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Our most frequently asked questions about the Advanced Study Program.



I do not yet have my bachelor's degree. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, you cannot apply to the Advanced Study Program without a Bachelor's degree.

How do I find out what classes are available?

The fall semester schedule of classes is released in late April, and the spring semester schedule is released in late November. You can find the current course catalog at the MIT Subject Listing & Schedule page, which will give you an idea of classes offered. Check the symbols help page for definitions.

Should I contact the instructors if the class description states the prerequisite is “Permission of instructor”?

No, ASP applicants should not directly contact the instructors. The Advanced Study Program works with all departments to gain approval for our applicants to enroll in their classes. Contacting instructors directly may result in your being denied admission to ASP, or having your admission revoked.


Who should I contact with questions?

Contact advancedstudy@mit.edu with any questions.

Is the Advanced Study Program a degree program?

No, the Advanced Study Program is not a degree program. However, many students attend classes to strengthen their future applications to degree programs. Fellows will earn MIT academic credit and have an MIT transcript after taking classes.

Will I receive MIT credit?


Will I receive an MIT transcript?

Yes, you will have an MIT transcript. You will be able to order an official copy of you transcript through the MIT Registrar's Office.

Is MIT credit transferable to degree programs at MIT or another school?

Many other schools and programs accept MIT credit. However, each institution or program determines whether that credit is accepted and how it may be used. If you apply and are accepted into an MIT degree program, that program will decide if prior classes taken while an ASP Fellow are transferable.

How long can I stay in the program?

Admission is on a semester-by-semester and class-by-class basis. Continuing in the Advanced Study Program is dependent on maintaining a minimum grade of a B in each class to be considered for re-admittance into the program. ASP Fellows who earn at least a B in each class and who remain in good financial standing may be considered for following semesters. Fellows who wish to continue with the program must complete an application for each successive semester but may re-use certain required materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc) if approved by the Program.

How many classes may I take?

Students attending MIT part-time can take one class (up to 12 units of credit) or two classes (up to 24 units of credit). Full-time ASP Fellows register for three or four classes, which is between 36 to 48 units of credit. ASP Fellows may not take more than 48 units of credit in one semester. International students who require U.S. student visas must be enrolled in a minimum of 36 units of credit.

How do I calculate the units of credit for a class?

In the MIT Catalog, under the number and title of a class, are “Units” with three numbers separated by dashes. Add these three numbers together and you have the number of units of credit for the class. The numbers indicate a subject's time distribution. The first is for recitation and lecture; the second number is hours of laboratory, design, or fieldwork; and the third number is the number of hours of homework or preparation per week. Added together, these numbers equal the total credit for a class.

Academic Planning

Can I pursue an MIT degree after the Advanced Study Program?

Yes. Some Fellows have later earned MIT degrees. To be admitted to a degree program, Fellows must apply to the department of choice. Each department makes their own acceptance decisions.

How long is a semester?

A semester at MIT lasts 16 weeks. Fall semester begins in early September; spring semester begins in early February. Check the academic calendar for exact dates.

Can I take business courses at the Sloan School of Management?

There are limits on registration in Sloan classes (all classes numbered 15.xxx). Some Sloan classes are available only to Sloan degree students. Sloan classes that require Sloan Course Bidding (as noted in the course catalog) are not open to ASP Fellows. Enrollment also depends on meeting prerequisites and class size limits. Part-time applicants may apply to take one Sloan class. Full-time Advanced Study Program Fellows can take up to 50 percent of their units of credit at Sloan.

How do I pre-register for classes?

ASP fellows register on registration day. The Advanced Study Program team sends registration information to all Fellows before registration day.

Who is my advisor?

The Advanced Study Program director is the graduate advisor for ASP Fellows.  The director is available to meet with Fellows as needed. Fellows are required to stay in touch with the ASP director regarding their progress and in particular to notify the director of any change in study plan or other academic issues. At times, full-time students may also choose to work with a faculty advisor. Please see the ASP director for more information.

What if I’m not sure which classes to take?

Fellows can email, call, or meet with the ASP director at any time for advice on their program. MIT allows students to add and drop classes during the first two weeks of the semester. You can also look up classes you are interested in on the MIT Open Courseware website. If the class is listed, you can browse the syllabus and get a better sense of what the class offers.

Can I conduct research at MIT?

It is very rare for an Advanced Study Program Fellow to take part in research while they are at MIT. Students who are able to arrange for a research project are ASP Fellows for a year or more. Research requires special arrangements and depends on the availability of a faculty member to supervise the research. It’s helpful if the faculty member is in your field of interest and is familiar with your work through coursework or other contacts. Interested Fellows should discuss the process of setting up a research project with the director of ASP.

Does the Advanced Study Program offer online classes?

MIT doesn’t offer online classes for units of credit at this time. All classes taken for units of credit are held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If you are interested in MIT online classes and materials, you can look at MIT’s Open Courseware and MITx and edX.

Is the Advanced Study Program a study abroad program?

For applicants who are currently enrolled in graduate degree programs at other schools, the Advanced Study Program (ASP) is similar to a study abroad program in many ways. Students can enroll in ASP full-time for a single semester, and are eligible to live in on-campus housing (if space permits). ASP students are considered non-degree students but with full student privileges and accepted students receive traditional MIT class credits that may be accepted by their home institution.


Do my transcripts have to be originals?

Yes, transcripts must be originals and in English. Transcripts may be mailed, or your university can send an electronic copy of your transcript to advancedstudy@mit.edu. If your institution does not provide English transcripts, you must have them translated and certified by an accredited translation service, and both the originals and translation must be submitted.

