General Institute Requirements

To be recommended for the degree of Bachelor of Science, students must have attended MIT not less than three regular academic terms, which ordinarily must include the term of graduation. In addition, students must have satisfactorily completed a program of study approved in accordance with the faculty regulations, which includes the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) and the departmental program of the Course in which the degree is to be awarded. Departures from the departmental programs are allowed with departmental permission. See the Schools section, as well as individual degree charts, for information about specific programs.

Substitutions for GIR subjects are allowed only by petition. Petitions pertaining to the Communication Requirement must be directed to the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR), and petitions for any substitutions in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement must be directed to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement (SHR). The Committee on Curricula (COC) considers petitions for substitutions in the Institute Laboratory Requirement and the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement.

Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 1

General Institute Requirements (GIRs)

The General Institute Requirements include a Communication Requirement that is integrated into both the HASS Requirement and the requirements of each major; see details below.

Summary of Subject Requirements Subjects
Science Requirement
Chemistry (3.091, 5.111, or 5.112)
Physics (8.01, 8.011, 8.012, or 8.01L; and 8.02, 8.021, or 8.022)
Mathematics (18.01 or 18.01A; and 18.02, 18.02A, or 18.022)
Biology (7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016)
6
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement; at least two of these subjects must be designated as communication-intensive (CI-H) to fulfill the Communication Requirement. 8
Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement 2
Laboratory Requirement (12 units) 1
Total GIR Subjects Required for SB Degree 17
Physical Education Requirement
Swimming requirement, plus four physical education courses for eight points.

Departmental Program

Choose at least two subjects in the major that are designated as communication-intensive (CI-M) to fulfill the Communication Requirement.

A departmental program includes the following elements:
Between one and six subjects that also satisfy the GIRs. 2
180–198 additional units beyond the GIRs, which must include a minimum of 48 units of unrestricted electives. The "units beyond" total does not include ROTC subjects. However, the units associated with CI-M subjects are normally included in this calculation. 3
Each program is designed so it can be completed with a normal academic load—the equivalent of 8 to 8.5 subjects each year—for a total of 32–34 subjects. 4
Units in Major114-186
Units in Unrestricted Electives48-138
Units in Major That Also Satisfy the GIRs(12-72)
Total Units Beyond the GIRs Required for SB Degree180-198

The units for any subject that counts as one of the 17 GIR subjects cannot also be counted as units required beyond the GIRs.

1

Transfer students generally will graduate under the requirements that apply to the class they join when they enter MIT.

2

These subjects are taken from among REST subjects, Institute Laboratory subjects, and/or HASS subjects. Each degree chart specifies how GIR subjects are integrated into the program. Most programs include an overlap of 36 units, or three subjects.

3

Exception: If a CI-M subject is also one of the 17 GIR subjects in a student's program (such as a required Institute Laboratory subject), then the units associated with the subject will not be included in the "units beyond" calculation.

4

For the purpose of counting subjects, 6-unit subjects count as half-subjects: subjects of 9–15 units count as one subject; 18-unit subjects count as 1.5 subjects; and subjects of 21–24 units count as two subjects.

Science Requirement

MIT expects its graduates to have an understanding and appreciation of the basic concepts and methods of the physical and biological sciences. These concepts and methods are needed in most degree programs at the Institute. More important, they are an essential part of the background that MIT graduates bring to their roles as professionals and as broadly educated citizens in a world strongly influenced by science and technology.

Students begin with six science core subjects in mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry, and then add the Laboratory and Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirements. These requirements introduce basic elements of the scientific method: experimental foundations and techniques, mathematical analysis, and conceptual models for experimental facts. Important experimental as well as conceptual aspects are introduced by the chemistry and biology requirements and by the Laboratory Requirement. Mathematical methods common to much of science and technology are explored in the mathematics requirement. Basic concepts that underlie many physical phenomena are defined and elucidated in the physics and REST requirements.

In addition to a rigorous introduction to the sciences, these requirements are intended to stimulate and challenge each student to review critically his or her knowledge, and to explore alternative conceptual and mathematical formulations that may provide better explanations of natural phenomena or may lead to better applications of technology. The development of critical and constructive approaches to both theory and practice in science, engineering, and other professions is a central objective of the Institute's educational programs.

