MIT Curriculum Guide

This guide will help you understand how MIT sequences its courses within each discipline and what courses MIT requires for a complete program of study. MIT OpenCourseWare provides this guide for informational purposes only. You cannot receive a degree, a certificate, or any kind of credit for your study of courses on OCW.

MIT is organized into five schools:

  • School of Architecture and Planning
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Science

In addition, MIT and Harvard University operate a joint program in health science called the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. All together, there 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
Graduate Education
Curriculum Details by Department

 

Undergraduate Education

MIT strives to provide students with a strong scientific, technical, and humanistic foundation, and to encourage 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 below 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.

To apply for admission as a student, please contact the MIT Admissions Office for an application.

Office of Admissions
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room 3-108
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Phone: +1.617.253.3400

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.

Curriculum Details by Department

DEPARTMENTS UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES GRADUATE STUDIES
Aeronautics and Astronautics Overview
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering/Course 16-1
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology/Course 16-2
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 Overview
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering/Course 10
Bachelor of Science in Chemical-Biological Engineering/Course 10-B
Graduate Program
Chemistry Overview
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Course 5
Graduate Program
Civil and Environmental Engineering Overview
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering/Course 1-C
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Science/Course 1-E
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 Overview
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science and Engineering/Course 6-1
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/Course 6-2
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering/Course 6-3
 
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 Overview
Bachelor of Science in Philosophy/Course 24-1
Bachelor of Science in Linguistics & Philosophy/Course 24-2
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 Overview
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Course 18
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Computer Science/Course 18-C
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 Overview
Bachelor of Science in Physics/Course 8
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 and Gender Studies Overview No graduate program
Writing and Humanistic Studies Overview
Bachelor of Science in Writing/Course 21W
Graduate Program