Frequently Asked Questions about
MIT Professional Education - Short Programs
What courses are available?
We offer more than 40 courses ranging from 2-5 days in length. Subject areas include Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical; Information and Communication Technologies; Crisis Management; Data Modeling & Analysis; Energy / Sustainability / Transportation; Imaging; Innovation; Leadership / Negotiation; Design, Analysis, and Manufacturing; Radar; Robotics; Systems Engineering; and Tribology.
When are courses offered?
Short Programs courses are typically offered only in the summer months: June, July, and August. Please check our Courses by Date for courses offered during other times of the year. Most of our courses are only offered once per year.
Where do the courses take place?
All Short Programs courses are held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts unless otherwise specified in the course description.
More than 800 professionals with diverse personal, business, and academic backgrounds from the U.S. and around the world attend each year. They include scientists, engineers, technicians, managers, consultants, and others, and they come from industry, government, military, and academia.
How do I know if a course is right for me?
Our courses vary in their content, teaching methods, level, and approach. Carefully review the course description pages, which include a description of course content, objectives, format (lecture, laboratory work, group work), and level of difficulty. If you are still unsure about whether a course is right for you, please contact us.
Who teaches MIT Professional Education - Short Programs courses?
Our Short Programs courses are taught by MIT faculty and distinguished lecturers who have made significant contributions to their fields - and in some cases invented them. Course descriptions provide additional detail on lecturers.
Are there prerequisites or advance reading materials?
Although most courses do not have prerequisites and do not require advance reading, a few do. Specific requirements, if any, are listed in the course description.
Are credits offered?
MIT Professional Education - Short Programs offers CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to participants and, at the end of the program, awards each participant an MIT certificate of completion. If you are interested in earning MIT academic credit you may want to consider the Advanced Study Program.
Can I apply this course to my professional training requirements?
Each course is designed to meet MIT’s high academic standards. We offer certificates of completion and CEUs (Continuing Education Units), but are not part of a larger certificate program. Many organizations will apply CEUs or an MIT certificate to training or certification requirements. Please consult the relevant organization for their specific requirements.
Should I bring my laptop?
Some courses do require laptops. If so, the requirement will be listed on the course webpage. We recommend that all participants bring their laptops if they want to have computer access during their stay, as MIT has no public computers. Instructions for connecting to the free campus wireless network will be provided in your registration packet on the first day of class.
English is not my first language; can I still attend?
All of our courses are taught in English; however, we do not require TOEFL or other English proficiency tests for you to attend a course. It is up to you to determine your comfort level with the English language if you wish to attend an MIT Professional Education – Short Programs course.
What if I’ve read the course description and I’m still not sure it is right for me?
If you are still unsure about whether a course is right for you, please contact us.
How do I apply?
All prospective participants must complete an online application for admission. Links to applications are found on the course description page. See Courses by Date or Courses by Topic for links to the course description pages.
Why do I have to create an account?
Our registration system does this in order to match applicant records and make sure your history with us is kept in one place. If you have forgotten your password, please use the link on the application page to request a new one be emailed to you. Your username will be your email address.
I am a former participant or once filled out a brochure request form, but never received a password. Do I need to create a new account to register for a course?
Anyone who interacted with an MIT Professional Education group between 2003 and 2011 has a dormant account in our new registration system. If you still have access to the email address you used for that interaction (which is your username), you can use the "validate" account feature. If you no longer have access to that account or would like to update your email address, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take care of updating and reactivating your account.
I'm completing the registration form for someone else. Can I use my email address to create the account?
We strongly recommend that each registrant complete his/her own registration form. Our system uses the email address as a unique identifier and username, meaning any subsequent registrations will overwrite previously-submitted information connected to that account. If you just need to receive documents like the acceptance letter, invoice, and receipt, you can enter your email address under "Assistant's Email" and we'll copy you on those emails. If you are registering for just one other person, you may use your email to create the account and then contact email@example.com to provide the registrant's email once the form has been submitted. We require an email address for all participants where we can communicate directly with them regarding the course, and will also use that email on the course roster distributed to all participants.
If you are registering two or more people and they are not able to complete the forms themselves, you must follow the above procedure and wait for us to confirm the email has been updated for the first registrant before attempting to complete any other forms.
