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Preparing for MIT: Advanced classes & credit

MIT does not require applicants to take advanced courses beyond what is commonly available in high school.

Credit for coursework

We love to see that students have challenged themselves in high school and have taken advantage of their opportunities. However, we don’t commonly award credit for advanced coursework, generally because we prefer to make sure that all of our students start with equal footing. Though most advanced coursework programs are “standardized” in theory, in reality they often differ substantially between regions, schools, teachers, and even individual classes.

See a list of our credit policies for common advanced placement courses.

Advanced Standing Exams

Even if the above mechanisms for credit don’t work out, there is still another path to show your prior learning: through the Advanced Standing Exams, or ASEs. If you are confident that you have been adequately prepared for introductory coursework at MIT, through your high school study or independent study, then you can always take an ASE to test out of it.

It’s essentially like sitting the final before the class begins. If you do well you get to keep your grade on the ASE as your grade in the class; if you do poorly, you can simply take the class and the bad grade disappears.

No one will ever hold your education back at MIT, and you will never exhaust our curriculum of hard, interesting classes.