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Rules & Regulations

On this page you will find the full text of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, the document that establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Standing Committees of the MIT Faculty, governs its legislative processes, and states its regulations pertaining to the academic calendar, admissions, registration, grades, degrees, and more. The Rules and Regulations of the Faculty also describe the processes via which they can be changed by vote of the Faculty.

You will also find a more detailed guide to the term regulations – an expanded version of a subset of Rules and Regulations – that address important topics related to syllabi, midterms, scheduling assignments at the end of the semester, and final exams.

Rules and Regulations of the Faculty

Revised to 5/2017

The Faculty shall consist of the Chair of the Corporation; the President, the Vice Presidents, the Provost, the Chancellor, and the Associate Provosts of the Institute; all members of the instructing staff with rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor; Associate Professor/Senior Coach, Associate Professor/Coach, and Assistant Professor/Coach; the Deans of the Schools of Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Science; and the Sloan School of Management; the Dean for Graduate Education; the Dean for Undergraduate Education; the Dean for Student Life; the Dean of Admissions; the Director of Athletics; the Director of the Libraries; the Medical Director; the Registrar; and the Executive Director, Student Financial Services. In addition, the Faculty, on the recommendation of its officers, shall designate each year by vote certain administrative staff positions; the holders of these positions, not to exceed two in number, shall be ex officio Members of the Faculty for that year.

The officers of the Faculty shall be a Chair, an Associate Chair, and a Secretary, and, ex officio, the President of the Institute. (The President of the Institute is, ex officio, President of the Faculty.)

In the absence of the President, the Chair of the Faculty shall preside at the Faculty meetings.

It shall be the duty of the Secretary:

  • To cooperate with the President in the general conduct of Faculty business.
  • To give written notice to each member of the time and place of each Faculty meeting and of the special business to be transacted. In the absence of the President and Chair from a Faculty meeting, to call the meeting to order and to entertain the motion for a Chair pro tempore.
  • To record the proceedings of each meeting and to circulate them to the entire Faculty with the call for the next meeting.
  • To place on file important communications relating to Faculty business, as well as all reports of committees.
  • To give the Chair of each committee appointed by the Faculty notice of the personnel and purpose of such committee.
  • To notify students, in writing, of any Faculty action affecting them individually.

The regular meetings shall be held on the third Wednesday of each month during the academic year except in January. The May meeting shall be known as the Annual Meeting. Upon agreement of the President and the officers of the Faculty that there is no pressing business for the Faculty, a meeting may be canceled. A minimum of five regular meetings shall be held in each academic year. Special meetings shall be held at such other times as the Faculty or the President shall appoint, or upon written request presented to the Secretary by any ten members.

Faculty members and Professors, Post-Tenure have speaking and voting privileges at MIT Faculty meetings. For regular meetings, except when in executive session, non-Faculty members of the MIT community shall be allowed to attend as listeners. Speaking but not voting privileges shall be extended to: the President and Vice President of the Undergraduate Association, the President and Vice President of the Graduate Student Council, and the student members of the Faculty Committees on Faculty Policy, Undergraduate Program, and Graduate Programs. For specific meetings, speaking privileges shall be extended to members of the committee or task force whose report is an agenda item. Speaking privileges may also be extended to members of the administrative staff or other individuals invited by the Chair of the Faculty or the Chair of the meeting.

Thirty members shall constitute a quorum.

The following shall be elected at the Annual Meeting: each year, the new members in the elected membership of Standing Committees; every other year, a Chair-elect who shall serve one year followed by a two-year term as Chair of the Faculty, and in alternate years, the Associate Chair and the Secretary of the Faculty, who shall serve two-year terms concurrently with the Chair of the Faculty. Nominations alternative to those circulated by the Committee on Nominations may be made either at the April meeting of the Faculty or in writing to the Secretary of the Faculty by the Wednesday following the April Faculty meeting, provided in all cases that the consent of the nominee has been obtained. Nominations submitted in writing must bear the signatures of the nominator and the seconder and be made available to the Faculty at least two weeks prior to the May Faculty Meeting. For each candidate for any contested committee, information on the departmental affiliation and prior Institute service should be made available to the faculty at least two weeks prior to the May Faculty Meeting. Candidates for contested committees may optionally submit a short statement to be circulated to the Faculty at the same time. New appointments to Standing Committees shall be made within one week after the Annual Meeting. No member of the Faculty shall serve continuously as Chair of the Faculty for more than one term; other officers and committee members are eligible for reelection or reappointment. Except as otherwise specified, the Chair of the Faculty shall appoint the Chairs of each Standing Committee from among its elected membership annually within three weeks after the Annual Meeting and at other times if a vacancy occurs. All terms of office shall begin on July 1.

The Faculty Council shall consist of the Chair of the Corporation, the President, Vice Presidents, Provost, Associate Provosts, Chair of the Faculty, Associate Chair of the Faculty, Deans of the Schools of Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Science, and the Sloan School of Management, Dean for Undergraduate Education, Dean for Graduate Education, Director of Libraries, Secretary of the Faculty, Heads of Departments and Professional Courses, and such other Administrative Officers as the President shall include.

Meetings of the Faculty Council shall be held at such times as the President shall appoint. It shall discuss questions of academic policy and other business of importance to the Council membership.

There shall be Standing Committees on the following: Faculty Policy, Graduate Programs, Undergraduate Program, Curricula, Undergraduate Admissions and Aid, Academic Performance, Student Life, Discipline, Library System, Nominations, and Campus Planning.

Each member of these Standing Committees elected from the Faculty at large shall serve a three-year term, approximately one-third of the elected membership being elected each year.

The undergraduate and graduate student members, if any, of each Standing Committee shall be appointed from an ordered list of nominees provided by the respective student governments. The term of student members of the Standing Committees shall be one year, and shall begin on July 1.

The Faculty Policy Committee shall consist of the Chair of the Faculty who shall be Chair of the Committee; the Associate Chair of the Faculty who shall be Deputy Chair of the Committee; the Secretary of the Faculty; the Chair-elect or the immediately preceding Associate Chair (in alternate years); seven elected Faculty members; one undergraduate and one graduate student; and, ex officiis nonvoting, two members designated by the Provost, and one member designated by the President.

The Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Formulate policy on matters of concern to the Faculty, for approval by the Faculty; interpret and implement policy as approved by the Faculty.
  2. Coordinate the work of the other Committees of the Faculty, establishing liaison with them, providing guidance and direction, and referring issues to particular Committees or establishing Ad Hoc Committees as appropriate.
  3. Maintain a broad overview of the Institute's academic programs, coordinating and reviewing proposals from the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees for presentation to Faculty meeting.
  4. Maintain a broad overview of the activities of the Office of Corporate Relations and other similar efforts as they relate to the activities of the members of the Faculty.
  5. Keep informed of new problems of potential conflicts of interest and recommend appropriate modifications of policies and procedures to the Faculty.
  6. Communicate with the Faculty as a whole on important matters of policy, reporting regularly at Faculty meetings.
  7. Meet periodically with the President, Academic Deans, and others to enhance the interchange between the Faculty and the Administration on matters of concern to the Faculty.
  8. Consider issues involving relationships between Administration and both Faculty and other academic staff with teaching responsibilities
  9. Establish the manner in which the academic program is presented in official Institute publications, delegating to other Standing Committees such parts of the responsibility as deemed desirable.

Each of the Standing Committees defined below shall, in addition to the specific duties listed, be responsible for (1) formulating and reviewing educational policies and other policies which relate to its work, (2) requesting any needed clarification of such policies from the Faculty Policy Committee, (3) recommending to the Faculty Policy Committee any changes of such policies which it deems to be advisable, and (4) performing such other duties as may be delegated to it by the Faculty Policy Committee or by the Chair of the Faculty.

The Committee on Graduate Programs shall consist of six elected faculty members, the Associate Chair of the Faculty, two graduate student members, and ex officiis, the Dean for Graduate Education, the Vice President for Research, and the Registrar (or their designated representatives). The Chair of the Faculty shall appoint the Chair of the Committee from the group consisting of the six elected faculty members.   The Chair of the Committee and the Dean for Graduate Education shall jointly appoint one departmental or program graduate administrator to the committee.

The Committee shall exercise general oversight of graduate educational programs and of graduate student policies.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the Committee shall be:

  1. Evaluating proposals for the adoption of new graduate degree programs and making recommendations to the Faculty concerning these programs.
  2. Evaluating proposals for the termination of existing programs with the aim of ensuring that (1) students currently enrolled in the program are able to complete their degree requirements; and that (2) departments whose curricula are affected have been given reasonable notice of termination; and reporting to the Faculty on the steps that are being taken in the process of termination.
  3. Considering proposals that would change or modify general policies related to graduate programs and graduate students and making recommendations to the Faculty.
  4. Encouraging best practices for graduate educational programs, including collecting and disseminating such practices.
  5. The Committee shall retain responsibility for:
    1. evaluating academic performance of graduate students, including the issuance of formal warnings and denials of further registration
    2. approving requests for minor departures from general requirements for advanced degrees
    3. approving proposals for changes in a graduate level subject of instruction
    4. cooperating with the Committee on Academic Performance in making recommendations to the Faculty on such matters as minor changes in the calendar, examinations and grading
    5. recommending to the Faculty, at the conclusion of the two regular terms and of the end of the summer session, candidates for advanced degrees

    The Committee may delegate responsibility for (i) through (v) to the Dean for Graduate Education.

  6. Serving as the standing Faculty advisory body to the Dean for Graduate Education and the Vice President for Research on policies related to graduate students.

