Frequently Asked Questions



Student Support:

Q: I am sick and can’t take my exam or finish a problem set. What should I do?

A: Undergraduates should contact Student Support Services at 617-253-4861 for official notification to their instructors, and help requesting extensions, etc. Graduate students should contact the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) at 617-253-4860 for advice.

Also, while MIT Medical does not write “sick notes,” you should see a clinician there to get medical attention.

Q: I have an exam conflict or need an extension or have to make up a test. What should I do?

A: You can discuss your situation directly with your professor(s). Undergraduates who need assistance or do not feel comfortable approaching their professor(s), should contact Student Support Services for assistance at 617-253-4861. Graduate students should contact the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) at 617-253-4860 for advice.

Q: I am having a difficult time academically, emotionally, or adjusting to school/campus. Whom can I call?

A: Please contact Student Support Services at 617-253-4861.

Q: My son/daughter is having a difficult time academically, emotionally, adjusting to school/campus, or is not communicating. Whom can I call?

A: Please contact Student Support Services at 617-253-4861.

Q: Where can I get tutoring help at MIT?

A: There are many tutorial services available at MIT, which are described on the Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) website.

Q: I am an incoming/current international student. What services does MIT offer for international students?

A: Please visit the International Students Office website for details on all the services provided to international students.

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Q: Where can I get a copy of my transcript?

A: The Registrar’s office handles transcripts.

Q: I need someone to sign my “Statement from the Dean” form for graduate school. What should I do?

A: The Registrar’s Office can coordinate completion of any Dean's Certifications free of charge.

Q: What is MIT’s grading system?

A: Details on MIT’s grading system can be found on the Registrar’s office website.

Q: What courses of study are offered at MIT and by what departments?

A: View a list of MIT schools, departments, and courses of study.

Q: I dropped a class but am being charged for it. What should I do?

A: Contact the Registrar's Office to discuss the deadlines and policies for dropped classes.

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Thesis Hold:

Q: I am an undergraduate and I have patentable material in my thesis. How do I get a thesis hold?

A:  A brief thesis hold, when granted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC), allows a student to delay public access to research findings in order to pursue patent applications or explore other business opportunities associated with the work. Please note: OVC cannot hold your thesis from submission to the libraries.

A request for a thesis hold must be made jointly by the student and advisor and directed to OVC via the Thesis Hold Request Form. The form, signed by the student and the advisor, should be brought to the Office of the Vice Chancellor in 7-133. If the request is granted and signed by the Vice Chancellor, the form should be sent directly to the Institute Archives and Special Collections (14N-118) through interdepartmental mail. The Archives is responsible for managing thesis holds and will make sure the thesis is placed on hold and released at the appropriate time. Additional informarmation about thesis holds and related policies is available on the Thesis Specifications info sheet

OVC acts with power in approving thesis holds and requesting that the MIT Archives hold a thesis from public access for up to three months. OVC will not approve a petition for a thesis hold beyond three months. A request for a longer period must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost.

Please note: the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) student page provides details and additional forms you need to submit related to your patentable discovery. What you need to submit will depend on whether you will share the patent for your work with MIT or request that MIT waive the right to your discovery. Please contact the TLO if you need clarification on the process and what form to fill out.

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Admissions and Financial Aid:

Q: How do I apply to MIT?

A: The MIT Admissions website has a wealth of information about applying to MIT, whether you are seeking admission as an undergraduate student, transfer student, or international student.

Information about applying to MIT for graduate school is available on the Graduate Admissions website.

Q: What classes should I take in high school to get into MIT?

A: There is no magic formula for getting into MIT. However, the Admissions Office does recommend certain courses, so that prospective students have a strong academic foundation when they arrive at MIT. For details, applicants should review the How to Prepare page on the MIT Admissions website.

Q: How do I review my admissions records?

A: Current undergraduate students can go to the Admissions Office in 3-108 to request access to their records. Your MIT ID is required.

Q: I was previously enrolled at MIT and would like information on returning from a leave of absence. Who can help me?

A: Undergraduate students returning from a voluntary, medical, or required leave of absence are should contact Student Support Services. Call 617-253-4861 or stop by in room 5-104 for help with the return process.

Graduate students returning from a medical withdrawal should visit Graduate Policies and Procedures to review the details of the process. Students returning from any other type of leave of absence should contact the Graduate Admissions Office.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid? Whom can I talk to about my financial aid package?

A: For all questions related to financial aid, please visit the financial aid website.

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Q: When is Commencement? How do I get tickets, and where can I park?

A: For all matters concerning MIT Commencement, please visit the Commencement website.

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Visiting MIT

Q: I am a student/educator/parent/interested person who would like to visit MIT. Whom can I contact?

A: Please contact the Events and Information Center.
You can also get information about tours at MIT on the Events and Information Center site.

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Independent Activities Period (IAP):

Q: How do I sign up to take an IAP course?

A: For all questions about MIT’s Independent Activities Period, please visit the IAP website.

Q: How do I sign up to teach an IAP course?

A: For all questions about MIT’s Independent Activities Period, please visit the IAP website.

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Online Classes

Q: Does MIT offer online classes? Are they free?

A: Yes, MIT offers free online classes through two initiatives:

  • OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content.
  • Co-founded by MIT and Harvard, edX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations.

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Hiring MIT Students:

Q: I am a prospective employer who would like information on job fairs or on how to hire a student. Whom should I contact?

A: Prospective employers should contact the Office of Global Education and Career Development at 617-253-4733. The GECD website provides information for prospective employers.

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K-12 Programs:

Q: What programs does MIT offer for K-12 students and/or teachers, either in the summer or during the school year?

A: The MIT K-12 Outreach Directory provides detailed information for both students and teachers.

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PDF icon ThesisHoldRequestForm-DUE2013.pdf113.39 KB