Biology

The Institute requirement in biology may be satisfied by one of five introductory subjects:

Biology (GIR)
7.012Introductory Biology 112
7.013Introductory Biology 212
7.014Introductory Biology 212
7.015Introductory Biology 112
7.016Introductory Biology 112
1

Offered in the fall term

2

Offered in the spring term

These five subjects cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. In addition, each subject has its own distinctive material.

Chemistry

The Institute requirement in chemistry may be satisfied by taking one of the following:

Chemistry (GIR)
3.091Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry12
5.111Principles of Chemical Science12
5.112Principles of Chemical Science12

Subject 3.091 is designed for students who are particularly interested in the chemistry of the solid state. Subjects 5.111 and 5.112 emphasize basic chemical principles and their applications. However, 5.112 is intended for students with a strong background in high school chemistry. The content of 5.111 and 5.112 is formally coordinated with more advanced subjects taught by the Department of Chemistry (e.g., 5.60 Thermodynamics and Kinetics and 5.12 Organic Chemistry I), although any one of the three GIR subjects (5.111, 5.112, or 3.091) may be used as the prerequisite for those more advanced subjects.

Mathematics

The Institute requires all students to complete single-variable calculus, denoted as Calculus I (GIR), and multivariable calculus, denoted as Calculus II (GIR).

Calculus I (GIR)
18.01Calculus12
18.01ACalculus12
Calculus II (GIR)
18.02Calculus12
18.02ACalculus12
18.022Calculus12

Students with advanced standing, advanced placement, or transfer credit for 18.01 may go directly into multivariable calculus. Two versions are offered in the fall term: 18.02, the basic version, and 18.022, a more theoretical version. Both 18.02 and 18.022 present calculus as it is used in science and engineering.

Students with a year of high school calculus may qualify for the accelerated sequence of 18.01A/18.02A, which covers the material in one and a half terms. See the subject descriptions for details about how each subject is taught within that timeframe. 

Students with advanced placement, advanced standing, or transfer credit for 18.01 lose it if they take 18.01, and receive 3 units of elective credit if they take 18.01A.

Physics

The Institute requirement in physics may be satisfied through several combinations of introductory physics subjects.

Physics I (GIR)
8.01Physics I12
8.01LPhysics I12
8.011Physics I12
8.012Physics I12
Physics II (GIR)
8.02Physics II12
8.021Physics II12
8.022Physics II12

Most students find the sequence of 8.01 and 8.02 suited to their needs. The sequence of 8.012 and 8.022 covers essentially the same subject matter as 8.01 and 8.02, but is more advanced mathematically; calculus is used freely from the beginning of the term. Subject 8.01L is offered for students who have had little exposure to physics with calculus in high school; it covers the same material as 8.01, but is taught over a longer interval that begins in the fall and continues through the end of January (IAP).

A student may combine a Physics I (GIR) subject in one sequence with a Physics II (GIR) subject in another to satisfy the requirement. However, under no circumstances may a student enroll in a Physics II (GIR) subject without having first received credit for a Physics I (GIR) subject.

Students who score a 5 on Parts I and II of the Physics C Advanced Placement test receive credit for 8.01. Students with advanced-placement or advanced-standing credit for 8.01 who elect to take 8.012 receive 6 units of elective credit in place of 8.01.

Communication Requirement

The Communication Requirement makes the development of effective writing and speaking an integral part of undergraduate education at the Institute. The Communication Requirement ensures that all undergraduates receive substantial instruction and practice in general expository writing and speaking and the forms of discourse common to their professional fields.

The Communication Requirement consists of four communication-intensive (CI) subjects sequenced throughout a student's undergraduate career. Students take two CI subjects in the humanities, arts, and social sciences (CI-H) and two CI subjects in their major program (CI-M). Students must maintain a minimum pace in completing their CI subjects in order to remain in good standing with the Communication Requirement. They must complete one of their CI subjects by the end of the first year, two by the end of the second, three by the end of the third year, and four by graduation.

Students must earn a passing grade to receive CI credit, and CI subjects must be taken for a letter grade. Therefore, students may not use their junior-senior P/D/F option for these subjects. Only one CI-H subject per term may be counted toward completion of the Communication Requirement. However, students may receive credit for more than one CI-M subject in the same term or a CI-H and a CI-M completed concurrently.