The Committee on the Undergraduate Program shall consist of seven elected faculty members, the Associate Chair of the Faculty, four undergraduate student members, and ex officiis, the Chancellor (or designate), the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and one member designated by the Dean for Undergraduate Education. The Chair of the Faculty shall appoint the Chair of the Committee from the group consisting of the seven elected members and the Associate Chair of the Faculty.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the Committee shall be:

  1. Considering proposals that would change or modify undergraduate educational policies, and making suitable recommendations to the Faculty.
  2. Overseeing undergraduate education, including the freshman year, undergraduate advising, the General Institute Requirements, and other interdepartmental programs, giving attention to both short-term and long-term trends and directions.
  3. Encouraging experimental innovation in undergraduate education, including the approval and supervision of limited educational experiments and granting of exceptions to allow any experiment to depart from specific Faculty Regulations and MIT administrative procedures. Descriptions of experiments and reports on their progress and outcome shall be circulated to the Faculty. Experiments that show enduring value should be incorporated in the usual ways into the Faculty Regulations and administrative practices.
  4. Interacting with other Faculty Committees and with the Schools, departments, and programs on important issues in undergraduate education and communicating with the MIT community as a whole about such issues.
  5. Acting with power, through the permanent CUP Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement, to support, encourage, and monitor the development of new, innovative subjects and changes to the Communication Requirement and to ensure review of subjects to ascertain that the educational goals of the Communication Requirement are met consistent with MIT’s high educational standards.
  6. Acting with power, through the permanent CUP Subcommittee on the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, to support, encourage, and monitor the development of new, innovative subjects and changes to the HASS Requirement and to ensure review of subjects to ascertain that the educational goals of the HASS Requirement are met consistent with MIT’s high educational standards.

The Committee on Curricula shall consist of six elected Faculty members, four undergraduate student members, and the following ex officiis, nonvoting members: the Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Registrar, and one member designated by the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and the Chair of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program.

  1. The Committee shall interpret and implement undergraduate educational policy as approved by the Faculty.
  2. The Committee shall act with power on proposals for subjects which may be used to satisfy the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology Requirement and Laboratory Requirement within the General Institute Requirements and shall report such actions to the Faculty. Only subjects with prerequisites such that the subjects can be taken by freshmen or sophomores are eligible for this purpose; except that the Committee is authorized to specify other subjects which may be used to satisfy the Laboratory Requirement. Approved Laboratory subjects shall emphasize as much as possible work of project type or laboratory technique which follows approaches used by professionals in the field.
  3. The Committee shall act with power for the Faculty on requests from individual students for exceptions to the General Institute Requirements.
  4. The Committee shall act with power on proposals for changes in undergraduate subjects of instruction and shall report all approved changes to the Faculty.
  5. The Committee shall act with power on proposals for new curricula, changes in existing curricula, and discontinuation of existing curricula, when such proposals do not involve substantial changes in policies relating to undergraduate educational matters. All approvals shall be reported to the Faculty. Each department shall indicate whether the proposed curriculum shall lead to the degree Bachelor of Science in a specified field or to the degree Bachelor of Science without designation of field. In the latter case the graduate's record and transcript shall indicate the department recommending the degree. Upon request of a department, the Committee may approve in the case of an individual student a program leading to the degree Bachelor of Science without designation of field.
  6. In considering proposals to terminate existing curricula, the Committee shall determine that adequate provisions are made to: (1) enable students currently enrolled in the curriculum to complete their academic requirements; (2) give reasonable notice to all departments whose curricula may be affected by the termination; and (3) advise other relevant Faculty committees of changes affecting Institute Requirements.
  7. The Committee shall serve as the standing Faculty advisory body to the Registrar.

The Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid shall consist of six elected Faculty members, three undergraduate students, one graduate student, and, ex officiis, the Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Dean of Admissions, the Executive Director, Student Financial Services, and one member designated by the Dean for Undergraduate Education.

  1. The Committee shall be responsible for formulating and reviewing policies on admission of all undergraduate students, including college transfers, and on financial aid to students, including undergraduate scholarships, loans, and student employment.
  2. The Committee shall also exercise prior review of MIT publications and formal releases directed toward the prospective undergraduate student.

The Committee on Academic Performance shall consist of six elected members of the Faculty, three undergraduate students, and the following ex officio nonvoting members or their designate: the Dean for Undergraduate Education; the Registrar; the Medical Director; the Executive Director, Student Financial Services; the Heads of Student Support Services; Disability Support Services; and one additional member designated by the Dean for Undergraduate Education.

  1. The Committee shall be concerned with the academic performance of undergraduates. It shall make recommendations to the Faculty on such matters as minimum scholastic standards, calendar changes, examinations, and grading, in consultation with the Committee on Graduate Programs on those matters which also relate to graduate students.
  2. The Committee shall act with power on petitions from individual undergraduate students relating to exceptions to established academic standards, and on requests to return at the undergraduate level after a personal, medical, or required academic leave, or a leave of absence.
  3. At the conclusion of each regular examination period, the Committee shall hold meetings with representatives of the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and of the second-year, third-year, and fourth-year Faculty Advisors, in order to review the academic records of undergraduate students and to take appropriate action in the name of the Faculty.
  4. The Committee shall present to the Faculty its recommendations on candidates to be awarded Bachelor's degrees, and also a summary of its other actions.

The Committee on Student Life shall consist of six elected members of the Faculty, three undergraduate and two graduate students, and ex officio nonvoting, the Dean for Student Life. The three undergraduate students shall normally include one sophomore, one junior, and one senior.

Because successful education depends on social and affective, as well as cognitive, aspects of the student's experience, the Committee shall be concerned with student life and the quality of the learning and living environment at MIT with specific attention to issues of community.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the Committee shall be:

  1. Exercising general attention for the range, availability, and effectiveness of Institute-wide support services to students, and with the formal and informal relationship among the students, the Institute, and the Faculty.
  2. Considering proposals that would change or modify policies pertinent to student life and making recommendations to the Faculty and the Dean for Student Life.
  3. Encouraging innovation in programs regarding student life, particularly involving faculty, including the coordination and review of initiatives. Descriptions of initiatives and reports on their progress and outcome shall be circulated to the Faculty. Initiatives that show enduring value should be incorporated in the usual ways into the Faculty Regulations and administrative practices.
  4. Interacting with other Faculty Committees and student governing organizations and with the Schools, departments, programs, and representatives of support services to students on important issues concerning student life and community and communicating with the MIT community as a whole about such issues.
  5. Serving as the standing Faculty advisory body to the Dean for Student Life.

The Committee on Discipline shall consist of six elected members of the Faculty, three undergraduate and two graduate students, and the Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Dean for Student Life, and the Dean for Graduate Education, ex officiis, or representatives as designated by the respective Deans. Past members who have completed their terms may, for a period of three years thereafter, be called to fill out a quorum for a particular hearing, only one such member to serve in a given hearing.

  1. The Committee shall consider such cases of alleged misconduct by students as shall be brought to its attention. In cases where suspension, expulsion, or revocation of a degree are possible outcomes, an accused student shall be given an opportunity to appear in person at a meeting of the Committee.
  2. The Committee shall consider such cases of alleged misconduct by student organizations as shall be brought to its attention. In cases where revocation of recognition or loss of a student organization residence are possible outcomes due to violation of Institute policy, a duly appointed officer of an accused student organization shall be given an opportunity to appear in person at a meeting of the Committee or the hearing body to which the case is delegated.
  3. The Committee shall act with power in all circumstances, including suspension and expulsion of a student from the Institute, revocation of a degree, revocation of recognition for a student group, and loss of a student organization residence. A COD decision to suspend or expel a student, revoke a degree, revoke recognition of a student group, or terminate a student organization residence may be appealed to the Chancellor on grounds described by the COD Rules & Regulations.
  4. The Committee may assign cases of alleged misconduct to other hearing bodies or hearing officers it designates, except for cases involving suspension or expulsion of a student from the Institute or revocation of a degree, which must be resolved by the Committee.

The Committee on the Library System shall consist of six elected Faculty members, two graduate student members, two undergraduates, and the following ex officio members: the Provost (or representative), the Head of Information Services and Technology (or representative), and the Director of Libraries and two members of the Library Staff designated by the Director.

  1. The Committee on the Library System, with the advice of the Director of Libraries, shall formulate policy for the administration of the Libraries consistent with the objectives of the Institute.
  2. The Committee shall serve as liaison between the Libraries and their users.
  3. The Committee shall review budget allocations as prepared annually by the Director of Libraries.
  4. The Committee shall monitor and uphold the MIT Faculty Open-Access Policy, which details the process for disseminating scholarly research.

The Committee on Nominations shall consist of seven Faculty members appointed by the President, each member to serve for a three-year term. At least two new members shall be appointed each year. The President shall designate the Chair from among the membership.

  1. The Committee shall nominate the following in the appropriate years: a Chair-elect, an Associate Chair, and a Secretary of the Faculty; and shall also nominate candidates for the elected membership of the Standing Committees.
  2. The Committee shall circulate the list of nominees to all members of the Faculty not later than the April meeting of the Faculty.
  3. The Committee shall have power to fill any vacancies that may occur during the year in the offices of Chair, Chair-elect, Associate Chair, and Secretary, and in the elected membership of the Standing Committees.