Physical transcripts may be mailed to:

MIT Professional Education
Attn: Advanced Study Program
700 Technology Square, Building NE48-200
Cambridge, MA 02139

Who can serve as a recommender?

Recommendations are accepted from past professors or work-related colleagues, such as a manager, who can speak to your ability to do MIT-level work. Your recommender should provide a candid evaluation of your ability to work independently and under pressure, and an assessment of your writing ability, responsibility, and relationships with supervisors, co-workers, and others. Please also ask your recommender to clarify how long, and in what context, they have known you.

Can my recommendation be sent by email?

When you apply online, you will have the option of sending an automatic request to your recommender’s email address. They will be provided with a link to upload their recommendation. If you prefer, you can ask your recommenders to send a recommendation by email with the subject line “Recommendation for (your name)” to advancedstudy@mit.edu. 

I have not completed an undergraduate degree – can I apply?

Individuals who do not yet have their undergraduate degree are not eligible to apply to the Advanced Study Program. 

Is there an interview?

No. Prospective fellows are welcome to contact the director before applying if they have questions or would like advice on their program.

Is financial aid available?

No financial aid or scholarships are available. Applicants should secure sponsorship or funding before applying.

Can I pay my own tuition?

Fellows can pay their own tuition, or it may be paid by a company sponsor, scholarship, or other outside funding source. Payment of tuition is due prior to the start of classes, except for MIT staff who are Tuition Assistance Plan eligible.

Does MIT accept credit card payments?

The Advanced Study Program does not accept payment by credit card. Visit Student Financial Services for information on payment methods. 

When is the tuition due?

Tuition must be paid in full before the start of the semester.

International Students

I am not a U.S. citizen and need a visa to study in the United States. Can I apply?

Yes. If you are currently in the U.S. on a work visa, you may be eligible to enroll as a part-time ASP Fellow, depending on your visa's restrictions. If you are outside the US and wish to be sponsored by MIT for a student visa, you are must be accepted as a full time Fellow studying 36 to 48 units of credit for the semester.

When is the application deadline for international applicants?

The application deadlines are the same for all applicants - May 1st for the fall semester and November 1st for the spring.  However, international applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the fall semester so they have enough time to receive an admissions decision and apply for their US visa. 

What are you English language proficiency requirements?

All non-native English Speakers must provide IELTS (preferred) or TOEFL test scores from within the last two years to demonstrate English language proficiency. Students who have received instruction in English in their primary and secondary schools and students who have been in the United States for four years or longer and have received a degree from an American institution may be eligible for a waiver of the English proficiency exam requirement by sending a written request to the department.

What IELTS/TOEFL score is needed?

Strong candidates will score 7.5 or better on the IELTS, 100 or better on the internet-based TOEFL, or 600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL. Certain academic departments at MIT do not accept TOEFL scores so IELTS results are strongly preferred.

How do I submit test scores?

Beginning May 2018, ASP accepts IELTS results delivered to our Electronic Download account by the IELTS test center only. No paper IELTS Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institution code for IELTS is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent to the following E-Download account using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. You must provide the following information to the test center where you took the test when requesting your scores:

MIT Professional Education Advanced Study Program
700 Technology Square, NE48-200
Cambridge, MA 02139

TOEFL scores may be mailed to the address above or attached to your application. The TOEFL reporting code for MIT is 3514. 

How many classes may I take?

International applicants who require a U.S. student visa must register as full time students and must be enrolled in 36 to 48 units of credit. MIT classes are very demanding. First-time Program participants will not be approved for more than 48 units.

Are there many international Fellows?

Yes. Generally about half of the Fellows are international. Recent Fellows came from Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Norway, Argentina, India, France, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Is housing included in tuition?

No. Accepted Fellows may apply for on-campus housing for an additional cost, however space is not guaranteed. Most Fellows arrange private housing off-campus.

Is there an interview?

No. Prospective Fellows are welcome to contact the Program before submitting an application if they have questions.

Can I Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) Through ASP?

As of writing in February 2018, only students pursuing a degree are eligible to apply for OPT. Special non-degree students—such as all ASP Fellows—are not eligible to apply for OPT. Please visit the International Students Office OPT page for the most up-to-date information.

MIT Employees

Am I eligible to receive MIT’s Tuition Assistance Plan benefit?

MIT employees must check with their HR representative to determine if their position is eligible for the Tuition Assistance Plan.

How much of my tuition will the MIT Tuition Assistance Plan cover?

If your position is Tuition Assistance Plan eligible, your benefit may cover up to 100% of the cost of tuition. Speak with your HR representative to determine what percentage of your tuition will be covered.

What are the requirements for receiving the Tuition Assistance Plan benefit for my MIT class?

In addition to being employed in a position that is Tuition Assistance Plan eligible, you must earn a C- grade or better. Your position and employment status must also remain Tuition Assistance Plan eligible through the end of the semester.

How much do I owe if I withdraw (drop) my MIT class early?

If you withdraw from the program (drop your class) before the end of the semester, you will be responsible for paying your tuition. The percentage of tuition owed depends on the date you withdraw. You can find dates and associated percentages on MIT’s Pro-ration Tables for your semester.

If I’m admitted into the Advanced Study Program, am I automatically approved to take classes in future semesters?

Continuing in the Advanced Study Program is dependent on maintaining a minimum of a B- grade to be considered for re-admittance into the program. This is different from the minimum C- grade needed to receive Tuition reimbursement.  If you wish to continue with the program you must complete an application for each successive semester, however many times you can reuse materials and forms from the previous application, saving you time.