More information on CI-H subjects is included in the section of the Bulletin on the HASS Requirement. Specifics on the CI-M subjects for each major appear in the descriptions of the individual undergraduate degree programs. Additional information can be found on the Communication Requirement website.

The general structure of the Requirement is described below.

First year. Students must pass one CI-H or CI-HW subject by the end of their second term at the Institute.

Before entering MIT, all students are asked to take the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE). The FEE is a placement tool used to determine the best program for each undergraduate within the Communication Requirement. Students who receive a score of "CI-H/CI-HW Required" on the FEE or receive a score of 5 on either the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test or the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Test or receive a score of 7 on the English A or B Higher-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam have the option of taking any CI-H subject, including a writing-focused CI-H subject (CI-HW).

All other students must take one of the designated Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences—Writing Focused (CI-HW) subjects as their first CI subject.

Students who do not complete a CI-H/CI-HW subject in their first term at MIT may not advance to sophomore standing in their second term.

Second year. Students must pass at least two CI subjects by the end of their fourth term at the Institute. In most cases, these first two CI subjects will satisfy the CI-H portion of the requirement, providing a foundation in written and oral exposition.

Third year. Students must pass at least three of the four required CI subjects by the end of their sixth term. Most students will take their first CI-M subject as juniors and begin to develop the communication skills specific to the professional and academic culture of their discipline.

Before receiving an SB degree. Students must complete two CI-H subjects and the two CI-M subjects specified for their SB degree program prior to receiving their degree.

Noncompliance. Students who fall behind the minimum pace of completion for the Communication Requirement are in noncompliance. At the end of each term, the names of noncompliant students are forwarded to the Committee on Academic Performance, which may take further action to bring such students into good academic standing.

Double majors. Students who wish to complete two majors must pass two CI-H subjects and complete the CI-M subjects that fulfill the communication component of each major. Normally, these students will take four CI-M subjects, that is, two in each major program. In certain cases a CI-M subject may be common to both departments and may be used to fulfill the communication component of two majors simultaneously.

Information about the Communication Requirement. For more detailed information about CI subjects or for assistance with any aspect of the Communication Requirement, including petitions, visit the Communication Requirement website. Students may also contact the Office of the Communication Requirement to discuss their individual circumstances.

HASS Requirement

MIT provides a substantial and varied program in the humanities, arts, and social sciences (HASS) that forms an essential part of the education of every undergraduate. This program is intended to ensure that students develop a broad understanding of human society, its traditions, and its institutions. The requirement enables students to deepen their knowledge in a variety of cultural and disciplinary areas and encourages the development of sensibilities and skills vital to an effective and satisfying life as an individual, a professional, and a member of society.

More specifically, the objectives of the program are to develop skills in communication, both oral and written; knowledge of human cultures, past and present, and of the ways in which they have influenced one another; awareness of concepts, ideas, and systems of thought that underlie human activities; understanding of the social, political, and economic framework of different societies; and, finally, sensitivity to modes of communication and self-expression in the arts. Work in these areas will, where appropriate, display a special concern with the relation of science and technology to society.

The student's program in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) is based on the following Institute requirements:

Minimum. Every candidate for a bachelor's degree must have completed a minimum of eight subjects in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, including distribution and concentration components. Subjects must be taken for a letter grade and students may not use their junior-senior P/D/F option. Two HASS subjects that are designated Communication Intensive may also be used toward the Communication Requirement.

Distribution. Three of the eight subjects must be selected from designated categories: humanities, arts, and social sciences.

  • Humanities: Humanities subjects describe and interpret human achievements, problems, and historical changes at individual as well as societal levels. Although humanist inquiry employs a variety of methods, such disciplines as history, literature, and philosophy typically produce their accounts of cultural accomplishments through close analysis of texts and ideas: contemporary and historical, personal and communal, imaginative and reflective.
  • Arts: Arts subjects emphasize the skilled craft, practices, and standards of excellence involved in creating representations through images, words, sounds, and movement (e.g., sculptures, stories, plays, music, dance, films, or video games). Although arts subjects also engage in critical interpretation and historical analysis, they focus more centrally on expressive and aesthetic techniques and tools, such as the uses of rhythm, texture, and line.
  • Social Sciences: Social Science subjects engage in theory-driven as well as empirical exploration and analysis of human transactions. They address the mental and behavioral activities of individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and nations. Social science disciplines such as anthropology, economics, linguistics, political science, and psychology seek generalizable interpretations and explanations of human interaction.