The Committee on Campus Planning shall consist of six elected Faculty members, one undergraduate and one graduate student, up to three Faculty members designated by the Provost, and, ex officio, the Director of Campus Planning. At its discretion, the Committee may invite others in the MIT community to attend on an annual basis as nonvoting guests. The Chair of the Faculty shall appoint the Chair of the Committee from among the six elected Faculty members of the Committee.

  1. The Committee shall serve as the standing Faculty advisory body to the MIT administration on campus planning. It shall provide Faculty perspectives and counsel on campus planning issues, including, but not limited to, future academic and research needs of the community.
  2. The Committee will undertake to understand the needs of the Faculty for the campus environment and ensure communication with the Faculty on important matters related to the MIT campus and surroundings.
  3. The Chair of the Committee shall be called upon to serve ex officio on the MIT Building Committee.
  4. The Chair of the Faculty shall designate up to three of the elected members to serve ex officio on standing committees of the MIT administration concerned with planning.
  5. Members of the Committee may be called upon to serve on task forces and/or other ad hoc committees concerned with campus planning.
  6. The Committee shall present an annual report of its activities to the Faculty Policy Committee.

Any rule may be suspended temporarily by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members present and voting, but at least thirty affirmative votes shall be required.

A motion to amend these rules shall lie upon the table at least until the next Faculty meeting after its introduction, and final action shall not be taken unless the subject has been announced in the call for the meeting. For affirmative action on any amendment, an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Faculty members present and voting, but not less than thirty affirmative votes, shall be required.

Regulations of the Faculty

Fall term shall begin on the Wednesday after Labor Day, followed by: fourteen calendar weeks for classes ending on Wednesday plus a four-day reading period (thirteen calendar weeks ending on Thursday plus a three-day reading period when Labor Day is September 6th or 7th); a five-day period reserved for final examinations (a four-day period plus one examination period on Friday afternoon during Reading Period in the year Labor Day is September 5th); a two-week Winter vacation; and a four-week period set aside for academic and independent activities (ending on Friday). Spring term classes shall begin on the following Tuesday (the first Tuesday in February), followed by: fourteen calendar weeks for classes (ending on Thursday), interposed with a one-week Spring vacation after the seventh week of classes; a three-day reading period; and a five-day period reserved for final examinations. The last classes in all full-term subjects shall be held no later than the day preceding the reading period in each term. The day preceding the first day of classes of each term shall be set aside for registration activities. Commencement shall be held on the second Friday following the spring term examination period.

Half-term subjects held in the first half of the fall term (H1) shall begin on the Wednesday after Labor Day followed by seven calendar weeks for classes ending on Friday. The last week of H1 shall serve as the Half-Term Final Examination Period. No class or exam in an H1 subject shall be held later than the last day of the H1 term. Half-term subjects held in the second half of the fall term (H2) shall begin on Monday of the eighth week of the semester followed by: seven calendar weeks for classes ending on Wednesday plus a four-day reading period (six calendar weeks for classes ending on Thursday plus a three-day reading period when Labor Day is September 6th or 7th); a five-day period reserved for final examinations (a four-day period plus one examination period on Friday afternoon during Reading Period in the year Labor Day is September 5th). No class in an H2 subject shall be held during or after the reading period of H2. Half-term subjects held in the first half of the spring term (H3) shall begin on the first Tuesday in February followed by seven calendar weeks for classes ending on Friday. The last week of H3 shall serve as the Half-Term Final Examination Period. No class or exam in an H3 subject shall be held later than the last day of the H3 term. Half-term subjects held in the second half of the spring term (H4) shall begin on Monday of the eighth week of the semester following the one-week Spring vacation. This will be followed by: seven calendar weeks for classes (ending on Thursday); a three-day reading period; and a five-day period reserved for final examinations. No class in an H4 subject shall be held during or after the reading period of the H4 term.

Classes shall be suspended during the following additional vacation periods: Fall – a Friday in September on or after the 15th (except when Labor Day is September 6th or 7th) to be determined annually by the Registrar in consultation with the Faculty Policy Committee; Columbus Day (with the Tuesday after this holiday following the Monday schedule of classes when Labor Day is September 7th); the day following Columbus Day (except when Labor Day is September 1st, 6th, or 7th); Veterans Day; the day preceding Veterans Day when Labor Day is September 1st; Thanksgiving Day and the day following. January - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Spring – Presidents Day (with the Tuesday after this holiday following the Monday schedule of classes); Patriots Day and the day following.

Exercises shall, in general, be held between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. Monday through Friday. Exercises shall begin five minutes after and end five minutes before the scheduled hour or half-hour.

For undergraduate subjects taught on campus during the instructional period of the fall and spring terms, there shall be no required academic exercises between 5 P.M. and 7 P.M. Monday through Thursday and between 5 P.M. Friday and 8 A.M. Monday. This same restriction also applies to undergraduate subjects taught during the Independent Activities Period. Requests for exceptions shall be referred to the Chair of the Faculty, who will direct them to the appropriate committee. Exceptions shall be granted for no more than five years.

To be admitted to the first-year class, applicants must be of good character and normally must satisfactorily pass examinations or be certified, under regulations approved by the Faculty, in Algebra, Plane Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry, and English. They must also present satisfactory certificates for elective subjects as prescribed by the Faculty. Additional tests may be prescribed by the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid.

Students transferring from colleges or technological schools are required to present satisfactory certificates of dismissal. They may be admitted to the Institute without entrance examinations, subject to presenting satisfactory certificates for the entrance subjects required, and allowed to take those subjects for which they shall satisfy the Dean of Admissions, by examination or otherwise, that they have the necessary preparation.

On approval of the Dean of Admissions, undergraduate Special Students may be admitted to particular subjects on satisfying the members of the Faculty in charge that they are qualified to pursue to advantage the various subjects chosen. Special student status shall be granted for one term only; students must seek readmission as Special Students for any succeeding terms.

An applicant for one of the graduate degrees, Master, Engineer, or Doctor, enumerated in Regulation 2.81, must, except in cases of unusual attainments, have taken a first degree (or provide evidence of equivalent credentials) from a school, college, or university of good standing. With an application for admission to the Graduate School the student must provide a statement of his or her previous work and present attainments, and the program of advanced work which the student intends to do at the Institute. The applicant's credentials and proposed course of study shall be passed upon by the Committee on Graduate Programs of the appropriate department or program. The Director of Admissions will provide to the applicant the official notification of this action.

In a similar manner, applications for special student status at the graduate level will be submitted through the Dean of Admissions for review by the appropriate faculty. The applicant must apply for admission prior to each term in which the applicant proposes to register as a Special Student.

An examination for advanced standing may be taken by an undergraduate student during the scheduled examination periods, provided that the student has never been registered for or attended class in the subject concerned. A request to take such an exam must be filed with the Registrar at least three weeks before the first day of the examination period. An advanced standing examination shall be given only upon the approval of the Faculty member in charge of the subject, who may require evidence of competence in addition to the examination if the subject normally involves measures of student performance qualitatively different from the examination. A passing grade entitles a student to full credit for the subject. A failing grade will appear on the permanent record except for first-year undergraduate students for whom a failing grade will appear only on the internal record.

Academic Departments may decide to arrange Advanced Standing credit for their graduate students. The Academic Department may do so, in agreement with the faculty member in charge of the subject concerned, who may require evidence of competence in addition to an examination. A passing grade entitles a student to full credit for the subject. A failing grade will appear on the permanent record.

Prior to the opening of each regular term, every student shall register for all desired subjects and, when necessary, the desired Course. Initial registration and all later modifications of registration in each term require the approval of the Freshman Advisor or Faculty Advisor or Registration Officer. Registration for any additional subjects after the first week of a term also requires the approval of the Faculty member in charge of the subject. Full-term subjects may be added to registration until the end of the fifth week of a term. Half-term subjects may be added until the end of the second week of the half-term period (H1, H2, H3, H4). After these dates, additions to registration require the following additional approval: for an undergraduate student, the Committee on Academic Performance; for a graduate student, the Dean for Graduate Education. Cancellation of registration may be made as follows without additional approvals: for full-term subjects, up to a date three weeks prior to the last day of classes; for half-term subjects, up to a date two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the relevant half-term. After these dates, cancellation of registration requires the following additional approval: for an undergraduate student, the Committee on Academic Performance; for a graduate student, the Dean for Graduate Education. The cancellation of registration after the fifth week (for full-term subjects) or the end of the second week (for half-term subjects) will be recorded on the internal record of the student with the notation DR and the date of cancellation.

Initial registration and all later modifications during the summer session require only the approval of the Freshman Advisor or Faculty Advisor or Registration Officer. Changes subsequent to the last day of classes in the summer session require the same additional approval as changes made during the last three weeks of regular terms.

These regulations apply to academic exercises during the fall and spring terms including the Reading Periods and final examination periods as defined in Section 2.11. Questions of interpretation and requests for exceptions to regulations shall be referred to the Chair of the Faculty, who will direct them to the appropriate committees. Exceptions to regulations shall be granted for no more than five years.

The regulations in this section apply to all subjects, undergraduate and graduate.

Final examinations for full-term subjects and H2 and H4 half-term subjects shall be held during the final examination period following each term, and shall be scheduled through the Schedules Office. The final examination scheduled in any of these subjects shall last at least one hour and not more than three hours. Final examinations may not be cancelled once they are announced, and after the final examination schedule is published by the Schedules Office, the time of the final examination may not be changed.

Final examinations for H1 and H3 half-term subjects shall be held during a regularly scheduled class period in the final week of the subject (the Half-Term Final Examination Period). The final examination scheduled in any H1 and H3 half-term subject shall last no longer than one class period.