When will I know if I’ve been accepted into the course?
We will notify you via email whether or not your application has been accepted. If you are accepted into a course, you will receive an acceptance letter and invoice via email. If you are a not a U.S. resident or citizen, you will also receive information regarding obtaining a visa. In most cases, this will occur within a few days after we receive your application. If you do not receive an email notifying you of your status within five business days, please contact us.
What are the criteria for admission?
There are no general admission requirements, though a few courses may have prerequisites. All applications are reviewed to ensure that the applicant will benefit from the course.
I’ve applied and been accepted into a course, now what do I do?
First, you should pay tuition. Tuition is due immediately upon receipt of the invoice. If this is not possible, please contact us immediately after you receive the invoice to make arrangements. Regardless of any alternate arrangement, full tuition must be paid prior to the course start date.
If you will require a visa to visit Cambridge, please view the section below related to the visa process and requirements for attending a Short Programs course.
Next you should find accommodations. Cambridge can be very busy in the summertime so it is best to book your accommodations early. There are a number of local hotels within walking distance of campus. For information on where to stay during your visit to MIT, please visit our Accommodations page. We do not recommend booking your hotel reservations through third-party booking agents. Please book with the hotels directly and also ask for the MIT rate.
You should expect additional information via email from the Short Programs office about 2-3 weeks before your course start date notifying you where to go for registration and what time to arrive. In most cases, registration will be held on Monday morning in on MIT campus near our office (exact room location will be provided in the pre-arrival email). Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your "trusted senders" list to ensure you receive all course-related communications.
How will I receive information about the course once I've applied?
The MIT Professional Education - Short Programs office communicates with participants via email. Once you have applied, please add email@example.com to your "trusted senders" list to ensure you receive all course-related communications.
What is the application deadline?
It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 4-6 weeks before the course start date. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open. See Courses by Date or Courses by Topic for links to the course description pages.
I can’t attend on the scheduled date. Can I transfer into a different course?
Yes, but transferring an acceptance from one course to another must be approved in advance by the Short Programs office as additional fees may apply. Please contact us to request a transfer.
I will be too busy to attend. Can my company send someone else in my place?
Yes, but the Short Programs office must be notified and your substitute must submit an application. Please contact us to request a substitution.
I was admitted and have paid, but cannot attend this year. Can I come next year instead?
Admission and tuition cannot be deferred to a subsequent year; however, you may cancel your registration and reapply the following year. The Admissions page details our cancellation policy.
I am a college undergraduate. Can I attend?
The level of experience and education expected of course participants varies for each course. If you visit a course description page, you will see a graph that indicates the level of knowledge expected. In general, our courses are better-suited to professionals with some experience in their fields.
I am a high school student. Can I attend?
Our courses are not designed for high school students and we do not encourage them to apply. The MIT website lists several excellent programs for secondary school students.
How much is tuition?
Tuition varies by course but you can expect to pay $600 - $900 per day or $1,600 - $4,500 per course. Tuition does not include housing and generally does not include any meals. See the course descriptions for the specific tuition. See Admissions for details on how to pay. MIT Professional Education reserves the right to cancel a registrant's admission if payment is not received by two weeks after acceptance if no extension has been approved by Short Programs.
What does it mean when I've been accepted into a course?
Acceptance means that you have enrolled in a course and have agreed to the cancellation policy and fees. See Admissions for details on our cancellation policy.
How should I pay?
You can pay with a variety of options, including checks, credit cards, and wire transfers. Please note that international wire transfers often include secondary bank fees that you must add to the transaction. In all cases, you will receive a receipt by email once we have confirmed payment. See the Admissions page for more information.
Please see the Discounts section on the Admissions page for information about other discounts, including discounts for groups and ILP members.
I need to cancel. Are there any fees?
Yes, we do attach fees should you cancel your participation. The fee increases as the program start date approaches. See the Admissions page for details regarding our cancellation policy.
Travel and Accommodations
I am not from the U.S., what kind of Visa do I need?
MIT Professional Education follows the U.S. State Department guidelines, which state that Short Programs participants, if they require a visa, need a tourist visa, not a student visa. Please consult the U.S. State Department to determine whether or not you need a visa. When applying for a visa, applicants should use their acceptance letter as their letter of invitation and remember that the visa application process typically takes several months. Applicants are highly encouraged to start the visa application process as soon as they have been accepted to one of our short courses. The most recent guidelines can be obtained from the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate or the U.S. State Department.