The three subjects may be taken at any stage of the student's undergraduate career, although students are encouraged to complete their distribution by the end of their junior year. Over 600 subjects may be used to fulfill this requirement. For a complete list of the subjects in each category, consult the Subjects.

Concentration. Each student should designate a field of concentration, in consultation with a designated advisor in the field, by submitting a Concentration Proposal Form no later than the end of the first week of classes in the second term of junior year. Concentration requirements are set by each field and consist of either three or four subjects. One of the subjects that counts toward the distribution may also be designated as a concentration subject with the permission of the concentration advisor. Upon completion of all of the subjects noted on the Proposal Form, each student should submit a Concentration Completion Form no later than the end of the first week of classes of the final term prior to graduation. For more information, visit the HASS Requirement website.

Currently, the following fields of concentration are offered:

  • African and African Diaspora Studies
  • American Studies
  • Ancient and Medieval Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology and Archaeological Science
  • Art, Culture and Technology
  • Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies
  • Comparative Media Studies
  • Development Economics
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Global Studies and Languages
    • Chinese
    • ELS
    • French
    • German
    • Japanese
    • Portuguese
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Other Languages
    • Studies in International Literature and Cultures
    • Theory of Languages
  • History
  • History of Architecture, Art, and Design
  • Latin American and Latino/a Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Theater Arts
  • Urban Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies
  • Writing

In individual cases, a special concentration may be arranged with advance approval. For more information, visit the HASS Requirement website.

Electives. The remainder of the eight-subject requirement, above and beyond the Distribution and Concentration, may be fulfilled by subjects from any distribution category or by subjects that are designated as HASS electives.

HASS Information. For detailed information on distribution subjects and on the concentration requirements in any field, and for assistance with any aspect of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, including petitioning for a substitution, visit the HASS Requirement website. Students may also contact the Office of the HASS Requirement to discuss their individual circumstances.

REST Requirement

Through Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement subjects, students can broaden and deepen the educational foundation in basic science begun in the first-year program and further the understanding of scientific inquiry. These subjects are designed to give students the opportunity to proceed further in areas already studied, or to explore other areas of potential interest.

REST subjects vary in approach and emphasis. Some give a systematic introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles of a field; others illustrate through examples some of the attitudes, concerns, and methods that characterize professional work in the field. In general, REST subjects are not too specialized, too advanced, or devoted chiefly to instruction in a particular skill. Students typically take REST subjects in the second year, although with the proper prerequisites they may begin taking them in the first year.

Students meet the REST Requirement by taking two subjects from the list below. Of the subjects used to fulfill the requirement, the student can take no more than one in his or her department. However, subjects designated with a J that are offered jointly with another department do not fall under the departmental limitation.

In many cases, subjects required by a Departmental Program for the SB degree are also on the lists of REST and Laboratory Requirement subjects. Thus, students who follow a particular Departmental Program may simultaneously satisfy some part of these requirements.

REST Requirement Subjects

1.00Engineering Computation and Data Science12
1.000Computer Programming for Engineering Applications12
1.050Solid Mechanics12
2.001Mechanics and Materials I12
2.003[J]Dynamics and Control I12
2.086Numerical Computation for Mechanical Engineers12
3.012Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering15
3.021Introduction to Modeling and Simulation12
3.046Thermodynamics of Materials12
4.42[J]Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings12
4.440[J]Building Structural Systems I12
5.07[J]Biological Chemistry I12
5.12Organic Chemistry I12
5.60Thermodynamics and Kinetics12
5.61Physical Chemistry12
6.00Introduction to Computer Science and Programming12
6.002Circuits and Electronics12
6.003Signals and Systems12
6.004Computation Structures12
6.007Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Solar Cells12
6.042[J]Mathematics for Computer Science12
7.03Genetics12
7.05General Biochemistry12
8.03Physics III12
8.033Relativity12
8.04Quantum Physics I12
8.20Introduction to Special Relativity9
8.21Physics of Energy12
8.282[J]Introduction to Astronomy9
8.286The Early Universe12
9.01Introduction to Neuroscience12
10.301Fluid Mechanics12
12.001Introduction to Geology12
12.002Introduction to Geophysics and Planetary Science12
12.003Introduction to Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics12
12.102Environmental Earth Science12
12.400The Solar System12
12.425[J]Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques12
14.30Introduction to Statistical Methods in Economics12
15.053Optimization Methods in Business Analytics12
15.0791Introduction to Applied Probability12
16.001Unified Engineering: Materials and Structures12
18.03Differential Equations12
18.032Differential Equations12
18.05Introduction to Probability and Statistics12
18.06Linear Algebra12
18.600Probability and Random Variables12
18.700Linear Algebra12
20.110[J]Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems12
22.01Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation12
22.02Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics12
22.071Electronics, Signals, and Measurement12
IDS.045[J]System Safety12
The following combinations of six-unit subjects also count toward the REST Requirement:
1.018A[J]
1.018B[J]
Fundamentals of Ecology I
and Fundamentals of Ecology II
12
6.0001
6.0002
Introduction to Computer Science Programming in Python
and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science
12
6.041A
6.041B
Introduction to Probability I
and Introduction to Probability II
12