No assignment, term paper, or oral presentation in any subject shall fall due after the last scheduled class period of that subject.

The Dean for Undergraduate Education in the case of an undergraduate student, or the Dean for Graduate Education in the case of a graduate student, may excuse a student from a scheduled final examination for reasons of illness or significant personal problems. (See the grade of OX, Section 2.62.3.) The Faculty member in charge of a subject may excuse a student from a final examination for such reasons as conflicts either between examinations or with religious holidays, if a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached between the student and the Faculty member, if the agreement is ratified in advance of the examination by the head of the department in which the subject is offered, and if the Faculty member is prepared to submit a grade based on other evidence.

The regulations in this section apply to undergraduate subjects only.

The faculty member must provide to students, by the end of the subject’s first week of classes, a clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments, the approximate schedule of tests and due dates for major projects, whether or not there will be a final examination, and the grading criteria and procedures to be used. The precise schedule of tests and major assignments must be provided in full-term subjects by the end of the third week and in half-term subjects by the end of the second week.

The length of tests held outside scheduled class times shall not exceed two hours. Such tests must be scheduled through the Schedules Office. They may begin no earlier than 7:30 P.M. and may not be held on Monday evenings. A student who is unable to take the test owing to a conflict with a scheduled academic exercise or extracurricular activity shall be allowed to do so at another time.

When a test is held outside scheduled class time, a regularly scheduled class hour (lecture or recitation) shall be cancelled, or no assignment shall fall due that calendar week.

Ex camera final examinations may be held with the permission of the Chair of the Faculty. Permissions for ex camera final examinations shall be granted for no more than five years. The following restrictions apply: the ex camera examination shall be offered over the course of a single afternoon, starting at 1:30 P.M. and ending no later than at 7:30 P.M., and students shall be permitted unrestricted use of resources.

For full-term subjects and H2 and H4 half-term subjects, there shall be no tests after the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period, to be called the Last Test Date. For each subject in which there is testing during the final examination period, no assignment may fall due after the Last Test Date. For each subject in which there is no testing during the final examination period, at most one assignment may fall due between the Last Test Date and the end of the last scheduled class period in the subject. Optional assignments during the last week shall be for self- study, and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.

For H1 and H3 half-term subjects, there shall be at most one assignment due or one exam held during the final week of the class, to be called the Half-Term Final Examination Period. Optional assignments during the Half-Term Final Examination Period shall be for self-study, and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.

The regulations in this section apply to graduate subjects only.

The faculty member must provide, by the end of the third week of classes in a full-term subject and by the end of the second week of classes in a half-term subject, a clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments, the schedule for tests and due dates for major projects, whether or not there will be a final examination, and the grading criteria and procedures to be used.

When a student is unable to take a test that is held outside of the scheduled class time owing to a conflict with another scheduled academic exercise or extracurricular activity, the student shall be allowed to take the test at another time.

For each full-term subject or H2 or H4 half-term subject with a final examination, no test shall be given and no assignment, term paper, or oral presentation shall fall due after the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period. For each full-term subject or H2 or H4 half-term subject without a final examination, no more than one of the following may be given or fall due between the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period and the end of the last regularly scheduled class in the subject: in-class test, assignment, term paper, or oral presentation. An in-class test given during this period is limited to one normal class period (or to one and one-half hours, whichever is shorter).

For H1 and H3 half-term subjects, the final week of the class shall be called the Half-Term Final Examination Period. During this week, no more than one of the following may be given or fall due: in-class test, assignment, term paper, or oral presentation. An in-class test given during this period is limited to one normal class period (or to one and one-half hours, whichever is shorter).

Grades shall be submitted at or before the end of each term in all subjects given in the term, including thesis. (For partial-term subjects that end within the term, grades shall be submitted within one week after the date of the last scheduled class in the subject.) Each report of grades shall be endorsed by the Faculty member in charge of the subject. Once submitted, grades shall not be changed except to correct errors or to fulfill specific provisions under O, OX, and I grades. Instructors may also submit written comments on forms provided. These comments are addressed to the student and to the Faculty Advisor or Registration Officer. Comments are retained in the student's internal file.

The grades described below are not rigidly related to any numerical scores or distribution function.

The grades to be awarded to students who satisfactorily complete the work of a subject by the end of a term and the definitions of these grades are:

  •  Exceptionally good performance, demonstrating a superior understanding of the subject matter, a foundation of extensive knowledge, and a skillful use of concepts and/or materials.
  • B  Good performance, demonstrating capacity to use the appropriate concepts, a good understanding of the subject matter, and an ability to handle the problems and materials encountered in the subject.
  • C  Adequate performance, demonstrating an adequate understanding of the subject matter, an ability to handle relatively simple problems, and adequate preparation for moving on to more advanced work in the field.
  • D  Minimally acceptable performance, demonstrating at least partial familiarity with the subject matter and some capacity to deal with relatively simple problems, but also demonstrating deficiencies serious enough to make it inadvisable to proceed further in the field without additional work.
  • P  When the use of the grade P is authorized, it reflects performance at any of the levels A, B, or C, with grading to be done on a P/D/F basis.

Modifiers of + and - shall be allowed on the grades of A, B, and C. These modifiers are only for internal grade reports. Term and cumulative averages (internal and external) shall be calculated without modifiers.

The grade of P is authorized for use under the following circumstances:

  1. in any subject taken by a first-year undergraduate student in the first semester or during the January Independent Activities Period.
  2. in any of the subjects designated by the Committee on Curricula, the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, the Committee on Graduate Programs, or by vote of the Faculty as subjects to be graded on a P/D/F basis for all students registered in them.
  3. in special programs designated by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program or by vote of the Faculty.
  4. in a total of no more than two subjects elected during the third and subsequent years in an undergraduate program. These subjects cannot be used to fulfill General Institute or Departmental Requirements, and must be elected and the Registrar notified before the end of the fifth week of the term for full-term subjects or the second week of instruction of half-term subjects.
  5. for students registered in a graduate degree program in a total of no more than one elected subject per term. These subjects cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements, and must be elected by the students and the Registrar notified before the end of the fifth week of the term for full-term subjects or the second week of instruction of half-term subjects. Pursuant to the educational goals of their respective programs, individual departments or instructors may restrict how the P/D/F option is exercised by students in their programs or classes.

The factors which determine the award of grades in any particular subject will necessarily be affected by the scope and level of that subject. In relatively elementary subjects the mastery of particular skills will often be of primary importance, whereas in more advanced subjects more complex considerations may enter into the evaluation.

The Faculty wishes to make it clear that in determining a student's grade consideration will be given for elegance of presentation, creativity, imagination, and originality, where these may appropriately be called for.

The transcript of the student's record shall contain the names of the subjects taken, the grades received, and a description of the grades in use at the time the student was enrolled. Transcripts shall not include any reference to the +/- modifiers.

The following notations are to be used by the Registrar for satisfactory completion of work in the circumstances indicated:

  • S  notation for credit awarded for work done elsewhere.
  • SA  notation for satisfactorily completed doctoral thesis. Doctoral theses are not graded.

The grades and notations to be used for subjects not passed or not completed are:

  • F failed. This grade also signifies that the student must repeat the subject to receive credit.
  • O absent. This grade indicates that the student was progressing satisfactorily during the subject but was either (a) absent from the final examination or (b) absent during the last two weeks of the term (for a full-term subject) or the last week of the term (for a half-term subject), or both (a) and (b). An O grade carries no credit for the subject. Unsatisfactory performance because of absence throughout the term should be recorded as F.
  • OX absence satisfactorily explained to and excused by the Dean for Undergraduate Education in the case of an undergraduate student or by the Dean for Graduate Education in the case of a graduate student. The Faculty member in charge of the subject will be notified when an O is changed to an OX. An OX carries no credit for the subject. However, the Faculty member in charge must provide the student the opportunity to receive a credit-carrying grade. This may be done with or without the instructor requiring a postponed final examination or other additional evaluation procedure.
  • DR a notation to be used only on the student's internal record for a subject dropped after the fifth week of the regular term for full-term subjects, or after the second week of instruction for half-term subjects.
  • incomplete. The grade of I indicates that a minor part of the subject requirements has not been fulfilled and that a passing grade is to be expected when the work is completed. The work should normally be completed before Add Date of the succeeding term of the regular academic year; however, the Faculty member in charge, in negotiation with the student, has the right to set an earlier or later date for pedagogical reasons or extenuating circumstances. For undergraduates: The completion date is to be entered on the Instructor's Report Form which must accompany the grade of I. This completion date cannot be any later than the end of the succeeding term of the regular academic year unless completion of the work requires facilities or resources which will not be available to the student within that time period. In this latter case, a notation to this effect must be made by the instructor on the form reporting the I grade, along with an indication of the earliest date upon which the necessary facilities will be available to that student and the corresponding expected completion date. If the work is not completed by the agreed-upon deadline, the faculty member in charge must submit a final grade by the last day of the regular term during which the work was to have been completed. This grade is to be based on the work completed in the subject. No grade of I can be assigned to any student in the semester in which he or she graduates. All grades of Incomplete must be resolved prior to graduation.
  • J a notation assigned for work such as Thesis, UROP or At Plant registration (internship or industrial practice), which has progressed satisfactorily but has not been completed. Grade given upon completion of the work in a later term also covers this term.
  • U a notation for thesis work which has not been completed and in which progress has been unsatisfactory. Grade given upon completion of the work in a later term also covers this term. Unless a student's progress improves significantly, the student may expect that grade to be failing.
  • T temporary notation. It is used for subjects which cover the equivalent of one term's work, but are scheduled over parts of two normal grading periods. Prior approval must have been obtained from the Committee on Curricula for undergraduate subjects or the Committee on Graduate Programs for graduate subjects. This notation is recorded only on the student's internal record. A permanent grade must be assigned when the subject is finished.

