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Transfer applicants: Academic preparation

Coursework and test requirements

We recommend that prospective transfer students take a variety of mathematics and science courses before applying. Take full advantage of your institution’s offerings in these areas. This includes one year each of college-level calculus and calculus-based physics, and one semester each of biology and chemistry. If you received advanced placement from high school courses, then you should enroll at the appropriate level for each of the disciplines mentioned above.

Core graduation requirements

Core graduation requirements for all majors at MIT are two semesters of college calculus and calculus-based physics, and one semester each of chemistry and biology. You can find out more about MIT’s General Institute Requirements here.


There is no minimum required GPA, but competitive applicants generally have a GPA of 3.5 or above, and mostly A’s in mathematics and science courses.

Testing must be completed by the November test date for spring (February) entry and by the March test date for fall (September) entry. These dates change each year and are set by the testing agency. Click here for specifics on our testing requirements.


Choose your activities because they really delight, intrigue, and challenge you, not because you think they’ll look impressive on your application. Go out of your way to find projects, research, activities, internships, and experiences that stimulate your creativity and leadership, that connect you with peers who bring out your best, and that please you so much you don’t mind the work involved.

Credit transfer

If we admit you as a transfer student, you can expect to receive credit for subjects of study that are substantively equivalent to corresponding MIT subjects. If your academic record doesn’t appear to merit credit in a certain subject, you may be allowed to demonstrate that you are entitled to such credit by passing an Advanced Standing Examination.

Academic credit is not assessed until after you are admitted to MIT, at which point it is evaluated by the relevant academic departments. If you would like to compare the courses offered at your institution to those offered at MIT, you can refer to the MIT Bulletin (Course and Degree Catalog).

Transfer students typically lose at least one semester of coursework. Most students enter MIT as sophomores, regardless of the amount of coursework they completed at their previous college(s).