Laboratory Requirement

The Institute Laboratory Requirement consists of subjects that require a major commitment of the student’s attention in comprehensive projects rather than stand-alone experiments or exercises. The primary emphasis of an Institute Laboratory subject is to stimulate a student’s resourcefulness, planning skills, and analysis of observations. Institute Laboratory subjects combine ideas, methods and techniques that would be familiar to a professional in the subject’s discipline. While a Laboratory subject may teach specific techniques, the techniques themselves are not the primary emphasis. Under faculty supervision, the student is responsible for planning and designing the experiments or projects, including selecting measurement techniques, executing the plan, analyzing results, and presenting their conclusions. Details of the elements that comprise an Institute Laboratory subject differ between disciplines.

The Laboratory Requirement is met by successfully completing subjects designed and approved for this purpose. Each Institute Laboratory subject provides a designated number of units toward the Laboratory Requirement. Such subjects may be taken in any combination to fulfill the Requirement so long as the student completes 12 units in sum designated as counting towards the Laboratory Requirement. Any units taken as part of these subjects beyond the 12 needed for completion of the Laboratory Requirement will be counted as units beyond the GIRs. At least a portion of the Laboratory Requirement is suggested to be fulfilled in the first two years. 

Laboratory Requirement Subjects

1.101Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I6
1.102Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design II6
1.106Environmental Fluid Transport Processes and Hydrology Laboratory6
1.107Environmental Chemistry and Biology Laboratory6
2.008Design and Manufacturing II (6 units of laboratory credit)12
2.017[J]Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems (6 units of laboratory credit)12
2.671Measurement and Instrumentation12
3.014Materials Laboratory12
4.411[J]D-Lab Schools: Building Technology Laboratory12
5.310Laboratory Chemistry12
5.351Fundamentals of Spectroscopy4
5.352Synthesis of Coordination Compounds and Kinetics4
5.353Fabrication of a Polymeric Light-Emitting Device4
5.363Organic Structure Determination4
6.008Introduction to Inference12
6.009Fundamentals of Programming12
6.01Introduction to EECS via Robotics12
6.02Introduction to EECS via Communications Networks12
6.03Introduction to EECS via Medical Technology12
6.101Introductory Analog Electronics Laboratory12
6.111Introductory Digital Systems Laboratory12
6.115Microcomputer Project Laboratory12
6.129[J]Biological Circuit Engineering Laboratory12
6.131Power Electronics Laboratory12
6.141[J]Robotics: Science and Systems12
6.161Modern Optics Project Laboratory12
6.163Strobe Project Laboratory12
6.182Psychoacoustics Project Laboratory12
7.02[J]Introduction to Experimental Biology and Communication (12 units of laboratory credit)18
7.102Laboratory in Molecular Biology6
8.13Experimental Physics I (12 units of laboratory credit)18
9.12Experimental Molecular Neurobiology12
9.17Systems Neuroscience Laboratory12
9.59[J]Laboratory in Psycholinguistics12
9.63Laboratory in Visual Cognition12
11.188Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory12
12.110ASedimentary Environments6
12.110BSedimentology in the Field9
12.115Field Geology9
12.116Analysis of Geologic Data (3 units of laboratory credit)6
12.119Analytical Techniques for Studying Environmental and Geologic Samples12
12.307Weather and Climate Laboratory (12 units of laboratory credit)12
12.335Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry12
12.410[J]Observational Techniques of Optical Astronomy (12 units of laboratory credit)15
14.31Data Analysis for Social Scientists12
14.32Econometric Data Science12
14.33Research and Communication in Economics: Topics, Methods, and Implementation12
15.075[J]Statistical Thinking and Data Analysis12
15.301Managerial Psychology Laboratory (12 units of laboratory credit)15
15.417Laboratory in Investments (12 units of laboratory credit)15
15.418Laboratory in Corporate Finance (12 units of laboratory credit)15
16.622Experimental Projects II12
16.821Flight Vehicle Development (12 units of laboratory credit)18
16.831[J]Space Systems Development (12 units of laboratory credit)18
17.803Political Science Laboratory (12 units of laboratory credit)15
18.821Project Laboratory in Mathematics12
20.109Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering (12 units of laboratory credit)15
22.09Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection12
24.909Field Methods in Linguistics12

