First-Year Academics

Typical First-Year Schedule


All MIT students must complete the General Institute Requirements, which include a core of science subjects, some of which should be taken during the first year.

Depending on your preparation, incoming credit and advance standing exam scores (consult your Online Advising Folder), a typical first-year curriculum at MIT might look like the following:

FALL = 48 units (plus 9 units of discovery‑focused subjects and related exceptions)

  • Chemistry: 5.111, 5.112, or 3.091
  • Biology: 7.012, 7.015 or 7.016
  • Physics I: 8.01, 8.01L, or 8.012 Or Physics II: 8.02, 8.022
  • Calculus I: 18.01, 18.01A-18.02A; or Calculus II: 18.02 or 18.022
  • HASS, or Communication Intensive subject (CI-H or CI-HW)
  • Electives:
  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION: PE points do not count toward the credit limit

IAP = 12 units

  • 8.01L finishes (6 units)
  • Finish 18.02A (6 units)
  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION: PE points do not count toward the credit limit

SPRING = Up to 60 units (plus 9 units of discovery‑focused subjects and related exceptions) allowed; 48 units typical

  • Biology: 7.013 or 7.014
  • Chemistry: 5.111, 5.112, or 3.091
  • Physics II: 8.02 or 8.022
  • Mathematics: 18.02 or finish 18.02A (if not completed in IAP) or 18.024
  • CI or CI-HW: MUST be completed by the second semester.
    • If CI REQUIREMENT is done: ANY HASS
  • Assuming all prerequisites are met: Higher level or exploratory subject, e.g., 18.03, 18.06, 5.12, 5.13, 5.60, 2.001, 10.10, 6.01, 6.02, 16.00, 2.00B, 3.001, 10.00, 7.002, 8.282, and 12.409, etc. See the Online Subject Listing and Schedule for information on other classes that will be offered.
  • Electives: discovery or exploratory class, or UROP
  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION: PE points do not count toward the credit limit

View the General Institute Requirements page for a complete list of the GIR's. 

Planning your Fall Schedule

As you begin to plan for the classes you will take this fall, consider using a tool like the student-created CourseRoad site to develop plan for the classes you will take first year and beyond. Using the tool, you can import and export roads to a file and more closely with your advisor to plan your class path via interactive conversation.