Special Provisions for First-Year Undergraduate Students:

For first-year undergraduate students: (a) in the first semester and in the Independent Activities Period, the only passing grade permanently recorded by the Registrar shall be P; and (b) in the first semester, in the Independent Activities Period, and in the second semester, the non-passing grades of D, F, O, and OX shall be recorded by the Registrar for use within the Institute only, and shall not appear on official Institute transcripts.

At the beginning of the sixth week of each term, instructors of first-year students shall notify in writing those students performing at a non-passing level that they are at risk of not passing the subject. Each notification should request that the freshman meet with the instructor immediately and may include additional relevant information about the student's performance. A copy of each such notification should be provided to the Dean for Undergraduate Education and to the student's Freshman Advisor. Instructors are expected to initiate with each student a discussion of the student's performance strengths and weaknesses.

At the end of the fall term (and at the end of Independent Activities Period), letter grades equivalent to the letter grades assigned to upper-class students shall be provided to freshmen through their freshman advisors. Freshman letter grades may not appear on students' official internal grade reports or external transcripts and are to be used in accordance with guidelines established by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program.

The department in which a subject is taught is responsible for ensuring that records of freshman performance are retained for a period of five years. This information may be released only when a student requests a copy of his or her record in the subject.

First-year undergraduates may register for and receive at most 54 credit units in the fall term and 57 credit units in the spring term (excluding ROTC credit units).

Provisions for Alternate Grades in the Event of Significant Disruption:

When a Significant Disruption is declared as set forth in Section 2.102, the Chair of the Faculty may authorize the use of the grades defined below and establish the conditions for their use.

PE    When authorized, the grade of PE reflects performance at any of the levels A, B, or C, under the circumstance of an Institute emergency closure.

NE    When authorized, the grade of NE indicates a performance at the level of D or F for which no record will appear on the external transcript.

IE    Incomplete due to disruption. When authorized, the grade of IE indicates that a portion of the subject requirements has not been fulfilled, due to a major disruption of the Institute’s academic activities. A letter grade may be assigned if the work is subsequently completed. To receive a letter grade, the work must be completed prior to a date set by the Chair of the Faculty. If the work is not completed prior to the established completion date, the grade will remain an IE on the student’s record and transcript. A grade of IE does not carry credit but need not be resolved prior to graduation.
 
Whenever possible, instructors should award grades as defined in Sections 2.62 and 2.63. The use of the grades PE, NE, and IE is reserved for situations in which the performance of a student is substantively impacted by a period of Significant Disruption.

The transcript of a student’s record should contain a description of any Significant Disruption of the Institute’s academic activities that occur during the student’s enrollment. These grades will not be included in calculations of grade point average.

Specifications relating to the format of theses and information concerning copyright of theses shall be published annually by the Director of Libraries as prescribed by the Committee on Graduate Programs for graduate theses and by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program for undergraduate theses.

Two copies of each thesis shall be delivered to the office of the headquarters of the department or Course in which the candidate is registered as follows: for Bachelor's, Master's, and Engineer's degree candidates not later than one week before the end of term, and for Doctor's degree candidates not later than two weeks before the end of term. For these purposes, the end of term of the first term is considered to be the last day of classes of the Independent Activities Period following the first term, the end of term of the second term is the last day of classes of that term, and the end of term for the summer session is the last day of classes of the regular summer session. Additional copies of the thesis shall be delivered as required by the department.

All theses submitted shall be of satisfactory physical quality for deposit in the Archives. The several departments and Courses shall transmit two copies of each graduate thesis to the Institute Archivist not later than one month after the end of the term in which the thesis was accepted. Undergraduate theses which, in the judgment of the department or Course, represent a significant contribution shall be transmitted to the Institute Archivist in the same manner.

All theses submitted shall become the permanent physical property of the Institute.

The Institute will retain ownership of the copyrights to theses only (i) if the thesis research is performed in whole or in part by the student with financial support in the form of wages, salary, stipend, or grant from funds administered by the Institute and/or (ii) if the thesis research is performed in whole or in part utilizing equipment or facilities provided to the Institute under conditions that impose copyright restrictions. In all other cases, ownership of the copyrights shall reside with the student.

Guidance on current copyright procedures shall be included in the theses specifications published each year. Students may request a waiver of the Institute's copyrights by written application to the Institute's Technology Licensing Office.

Where copyright ownership is retained by the student, the student must, as a condition of a degree award, grant royalty-free permission to the Institute to reproduce and publicly distribute copies of the thesis. Where copyright is retained by the Institute, any further publication in whole or in part by the author shall be made only by authorization of the Technology Licensing Office in consultation with the head of the department or Course in which the author was registered when the thesis was accepted.

Required Legend for Thesis Title Page, or page immediately following, for those theses on which students hold copyright: The Author hereby grants to MIT permission to reproduce and to distribute publicly copies of this thesis document in whole or in part.

The degrees for which candidates may be recommended to the Corporation shall be Bachelor of Science (S.B.), Master of Science (S.M.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master in City Planning (M.C.P.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Finance (M.Fin), Master of Business Analytics (M.B.An), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), Engineer in Aeronautics and Astronautics (E.A.A.), Chemical Engineer (Chem.E.), Civil Engineer (C.E.), Engineer in Computer Science (E.C.S.), Electrical Engineer (E.E.), Environmental Engineer (Env.E.), Materials Engineer (Mat.E.), Mechanical Engineer (Mech.E.), Metallurgical Engineer (Met.E.), Naval Engineer (Nav.E.), Nuclear Engineer (Nucl.E.), Ocean Engineer (Ocean E.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.).

The graduate degrees of Engineer, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor may be awarded jointly with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Officers of the Faculty are authorized to receive the recommendations of the Committee on Academic Performance and the Committee on Graduate Programs for the awarding of degrees and to forward the recommendations to the Corporation on behalf of the Faculty. The Officers are expected to bring unusual or disputed recommendations to the Faculty for resolution. The number of degrees awarded at each level shall be reported to the Faculty at the next regular meeting. The Provost, the Chair of the Faculty, and either the Chair of the Committee on Academic Performance (in the case of S.B. degrees) or the Dean for Graduate Education (in the case of graduate degrees) together may add names to the Commencement degree list that had been recommended by the Faculty to the Corporation, for the purpose of accommodating late recognition of degree requirements that had been completed by the established deadlines.

One unit of credit toward degree requirements represents approximately one hour per week of lecture, exercise, or preparation for one term. Unit designations of courses normally shall be multiples of three units. No instructor shall require more outside work than can be satisfactorily performed under ordinary working conditions in the preparation time assigned to the course by students of average capacity, adequate preparation, and reasonably good habits of work; and, in order that this rule may be practically enforced, each instructor is expected from time to time to ascertain the amount of outside preparation actually given to each of his or her courses by students whose work is of passing grade.

The term "subject" used in the remainder of Section 2.80 is construed to be a major commitment of a student's intellectual effort, explicitly in the 9- to 15-unit range, and usually 12 units.

To be recommended for the degree of Bachelor of Science, a student must have attended the Institute at least three regular academic terms, which ordinarily must include the term of graduation. A student who does not graduate within ten years of first entry will normally be expected to fulfill the requirements of the class with which he or she graduates.

A student must have satisfactorily completed a program of study approved in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty. Current requirements are as follows:

  1. The General Institute Requirements, which offer a broad education in humanistic and scientific disciplines:
    1. Six core science subjects, one subject from each of the following groups:    3.091, 5.111, or 5.112; 7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016; 8.01, 8.011, 8.01L, or 8.012; 8.02, 8.021, or 8.022; 18.01, 18.01A, or 18.014; and 18.02, 18.02A, 18.022, or 18.024. The available choices shall be equivalent as prerequisites for Departmental programs.
    2. Two Restricted Electives in Science and Technology, at least one of which is not in a student's own department.
    3. Laboratory subject(s) or modules constituting 12 units (in sum) designated for the Laboratory Requirement, such that the Laboratory work will call for a major commitment of the student's attention; it is suggested that students satisfy at least a portion of the Laboratory Requirement during the first two years.
    4. The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, consisting of eight subjects, including the following: a. A Distribution Component, consisting of one subject each in the following three categories: the Humanities, the Arts, and the Social Sciences. b. A Concentration Component, consisting of three or four subjects, as approved by the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement. The remaining subjects in fulfillment of the eight-subject HASS Requirement, beyond the Distribution Component and the Concentration Component, shall be chosen by the student.
    5. The Communication Requirement, consisting of four Communication-Intensive subjects as voted by the Faculty.
    6. The Physical Educational Requirement.
  2. A total of at least 180 but not more than 198 units (excluding ROTC units) as follows:
    1. At least 96 units in courses offered by MIT.
    2. Unrestricted electives totaling at least 48 units.
    3. A Departmental program normally including up to 132 units and the equivalent of 11 subjects; but the Committee on Curricula may approve Departmental programs including up to the equivalent of 12 and one-half subjects and 150 units. In addition, Departmental programs may specify or expect up to three subjects that are also used by students to satisfy the General Institute Requirements, with the understanding that the department would allow specified substitutions of closely related subjects in other departments where possible.