Applicants from countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will need to visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html for more information and to apply for authorization to travel to the United States.
How do I get to MIT?
The closest airport to MIT is Boston's Logan Airport. Plan your visit to MIT with online resources including MIT's directions to and getting around campus. Participants receive an email including the registration location 2-3 weeks before the course start date.
Boston has excellent public transportation (http://www.mbta.com). The closest subway stop to MIT is Kendall Square on the Red Line. The commute to the MIT campus by public transportation from Logan Airport is about an hour. A taxi ride from the airport or train station to MIT is about $30 without tip and takes about 25 minutes depending on traffic.
Where should I stay during my visit to Cambridge?
There are a number of local hotels within walking distance of campus. Dormitory housing, while much more basic, is also available. See Accommodations for housing options and Travel & Arrival for additional information.
Is parking available on campus?
We do not provide parking and do not recommend that you bring your car to Cambridge. Parking on campus and in Cambridge is extremely limited. Hotels do provide parking to their guests for a fee. Garage parking in the area costs $25 to $35 a day. Please see our list of public parking facilities if you need to bring a car and are unsure of where you will park.
Where do I go on the first day of my course?
You must sign in at registration and the location of your classroom will be given to you at that time; you cannot go directly to your classroom. An email will be sent about 2-3 weeks before your course start date notifying you where to go for registration and what time to arrive. Registration times and course schedules are also posted on each of the course description pages.
What should I wear to class?
Typical attire for our courses is business casual or casual. Weather in New England is quite variable and we recommend checking a weather forecast before packing. We recommend packing a light sweater or jacket regardless of the forecast, as MIT classrooms are air-conditioned to relatively cool temperatures.
Should I bring my laptop?
Some of our courses either require or encourage you to bring a laptop to class. Please check the course description to see if your course requires a laptop and to find out if you will need a specific operating system or software. International students will need to make sure they bring the appropriate adaptors in order to plug in their laptops. The outlets are 3 pronged (two flat with one polarized side, and one round ground prong) and run on AC 110v.
Information regarding laptops will also be included in your pre-arrival email sent about 2-3 weeks before the course start date.
Will I be able to access the internet?
We recommend that you bring a laptop if you will need a computer during your stay. You will not have access to MIT computers except for classroom use if required for the course. Wireless access is available throughout the MIT campus and you will receive information on how to access the wireless network in the registration packet given out on your first day of class.
Where should I eat?
Most courses have a mid-morning, lunch, and mid-afternoon break. Light refreshments are generally offered during the morning and afternoon breaks. Most courses do not provide lunch.
Many dining options are available on and near campus. See MIT’s where to eat page and the list of local restaurants provided by the Short Programs office on registration day.
What can my family do while we are in Cambridge?
The greater Boston area offers world-class music, art, literary, sports, recreation, shopping, and history resources to explore. Look on Boston.com for theater and music performances, nightclubs, films, art exhibits, and restaurants.
For other interesting things to do in the Boston/Cambridge area and for information on what’s happening around town during your stay, visit Cambridge Office of Tourism, Cambridge Arts Council, City of Boston Things to Do, Visit Boston, and Time Out Boston.
Future Course Offerings
Does MIT Professional Education – Short Programs offer courses online?
Currently the Short Programs portfolio does not include any online courses, although we do hope to offer online courses in the near future. If you wish to be informed about future courses, including online offerings, please request to be added to our email mailing list. For information about MIT’s free, online courses please visit OpenCourseWare.
Can my company sponsor a short course at our location?
MIT Professional Education - Short Programs addresses corporate education needs and strategic goals through custom educational programs. Our staff works with your managers to help define needs and then coordinate with MIT faculty to design a targeted, needs-based learning experience. Please visit our Custom Programs page for more information.
Can Short Programs create/tailor a short course for my company?
Courses offered at company sites can be customized from Short Programs courses involving one or more faculty speakers. These are frequently offered to provide a large group or department a solid foundation in a strategic science or technology area. Please visit our Custom Programs page for more information.