part in research while they are at MIT. Students who are able to arrange for a research project are with ASP 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 faculty 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 MA. At the same time, if you are interested in looking at MIT online classes and materials you can look at MIT’s Open Courseware and MITx and edx.