Departmental requirements shall permit the student to schedule his or her program each year within a normal load of the equivalent of eight or eight and one-half subjects and shall guarantee at least 12 units of unrestricted elective time in the freshman year. It is normally expected that most of the core science subjects can be completed during the first year and that the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology and half of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement can be completed during the first two years.

All approved Course curricula for the degree of Bachelor of Science shall make it possible for students to complete all degree requirements in the equivalent of 32 to 34 subjects.

Within the limitations of the degree requirements specified above, the Faculty delegates to each department the authority to approve departures by individual students from approved Course curricula which are comparable to the established curricula in breadth, depth, and integrated approach to a well-defined educational objective. Departmental authority to approve departures which involve substitutions not in kind for more than one subject shall rest with a single member of the Faculty or with an appropriate department Faculty committee, rather than individual Faculty advisors, and a summary of all such departures shall be reported to the Committee on Curricula each term. The individual departments shall exert strong efforts to make it possible for students who have taken only one or two of the appropriate departmentally prescribed subjects during their first two years to complete their degree requirements in a normal four-year period.

To be recommended for the graduate degree of Master of Science, Master of Engineering, Master of Architecture, Master in City Planning, Master of Business Administration, Master of Finance, Master of Business Analytics, or Master of Applied Science, a student must not only have a clear record in an approved program of graduate study and research, but his or her scholastic standing as shown by the cumulative record must be of distinctly high grade. At their discretion, appropriate Program or Departmental Graduate committees can specify subject substitutions to be counted in the graduate program for the purpose of satisfying the graduate subject unit requirement.

For the degree of Master of Science, the student must have completed satisfactorily a program of study of at least 66 units of graduate subject credit and a thesis, both acceptable to the department in which he or she is enrolled. If 34 units and the thesis are in a single field, as determined by a Departmental Committee on Graduate Programs, the degree will be recommended with specification of the field in which the student has thus specialized; otherwise, the degree will be recommended without specification. The candidate must also have been in residence for a minimum of one regular academic term.

Any Departmental Committee on Graduate Programs may accept, in lieu of the thesis required for the degree of Master of Science, with or without specification, a record of satisfactory performance in equivalent work taken at the School of Chemical Engineering Practice.

For the degree of Master of Engineering with specification of the field in which the student has specialized, the student must have completed satisfactorily at least 66 units of subject credit (including at least 42 graduate units) and a thesis which collectively constitute a structured program of at least 90 units acceptable to the department of the School of Engineering in which the student is enrolled. The candidate must also have been in residence for a minimum of one regular term.

For the degree of Master of Architecture, the student must have completed satisfactorily a program of study of at least 312 units of graduate subject credit and a thesis, both acceptable to the Department of Architecture. The program requires three and one-half academic years of residence. Advanced entry may be considered for students with a pre-professional bachelor’s degree in architecture. The degree requirements for students pursuing advanced entry will depend on the student academic experience and waived requirements, but will be no less than two and one-half years of residence, as well as satisfactory completion of 164 units of graduate subject credit and a thesis, both acceptable to the Department of Architecture.

For the degree of Master in City Planning, the student must have completed satisfactorily a minimum of 126 units of graduate subject credit. The student must also have completed a thesis acceptable to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and have been in residence for a minimum of two regular academic terms.

For the degree of Master of Business Administration through the two-year MBA program, the student must have completed satisfactorily a program of study of at least 189 units that includes a set of required core subjects, at least 144 units of elective graduate subject credit, and four regular academic terms in residence, as acceptable to the Sloan School of Management.

For the degree of Master of Business Administration through the one-year Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership, the student must have completed satisfactorily a program of study of at least 171 units that includes a set of required core subjects and at least 48 units of graduate subject credit acceptable to the Sloan School of Management.

For the degree of Master of Business Administration through the two-year Executive MBA (EMBA) Program, the student must have completed satisfactorily a program of study of at least 174 units that includes a set of required core subjects, plus three graduate-level restricted electives taken at designated times throughout the program.

For the degree of Master of Finance, the student must have completed satisfactorily a minimum of 66 units of graduate subject credit from within a program of study that includes a slate of required courses, restricted and general electives, and a pro-seminar. The candidate must also have been in residence as a graduate student for at least two consecutive academic terms (fall and spring). In most cases, a summer term is also required.

For the degree of Master of Business Analytics, the student must have completed satisfactorily a minimum of 66 units of graduate subject credit from within a program of study that includes a slate of required and elective courses, a project class, a pro-seminar, and a summer capstone experience. The candidate must also have been in residence as a graduate student for at least two academic terms. A summer term is also required.

For the degree of Master of Applied Science with specification of the field in which the student has specialized, the student must have completed satisfactorily at least 90 units of credit (including at least 66 units of graduate subject credit) from within a program of study that includes a slate of required and elective courses, and a capstone experience, both acceptable to the department in which the student is enrolled. The candidate must also have been in residence for a minimum of one regular term.

To be recommended for one of the Engineer degrees listed in Regulation 2.81, a student must have completed with high scholastic standing a program of at least 162 units of advanced study and a thesis, both acceptable to the department of the School of Engineering in which the student is enrolled. The candidate must also have been in residence for a minimum of two regular academic terms.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science are recommended, interchangeably, by departments in the Schools of Engineering and Science (except Biology) and in the fields of Medical Engineering and Medical Physics. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is recommended by the Department of Biology in the School of Science, by the departments in the School of Architecture and Planning, by departments in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and by the Sloan School of Management. To be recommended for the doctorate, the student must have completed satisfactorily an approved program of advanced study in the field concerned and submitted a dissertation of high quality based upon original research relevant to the field.

The course of advanced study and research leading to the doctorate must be pursued under the direction of the Committee on Graduate Programs for at least four academic terms, except in the case of applicants who satisfy the Committee that they have successfully accomplished at another institution advanced work of a grade equal to that required at the Institute, in which case the required period of residence may be reduced. However, in no instance may the residence requirement be reduced to less than two regular academic terms and one summer session.

It is the duty of the instructor in charge of a room to see that order is preserved, and he or she is authorized to exclude any student from the room for sufficient cause. Such exclusion shall be reported to the Dean for Undergraduate Education or the Dean for Student Life.

Students are expected to behave with decorum, to obey the regulations of the Institute, and to pay due respect to its officers. Conduct inconsistent with general good order or persistent neglect of work may be followed by dismissal. If the offense is a less serious one, the student may be placed on probation.

It is the aim of the Faculty so to administer the discipline of the school as to maintain a high standard of integrity and a scrupulous regard for the truth. The attempt of any student to present as his or her own the work of another or any work which he or she has not honestly performed, or to pass any examination by improper means, is regarded by the Faculty as a most serious offense, and renders the offender liable to immediate expulsion. The aiding and abetting of a student in any dishonesty is likewise held to be a grave breach of discipline.

No student shall be required to withdraw from the Institute for alleged academic misconduct without an investigation and an opportunity to be heard by the Committee on Discipline.

Any regulation may be amended at any regular or special Faculty meeting by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members present and voting, but not less than thirty affirmative votes, provided the proposed amendment has been announced in the call for the meeting.

In the event of a Significant Disruption of academic activities during MIT’s regular session, the Faculty acting through its officers and Standing Committees may impose temporary changes in the regulations regarding the academic calendar, registration, assignments and examinations, grades, the procedures for accepting theses, and the awarding of degrees. A Significant Disruption includes but is not limited to an extended closure of the Institute or suspension of classes due to a natural disaster, civil unrest, or pandemic illness. A Significant Disruption might also result from a circumstance in which substantial absenteeism among students or instructors across the Institute prevents academic work from progressing.

When a Significant Disruption occurs, the Chair of the Faculty (or if unavailable, the Associate Chair of the Faculty), in consultation with the Deans’ Group of the Academic Council; the chairs of the Committees on the Undergraduate Program, Graduate Programs, and Academic Performance; and the Registrar; will declare that emergency academic procedures are in effect and will promulgate temporary regulations related to academic activities, provide guidance to instructors, and consult closely with the academic units. The temporary regulations should

  • Conform to the recommendations of the administration regarding the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff;
  • Preserve the standards and integrity of the MIT curricular and degree-granting processes;
  • Address the needs of students in their final term;
  • Take into consideration any implications for international students enrolled at MIT; and
  • Address the use of the alternate grades described in Section 2.64.

Term Regulations and Examination Policies

Overview of Term Regulations and Examination Policies

The MIT Faculty has adopted certain term regulations and examination policies that derive from Rules and Regulations of the Faculty and apply to academic exercises during the fall and spring terms. Exceptions to term regulations and examination policies must be approved by the current Chair of the Faculty, Professor Susan Silbey.

Students are entitled to expect that no faculty member will deviate from these regulations except with prior permission of the Chair of the Faculty and that any such approved exception will be announced and appropriately emphasized early in the term.

Nonetheless, violations of these rules are reported each term. While usually well-intended, requirements that are in violation of the rules often impose hardships on students. When violations occur, the Chair of the Faculty has the responsibility to resolve them. The Chair will contact the instructor, and, in the case of undergraduate subjects, will inform the Department Head as well.

Note: Asking students to vote on some deviation from the rules is not permissible. Instructors should contact exam-termregs@mit.edu with questions of interpretation or requests for exceptions to the regulations. Exceptions to the regulations are granted for no more than five years.

Please read these guidelines carefully and contact the Chair of the Faculty no later than Add Date with any questions. For full-term subjects, Add Date is the end of the fifth week of a term. For all half-term subjects (H1, H2, H3, H4), Add Date is the end of the second week of the half-term period.