Physical Education Requirement

The mission of the Physical Education General Institute Requirement is to provide learners with the instruction and skills necessary to lead healthy, active lifestyles and to foster both personal growth and a sense of community through physical activity. The program enables students to engage in physical activity while they are involved in rigorous academic study. Major emphasis is placed on the development of skills that can be used for lifetime fitness and wellness. Students receive a strong background in the fundamentals of the activity selected. Instruction is offered in fitness, wellness, individual and team sports, martial arts, dance, aquatics, and outdoor adventure activities. Information on classes, including descriptions of current offerings, is available at the Physical Education website.

To satisfy the Physical Education Requirement, undergraduates entering MIT as freshmen must take four physical education courses (for eight points) and complete the swimming requirement. Transfer students need to complete four points (two courses) as well as the swimming requirement. A student may repeat a course at any level and receive points. The swimming requirement can be satisfied by taking a beginning swim class or by passing the swim test during orientation week in the fall. Freshmen are expected to complete the swim test on fall registration day or, if they cannot swim, register during the swim test for a first-quarter swim course. Visit the website to see a video of the swim test.

In addition to taking traditional physical education courses, students may earn physical education points in the following ways:

  • Varsity sports: Four points are awarded to players for each year of competition.
  • ROTC Programs (Air Force, Army, Navy): Two points are awarded per year of ROTC participation up to a maximum of four points.
  • Approved personal training, private swim lessons, and group exercise classes offered through the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Students find it best to complete their four courses during their freshman year, and they are responsible for completing the Physical Education Requirement by the end of their sophomore year. In general, students must attend 11 sessions/classes to receive the two points that are awarded for a physical education course. Students who do not complete the entire Physical Education Requirement by the end of their second year (typically the sophomore year) must submit a plan for a time extension with the Physical Education Office.

Physical education courses are offered in two six-week quarters during the fall term and during the spring term. A fifth "quarter" is offered during the January Independent Activities Period. There is also a summer session. Two points are awarded for each course per quarter.

Physical education registration is open to undergraduates and graduate students. Registration is first come, first serve and is conducted online through the Physical Education Office. Information on registration, including registration dates, can be obtained through on the Physical Education website.

Physical education courses offered last year included Group Exercise (Barre Fitness, Cycling, Kickboxing, Pilates, PiYo, Step, Yoga, Zumba), Archery, Backpacking/Hiking, Badminton, Boot Camp for Athletes, Broomball, Dance (Ballroom, Hip Hop, Irish, Middle Eastern, Tango, Salsa, Swing, Square), Fencing, Figure Skating, Fitness/First Aid/CPR, Fitness/Nutrition, Fitness/Stress Management, Fitness/Sport Nutrition, Golf, Ice Hockey, Karate, Kayaking, Pickleball, Pistol, Rifle, Tchoukball, Top Ropes, Tsegball, Running/Jogging, Sailing, SCUBA, Self Defense, Sport Taekwondo, Skating, Skiing/Snowboarding, Soccer (indoor), Tennis, Top Rope Climbing, Volleyball, and Weight Training.

Students must wear appropriate attire for activity classes. Goggles are recommended for swim courses, and non-marking court shoes are required for squash and tennis. Most courses provide all necessary equipment, but students must supply sticks for ice hockey courses. Lab fees are required for some courses. Undergraduate and graduate students must activate their MIT ID card annually to gain access to all MIT sport facilities.

For further information contact the Physical Education Office, Room W35-297X, 617-253-4291, or visit the department's website.