Study at Other Universities

There are a number of opportunities for MIT undergraduates to study at other universities, including study abroad, domestic study away, and cross-registration programs with local universities. Students who spend a term or a year studying abroad or at another US university find that in addition to the intellectual benefit, they are enriched by day-to-day exposure to different cultural and/or social experiences, and upon successful completion of these courses typically receive transfer credit. Through the cross-registration programs students may take subjects not offered at MIT.

Study Abroad Opportunities

MISTI is the one-stop office for information on all MIT global education opportunities, helping students identify and integrate global opportunities into their MIT experience. MISTI offers comprehensive support to undergraduates interested in and preparing for study abroad.

Exchange and direct-enroll study abroad programs are available, offering students a wide range of program options. Examples of such opportunities include the University of Oxford, Tokyo Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, and Imperial College London, as well as many other opportunities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. If a student is interested in a study abroad opportunity that is not pre-approved, MISTI can work with that student to approve new academically strong programs. It is most common to study abroad during the junior year; it is possible to participate in a study abroad program in the spring semester of sophomore year or, in some cases, in the senior year. Study abroad during the summer is also an option for any undergraduate year. Students should consult MISTI regarding the requirements and deadlines for particular programs of interest.

Students interested in studying abroad should meet with a staff member at MISTI who can help students identify a program that best fits them academically and professionally. While on an approved study abroad program during the fall and/or spring term(s), a student maintains full-time student status at MIT. They are required to earn at least 36 transferrable units. Students will be asked to work out their academic plans with a faculty advisor and appropriate transfer credit examiner(s) in the department. They must complete a Worksheet for Planning Study Abroad/Domestic Study Away [PDF] in order to gain approval for study abroad.

Financial aid is portable for semester or year study abroad programs. Students who receive financial aid at MIT are advised to discuss their study abroad plans with the Student Financial Services Office at least one term prior to the term in which they wish to commence study abroad. This will help students develop the best possible financial plans for their time abroad.

Numerous institutions offer programs abroad taught in English. It is possible to study in a foreign country without prior knowledge of the host country's language. However, a working command of the language can add greatly to the overseas experience. Even a student without prior language skills can usually achieve a good level of proficiency in a foreign language by the beginning of the junior year if the student begins language study by spring term of the first year of undergraduate study.

With proper planning and preparation, students who successfully complete an approved program of study abroad receive transfer credit toward their MIT degree. While at the host institution, students must arrange to have an official transcript sent directly to the MIT Registrar's Office showing coursework and final grade(s) completed at the outside institution. Upon return, they must submit a completed Request for Additional Credit Form, signed by the appropriate transfer credit examiner(s), and the SHASS Dean's Office, if applicable.

For further information, contact MISTI or visit the MISTI website.

Domestic Study Away

To qualify for Domestic Study Away status, students must show that their proposed program of study draws upon resources available at the outside institution that are not available at MIT or the institutions for which MIT has cross-registration privileges. For further information, contact MISTI.

Cross-registration Programs

Subjects taken through cross-registration programs with Harvard and Wellesley may be used to fulfill departmental major and minor requirements with the permission of a faculty advisor.

When appropriate, cross-registration subjects taken for a letter grade at Harvard and Wellesley may count toward fulfillment of the HASS Requirement; in most cases, students must submit a petition to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement. Subjects may be designated as part of the Concentration for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the discretion of the designated advisor in that field of concentration.

Harvard University

MIT undergraduates are permitted to take subjects at Harvard University (except Harvard Business School, Harvard Extension School, and Harvard Summer School) for degree credit at no extra charge. This cooperative arrangement is not applicable to the summer session or IAP. In general, MIT students take subjects at Harvard which are not offered regularly at MIT. Cross-registration is limited to upper-level students who must be regularly enrolled at MIT and paying full tuition for the term in question. No more than half of a student’s registration (up to a maximum of 24 units) may be taken at Harvard in any one term.

Where appropriate, Harvard subjects can count toward fulfillment of the HASS Requirement; in most cases, students must submit a petition to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement. Letter grades earned in Harvard subjects appear on the transcripts of MIT undergraduates. Detailed information about the Harvard cross-registration option for undergraduates is available online.

Wellesley College

MIT students may cross-register for any courses at Wellesley College if they present the necessary prerequisites. This exchange program is not applicable to IAP or the summer session. Wellesley is a small, liberal arts college for women located on a 500-acre campus 17 miles west of Cambridge.

Through the Wellesley Education Department, MIT students may earn Massachusetts certification to teach at the elementary or high school level. This certification is recognized by many other states.

Students generally cannot substitute Wellesley subjects for MIT Science Requirement subjects (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Calculus) or Institute Laboratory Requirement subjects. They may take Wellesley subjects to satisfy Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirements, but need the approval of the Committee on Curricula.

When appropriate, Wellesley subjects can count toward fulfillment of the HASS Requirement; in most cases, students must submit a petition to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement.

Wellesley subjects may be used to fulfill departmental major and minor requirements with the permission of a faculty advisor.

For upper-level students, letter grades will be recorded for Wellesley subjects, unless the student designates a Wellesley subject as one of his or her two electives to be graded P, D, or F or uses the flexible Pass/No Record grading option. Grades for first-year students will be converted to the MIT first-year grading system.

Students may take physical education classes at Wellesley on a space-available basis and may apply these classes toward their MIT physical education requirements. MIT students receive full library privileges at the Wellesley College Library.

Wellesley operates free weekday bus service between the two campuses. The service is open to everyone with an MIT or Wellesley identification card, but priority will be given to cross-registered students. The ride is about 50 minutes each way.

Detailed information on registration procedures is available online. The Exchange Office at Wellesley is located in Room 339C, Green Hall, 781-283-2325.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

MIT undergraduates may cross-register at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), a highly respected art school in Boston with studio classes such as drawing, painting, and printmaking that are not offered for credit at MIT.

Classes taken at MassArt through the cross-registration program are graded P, D, or F and may not be used to satisfy Institute, departmental, or minor requirements. They may be used toward unrestricted elective credit. Only one subject from the school may be taken in a semester. This program is not applicable to IAP or the summer session.

Students must complete a cross-registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, Room 5-117, by the deadline set by the MIT Registrar. Information about MassArt cross-registration is available online.