Students are encouraged to discuss questions regarding individual subjects and term regulations with the instructor as early in the term as possible. Students can also address questions or report violations to exam-termregs@mit.edu. It is Institute policy that individuals will not be reprimanded or discriminated against for initiating an inquiry or complaint, see MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 9.5.

Undergraduate students may also contact the Undergraduate Association’s Student Committee on Education (CoE) for advice and support.

Please note that these term regulations now include information specified for both full-term subjects and half-term subjects. There are four half-terms referred to: the fall semester includes H1 and H2 half-term periods; the spring semester includes H3 and H4 half-term periods. H2 and H4 half-term subjects follow the same end-of-term regulations as full-term subjects. The final examination period for H1 and H3 is the last week of a subject; the associated regulations can be found in Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, Section 2.50. Detailed information on these can also be found in the sections below on this page.

A handout of these term regulations can be downloaded here.

Planning for the Beginning of Term

Class Times (All Subjects)
In accordance with Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, Section 2.10, academic exercises are, in general, held between 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Classes begin five minutes after and end five minutes before the scheduled hour or half-hour; this gives students time to get to their next class and allows the instructor coming into the classroom adequate time to set up. Instructors should make their teaching assistants who conduct recitations or tutorial sessions aware of this rule.

For undergraduate subjects taught on campus during the instructional period of the fall and spring terms, there cannot be any required academic exercises between 5pm and 7pm Monday through Thursday, and between 5pm Friday and 8am Monday. This same restriction also applies to undergraduate subjects taught during the Independent Activities Period.

Monday evening class times are reserved for regularly scheduled classes; therefore, tests and required reviews are prohibited on Monday evenings. When an optional review session is scheduled for a Monday evening (including a session that introduces new material or discusses upcoming test content), students must have an alternative way of obtaining comparable help within the normal instructional periods, e.g., faculty office hours.

Full-term Subjects: First and Third Weeks
In full-term subjects, the faculty member must provide by the end of the first week of classes:

  • A clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments
  • The approximate schedule of tests and due dates for major projects
  • An indication of whether or not there will be a final exam
  • The grading criteria and procedures to be used

By the end of the third week, the faculty member must provide the precise schedule of tests and major assignments.

Half-term Subjects: First and Second Weeks
In half-term subjects, the faculty member must provide by the end of the first week of classes:

  • A clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments
  • The approximate schedule of tests and due dates for major projects
  • An indication of whether or not there will be a final exam
  • The grading criteria and procedures to be used

By the end of the second week, the faculty member must provide the precise schedule of tests and major assignments.

Tests and Academic Exercises Outside Scheduled Class Times
Tests, required reviews, and other academic exercises outside scheduled class times may not be held on Monday evenings. This regulation is intended to reduce conflicts with evening classes and first-year advising seminars and also to invigorate student activities and programs in the living groups.

In addition, tests held outside scheduled class times will:

  • Not exceed two hours in length
  • Be scheduled through the Schedules Office
  • Begin no earlier than 7:30pm when held in the evening

A student who is unable to take a test that is held outside of scheduled class time owing to a conflict with a scheduled academic exercise or extracurricular activity must be allowed to do so at another time.

When a test is held outside scheduled class time, either:

  • A regularly scheduled class session (lecture or recitation) must be cancelled during the same calendar week OR
  • No assignment will be due during the same calendar week.

Class Times (All Subjects)
In accordance with Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, Section 2.10, classes will, in general, be held between 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Exercises begin five minutes after and end five minutes before the scheduled hour or half-hour; this gives students time to get to their next class and allows the instructor coming into the classroom adequate time to set up.

Full-term Subjects: Third Week
In full-term subjects, the faculty member must provide by the end of the third week:

  • A clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments
  • The schedule for tests and due dates for major projects
  • Whether or not there will be a final exam
  • The grading criteria and procedures to be used

Major assignments should be assigned early enough to allow students the opportunity to manage their time effectively throughout the term.

Half-term Subjects: Second Week
In half-term subjects, the faculty member must provide by the end of the second week:

  • A clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments
  • The schedule for tests and due dates for major projects
  • Whether or not there will be a final exam
  • The grading criteria and procedures to be used

Major assignments should be assigned early enough to allow students the opportunity to manage their time effectively throughout the term.

Tests and Academic Exercises Outside Scheduled Class Times
When a student is unable to take a test that is held outside of scheduled class time owing to a conflict with another scheduled academic exercise or extracurricular activity, the student must be allowed to take the test at another time.

The UA Committee on Education has developed a checklist that many students and faculty members find useful.

Absence for Religious Observances
Students unable to attend classes or participate in any exam, study, or work requirement on a particular day because of their religious beliefs are excused from such activities. These students are to be given the opportunity to make up the work missed, provided that this does not create an unreasonable burden on MIT. In addition, no adverse or prejudicial effects will result because students have made use of these provisions, see MIT Policies & Procedures, Section 9.9.2.

Academic Honesty
Because instructors' attitudes toward collaboration vary widely, students are often confused about expectations regarding permissible academic conduct. Different cultural values and priorities regarding academic honesty increase the need for clearly stated expectations. Failure to clarify expectations often contributes to cases of academic dishonesty brought before the Committee on Discipline.

Early in the term, faculty members should clarify in writing expectations regarding permissible academic conduct. While some expectations are obvious, gray areas exist where standards vary across subjects and departments. MIT Academic Integrity provides guidance for ensuring responsible academic behavior.

For some students, a particularly troublesome area is the question of working together on problem sets and other homework assignments. The use of old solution sets or lab reports presents a similar problem. Because homework assignments have two roles — helping students learn the material and helping instructors evaluate academic performance — it is not always obvious how much assistance from old materials, if any, the instructor finds acceptable. Course syllabi should explain precisely the faculty member's expectations about the nature and extent of any collaboration or assistance from old materials they permit or encourage. If assistance from old materials is permitted, the instructor should be certain that the materials are available to all students equally.

If a faculty member believes that a student has violated expected standards of academic honesty, s/he has several available courses of action. For more detailed guidelines, see the Academic Honesty sections of MIT Policies & Procedures.

Faculty should report actionable cases of academic dishonesty to the Office of Student Citizenship at x3-7848. Within each department, a senior member of the Faculty, such as the department head, should be available to provide guidance to faculty members and students in cases of academic dishonesty. In addition, assistant and associate deans in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Dean for Student Life, and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, as well as the Ombuds Office, are available for consultation with students, faculty, and department heads.

Copyright Permissions for Course Readers
In accordance with Federal copyright laws, MIT requires individual faculty to obtain all required copyright permissions for material contained in their course readers (MIT Policies & Procedures, Section 13.0). To encourage compliance with these regulations, MIT Copytech has established a Copyright Service to assist faculty and staff in obtaining proper copyright permissions. When given six to eight weeks lead time, the Service will forward copyright request forms to publishers, track responses, and process royalty fees.

Disabilities Services Offices for Students
As required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, faculty share in the Institute's responsibility to make a reasonable effort in providing effective alternative means for qualified students with disabilities to fulfill course requirements. Specifically, faculty are responsible for working with the student and Disabilities Services staff to identify and provide reasonable accommodation for academic access and assessment. As members of the Institute community, faculty must maintain confidentiality on a need-to-know basis with regard to disclosure of information related to students with disabilities. For more information, please contact Kathleen Monagle, Assistant Dean, Student Disabilities Services (x3-1674, monaglek@mit.edu).

Grading: General
Guidelines for letter grades are defined in Section 2.60 of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty.

The factors which determine the awarding of grades in any particular subject will necessarily be affected by the scope and level of that subject. In relatively elementary subjects, the mastery of particular skills will often be of primary importance, whereas in more advanced subjects, more complex considerations may enter into the evaluation.

The Faculty wishes to make it clear that in determining a student's grade, consideration will be given for elegance of presentation, creativity, imagination, and originality, where these may appropriately be called for.

Modifiers of + and - are allowed on the grades of A, B, and C. These modifiers are only for internal grade reports. Term and cumulative averages (internal and external) shall be calculated without modifiers.

Grading: Incompletes
The grade of I indicates that a minor part of the subject requirements have not been fulfilled and that a passing grade is to be expected when the work is completed. When a grade of I is reported, the instructor must also provide additional information including the anticipated completion date, grade to date, and what the default final grade would be if no other work were to be done in the subject. By the last day of the regular term during which the work was to have been completed, instructors must submit final grades based on the work completed. If no final grade is submitted, the default final grade indicated when the I was initially assigned will be entered on the student’s record as the final grade. No grade of incomplete may be assigned to any undergraduate in the semester in which he or she graduates and all grades of Incomplete must be resolved prior to graduation.

Online Subject Listings
The class schedule is available online and can be searched by topic, requirement, or class time.

Prerequisite Subjects
Prerequisites are used to indicate the sequence in which subjects are to be taken and the base of knowledge on which a particular subject will build. Before taking a subject, a student should complete any prerequisite(s) listed in the catalogue description for that subject. (Co-requisites, which are listed in the catalogue in italics, are to be taken concurrently.)

Once prerequisites and co-requisites are included in a subject listing, it is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that the subject is taught at that level. At the first class, instructors should reiterate the prerequisites and co-requisites, and describe acceptable substitutions.

Students who do not have the stated prerequisites should obtain the permission of the instructor. Instructors may request that the Registrar's Office identify students without prerequisites, and in some cases, screen them from the subjects. If the instructor allows a student to waive or make a substitution for a prerequisite, it is then the student's responsibility to master any missing background material in a timely fashion so that the content of the subject does not change for other students in the subject.

