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MIT Curriculum

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the course materials that are used in the teaching of almost all MIT's undergraduate and graduate subjects available on the Web, free of charge, to any user anywhere in the world. Because MIT OCW is not a distance-learning initiative, there is no registration or enrollment process required for users to view course materials. Nor is there a certificate or degree granted upon completion of the materials. MIT OCW is a publication of the course materials that support the dynamic classroom interactions of an MIT education.

Many users contact MIT OCW, asking for information about MIT's curriculum so they can design their own course of self-study. In the interest of improving the user experience with MIT OCW materials, we offer the following guides to MIT's undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Users are again reminded that following these MIT curriculum requirements does not make them eligible to receive a degree or any other sort of certification. This is merely an informational service that MIT OCW is providing for its users.

MIT Curriculum

Undergraduate Education

Graduate Education

MIT Curriculum, by Department
DEPARTMENTS UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES GRADUATE STUDIES
Aeronautics and Astronautics Graduate Program
Anthropology

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology/Course 21A

Graduate Program
(see History or Science, Technology, and Society)
Architecture

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Art and Design/Course 4

Graduate Program
Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation. No undergraduate program.  See General Institute Requirement: Physical Education Requirement. No graduate program
Biological Engineering

Overview

Graduate Program
Biology

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Biology/Course 7

Graduate Program
Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences/Course 9

Graduate Program
Chemical Engineering Graduate Program
Chemistry

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Course 5

Graduate Program
Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Program
Comparative Media Studies

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Comparative Media Studies/Course 21 CMS

Graduate Program
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences/Course 12

Graduate Program
Economics

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Economics/Course 14

Graduate Program
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Program
Engineering Systems Division No undergraduate program Graduate Program
Experimental Study Group No undergraduate program. See Academic Programs: Freshman Year. No graduate program
Foreign Languages and Literatures

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Foreign Languages and Literatures/Course 21F

No graduate program
Health Sciences and Technology No undergraduate program Graduate Program
History

Overview
Bachelor of Science in History/Course 21H

No graduate program
Linguistics and Philosophy Graduate Program
Literature

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Literature/Course 21L

No graduate program
Materials Science and Engineering

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering/Course 3

Graduate Program
Mathematics Graduate Program
Mechanical Engineering

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering/Course 2

Graduate Program
Media Arts and Sciences Overview Graduate Program
Music and Theater Arts

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Music/Course 21M

No graduate program
Nuclear Science and Engineering

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering/Course 22

Graduate Program
Ocean Engineering

Ocean Engineering is now part of Mechanical Engineering department.

Ocean Engineering is now part of Mechanical Engineering department.

Operations Research Center No Undergraduate Program Graduate Program
Physics Graduate Program
Political Science

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Course 17

Graduate Program
Science, Technology, and Society

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society/Dual Degree/Course STS

Graduate Program
Sloan School of Management

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Management Science/Course 15

Graduate Program
Special Programs See Women's Studies No graduate program

Urban Studies and Planning

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Planning/Course 11

Graduate Program
Women's Studies Overview No graduate program
Writing and Humanistic Studies

Overview
Bachelor of Science in Writing/Course 21W

Graduate Program

 

MIT Curriculum

MIT is a coeducational, privately endowed research university, boasting more than 950 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is organized into five schools—Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Management, and Science—and the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. Within these are 33 degree-granting departments, programs, and divisions. In addition, a great deal of research and teaching takes place in interdisciplinary programs, laboratories, and centers whose work extends beyond traditional departmental boundaries.

Undergraduate Education

MIT is committed to providing students with a strong scientific, technical, and humanistic foundation, and to encouraging them to develop creativity in defining problems and seeking solutions. For the Bachelor of Science degree, students must complete a core requirement that is equally divided between science and mathematics, and the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The science/mathematics requirement includes chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus, as well as laboratory and science electives. The humanities, arts, and social sciences requirement must be fulfilled among three of five categories: literary and textual studies; language, thought, and value; the arts; cultures and societies; and historical studies. Students must also complete a four-subject communications requirement.

MIT undergraduate General Institute Requirements include:

  • An eight-subject humanities, arts, and social sciences requirement
  • A six-subject science requirement
    • Two terms of calculus
    • Two terms of physics
    • One term of chemistry
    • One term of biology
  • Two restricted electives in science and technology subjects
  • One laboratory subject

See the MIT Course Catalog for detailed information about General Institute Requirements and the Communication Requirement. Beyond these requirements, students must meet the standards of their chosen major(s)—see MIT Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements in the table above for specific information about each major (charts outlining course requirements for programs are provided where possible).

A typical course load is four to five courses each term. Freshmen are subject to a credit limit of no more than five courses, as they adjust to the pace and intensity of an MIT education. Upperclassmen are free to take as many courses as they like, with their academic advisor's approval.

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Graduate Education

Traditionally a leader in engineering graduate education, MIT has also attained national prominence for its doctoral programs in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. In addition, top-ranked graduate programs in economics; political science; linguistics; science, technology, and society; architecture; urban studies; and management have broadened the spectrum of graduate education at MIT. Graduate students may pursue any of the following degrees:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Science (ScD)
  • Engineer, Master of Science (SM)
  • Master of Engineering (MEng)
  • Master of Architecture (MArch)
  • Master in City Planning (MCP)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Institute has a single faculty that is responsible for both undergraduate and graduate instruction. Each department exercises a large measure of autonomy for its graduate programs, under general guidelines established for the Institute as a whole. The administration of graduate education rests with the president, the provost, the chancellor, the dean and associate dean for graduate students, and the Committee on Graduate School Programs.

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