The instructor may determine that a student does not have the required preparation and knowledge to take a subject and may, with the help of the Registrar's Office, exclude the student from the subject.

Some departments require students with a D-level performance in certain prerequisite subjects within the departmental program to do additional work or to retake the prerequisite before proceeding with the follow-on subject.

Privacy and Student Information
MIT’s policy on the Privacy of Student Records sets out the responsibilities of all MIT community members relating to the release of and access to student records under FERPA. Faculty members should be mindful that students’ privacy can be violated inadvertently and give careful thought to how information regarding grades and performance is conveyed and secured. Full information about the policy is available here.

Planning for the End of Term

The MIT Faculty regulates examinations and work assignments at the end of term to ensure that student and faculty workloads do not become overwhelming. However, violations of these regulations are reported each term. While usually well-intended, requirements that are in violation of the rules often impose hardships on students. When violations occur, the Chair of the Faculty has the responsibility to resolve them. The Chair will contact the instructor, and, in the case of undergraduate subjects, will inform the Department Head as well.

It is often difficult and awkward to resolve such situations late in the term in a way that is fair to the students and that preserves the educational value intended by the instructor. For this reason, please read these guidelines carefully and contact the current Chair of the Faculty, Professor Susan Silbey, no later than Add Date with any questions. For full-term subjects, Add Date is the end of the fifth week of a term. For all half-term subjects (H1, H2, H3, H4), Add Date is the end of the second week of the half-term period.

Students are entitled to expect that no faculty member will deviate from these rules except with prior permission of the Chair of the Faculty and that any such approved exception will be announced and appropriately emphasized early in the term. Having students vote on any deviation from the rules is not an acceptable procedure. (See Section 2.50 of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty on assignments and examinations.)

Key End of Term Dates, Fall 2017

Last Test Date: Friday, December 8
Last Day of Classes: Wednesday, December 13
Final Examinations: Monday - Friday, December 18-22

See the Academic Calendar for additional dates.

Exercises After the Last Scheduled Class in All Subjects
No required classes, examinations, oral presentations, exercises or assignments of any kind may be scheduled after the last regularly scheduled class in any subject – whether full-term or half-term – except for final examinations scheduled through the Schedules Office. (The architecture design reviews that occur during finals week are considered to be equivalent to final examinations and are scheduled by the Department of Architecture.)

Formal reviews must be held during regular class periods. However, instructors may schedule optional reviews or sessions at which the instructing staff is available to answer questions for students who choose to attend after the last day of classes. No new material may be introduced during optional events.

An instructor may give an extension to an individual student for an assignment, but blanket extensions should not be given to the entire class.

Scheduling Final Exams
The final examination period for H1/H3 half-term subjects is the last week of a subject. Final examinations for H1/H3 half-term subjects are held during a regularly scheduled class period and last no longer than one class period. These examinations are not scheduled through the Schedules Office.

Final examinations for full-term subjects and for H2/H4 half-term subjects are held during the five-day final examination period at the end of each term and are scheduled through the Schedules Office. Final examinations are scheduled in either the morning (9:00 a.m. to noon) or afternoon (1:30 to 4:30 p.m.) on examination days.

A final examination must be scheduled to last at least one hour and not more than three hours; ex camera examinations for undergraduate subjects are the only exception to this regulation. Final examinations may not be cancelled once they are announced, and, after the final examination schedule is published, the time of the final examination may not be changed. Instructors may not administer a take-home examination as a final examination, except as permitted with respect to ex camera examinations.

Students are responsible for attending the final examinations required in the subjects for which they are registered. The schedule of final examinations is published on the Registrar’s website by the end of the third week of the fall and spring terms. The Schedules Office contacts students who have conflicts between scheduled final examinations to notify them of the conflict examination schedule, which is announced the day after Drop Date. The Schedules Office also provides instructors with the conflict examination schedule immediately after Drop Date.

Excused Absences from Final Exams
A student may be excused from a scheduled final examination for reasons of illness or significant personal problems. To seek an excused absence in these situations, an undergraduate student should contact a dean in Student Support Services and a graduate student should contact the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education. Faculty members with questions about this process should contact the appropriate office. (See definition of "O" and "OX" grades in Section 2.62.3 of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty.)

In addition, the faculty member in charge of a subject may excuse a student from a final examination for reasons such as a conflict with another examination or religious holiday. In these cases, a mutually satisfactory agreement must be reached between the student and the faculty member, the agreement ratified in advance of the examination by the head of the department in which the subject is offered, and the faculty member must be prepared to submit a grade based on other evidence.

Faculty members are not required to provide make-up examinations to accommodate an individual student's personal plans at the end of the term.

End-of-Term Tests in Full-term and H2/H4 Half-term Subjects
In all full-term and H2/H4 half-term undergraduate subjects, there are to be no tests after the Last Test Date, defined in Section 2.53 of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty as the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period. [For Fall 2017, the Last Test Date is Friday, December 8, 2017.] Unit tests may be scheduled during the final examination period.

End-of-Term Assignments for Full-term and H2/H4 Subjects with Finals
For all full-term and H2/H4 half-term subjects in which there is testing during the final examination period, no assignment may fall due after the Last Test Date (Fall 2017: Friday, December 8, 2017).

End-of-Term Assignments for Full-term and H2/H4 Subjects without Finals
For full-term and H2/H4 half-term subjects in which there is no testing during the final examination period, at most one assignment may fall due between the Last Test Date (Fall 2017: December 8, 2017) and the end of the last scheduled class period in the subject. This single assignment may include both an oral presentation and a written report if the two derive from the same project. However, students must not be required to attend additional lecture or recitation hours beyond the assigned units to accommodate oral presentations.

Optional assignments between the Last Test Date (Fall 2017: December 8, 2017) and the last scheduled class period in the subject should be for self-study and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.

End-of-Term Assignments for H1/H3 Half-term Subjects with or without Finals
For H1/H3 half-term subjects, the final week of the class is considered to be the Half-Term Final Examination Period. There may be at most one assignment due or one exam held during this final week of the class. Optional assignments during the Half-Term Final Examination Period are for self-study, and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.

Ex Camera Finals
A faculty member must obtain the permission of the Chair of the Faculty to hold an ex camera (out-of-room) final examination in an undergraduate subject and permission will be granted for no more than five years. Ex camera examinations are a different mode of testing that gives students access to computers and libraries and evaluates their abilities to select resources and answer questions of an integrative nature. Ex camera examinations are not intended as a way to increase the amount the material covered. An ex camera examination must:

  • Be scheduled through the Schedules Office
  • Be offered over the course of a single afternoon — starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending no later than at 7:30 p.m.
  • Permit students unrestricted use of resources

End-of-Term Tests and Assignments for Full-term and H2/H4 Half-term Subjects with Finals
In all full-term and H2/H4 half-term graduate subjects with a final examination, no other test may be given and no assignment/paper/presentation may fall due after the Last Test Date, defined as the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period. [For Fall 2017, the Last Test Date is Friday, December 8, 2017.]

End-of-Term Tests and Assignments for Full-term and H2/H4 Half-term Subjects without Finals
For each full-term and H2/H4 half-term subject without a final examination, no more than one of the following may be given or fall due between the Last Test Date [Fall 2017: December 8, 2017] and the end of the last regularly scheduled class in the subject: in-class test, assignment, term paper, or oral presentation. If an in-class test is given, its length is limited to one normal class period (or to one and one-half hours, whichever is shorter). Students must not be required to attend additional lecture or recitation hours beyond the assigned units to accommodate oral presentations.

End-of-Term Tests and Assignments for H1/H3 Half-term Subjects with or without Finals
For all H1/H3 half-term subjects, the final week of the class is considered the Half-Term Final Examination Period. During this week, no more than one of the following may be given or fall due: in-class test, assignment, term paper, or oral presentation. An in-class test or final examination given during this period is limited to one normal class period (or to one and one-half hours, whichever is shorter). Students must not be required to attend additional lecture or recitation hours beyond the assigned units to accommodate oral presentations.

Snow Closings

In 2015 and again in 2017, MIT was closed due to snow on several occasions, canceling classes and all academic activities on short notice. Should this happen again, faculty are expected to communicate clearly and promptly to a class as to how the canceled class will be handled. Faculty and instructors are encouraged to consider in advance the following possible options:

  1. Change the syllabus: (a) omit the canceled session; (b) adjust the syllabus to include the snow day material in one or more later classes and, as needed, skip less critical material.
  2. For smaller classes, WebEx videoconferencing is available so that a class may be held at its normally scheduled time. This can also be used for research group meetings. IS&T has confirmed that the service has sufficient bandwidth to handle widespread use in such a situation.
  3. Ask that students watch an online lecture or an archived video from a prior semester’s class session – if available. The lecture/video does not need to be the same instructor or session topic if adjustments can be made accordingly to the syllabus.
  4. If you have experience doing so, record a video from home and post on Stellar to be viewed on the snow day during the class time. For example, you can voice over a PPT presentation with software such as Quicktime. A session like this may be shorter than a regular class since there will be no interaction.

Option 1 is most common and, absent clear communication from you in advance, will be what your students expect. There are no policies or regulations that either encourage or prohibit the other options. Please let your students know in advance of any you might try (for example via adding snow closing plans to your syllabi if you plan anything other than Option 1).
 
Please Note: Faculty/Instructors may not schedule a mandatory class session to make up for the missed class.