Skip to content ↓

I’m Graduating Early??? [NOT CLICKBAIT] by Abby H. '20

also: the unification of course 7

MIT is going through changes right now in addition to the new phase of the CUP first-year experiment. Here are two that actually affect me.


Graduating Early

We are within throwing distance of Commencement 2019, in which most of the people who got here in September 2015 will be graduating. The occasion is scheduled for June 7, as it is traditional for MIT commencement to occur around the first week of June.

The ’18s graduated on June 8, the ’17s graduated on June 9, the ’16s graduated on June 3, the ’15s graduated on June 5, the ’14s graduated on June 6, and the ’13s graduated on June 7, and the ’12s graduated on June 8.

The late commencement date is pretty cool for a few reasons: IAP feels longer since we don’t have to register for spring semester until the first week of February, we get a 4-day weekend for Patriots’ Day, and all the other schools in the area Commence earlier so that your interaction with Harvard parents in public spaces is minimized.

However, graduating on June 8 means you have to move out of the dorm on June 9, and into… somewhere that lets you sign a lease starting in the middle of a month? Or maybe you live off campus, and the place you’re in wants you to pay a whole month’s rent when you only need it for another week. And maybe you were planning on doing an internship or starting a job immediately after graduating (such is society), but those are also the kinds of things that tend to kick off around the first of the month.

The howevers here (which all are more legitimate points than I don’t want to have to stand in line at Flour with Remington J. Halliburton V and Alexander Q. Raytheon III01 These are jokes made in the spirit of playful rivalry! Please don't blacklist me Mr. Corporation! I need a job! ) have led to the generally favorable administrative decision02 This feels like an oxymoron at this point to move commencement to the week of Memorial Day, which is the last Monday of May.

And so I will graduate with the other ’20s on May 29, the ’21s will graduate on May 28, the ’22s will graduate on May 27, the ’23s will graduate on June 2, the ’24s will graduate on May 31, and the ’25s will graduate on May 30.

My mom is already trying to buy plane tickets.

 

The Great Biology Merger

On Tuesday, I was a Course 7A. 7A is basically the same as Course 7, except you get to choose a CI-M that isn’t 7.18.

What is CI-M? What is 7.18?

Every Course03 You call it <del>corn</del> major, we call it <del>maize</del> course at MIT requires the completion of two04 You can take more than two if you want classes that are communication intensive,05 Usually meaning that you write papers or do presentations and then have to meet with a communication instructor for feedback so you can improve on the next paper or presentation or CI-Ms. These are similar to CI-Hs, which are the two06 Again, you can take more than two if you want communication intensive HASS07 Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences classes that you are required to take. The difference is that most people08 There are always plenty of people who do both of these freshman year, or on the other end of the spectrum, people who put off their last CI-H for freshman year because they want to take CI-Ms earlier take their CI-Hs freshman and sophomore years, and most people take their CI-Ms their junior and senior years when they actually have declared their majors and have taken classes to give them background knowledge to complete a CI-M. You have to finish at least one CI class per academic year.

7.18 is a behemoth 30- unit09 At MIT, 1 unit=1 hour of in-class and out of class work per week CI-M in which you perform research and write what is essentially an undergrad thesis. This and the 18-unit 7.02 Intro to Experimentation and Communication in Biology were the required CI-Ms for course 7 until recently. In order to take 7.18, you must have taken 7.06 Cell Biology (which has 7.03 Genetics and 7.05 Biochemistry as prereqs, which have 7.01x Intro Biology and 5.12 Organic Chemistry I as prereqs, which has 5.11x/3.091 Intro Chemistry as a prereq) and also have completed a 12-unit UROP/non-credit equivalent in an MIT biology lab. The department does not set up UROPs for you, and they won’t pair you to a lab. Couple these demands requirements with a 30 hour per week (that’s 6 hours per school day) expected time commitment for a single class, and you’ve got a major that will scare away even the most curious biology hobbyist. Taking 7.18 requires a good deal of planning and class-passing10 This is not to disparage the planners and class-passers; most course 7s I know of actually have cohesive projects that they have been working on for a long time and respect the 30 units of credit that they get for pursuing their passions that doesn’t come naturally to most people. For example, I am taking 7.06 this semester, so I would only be able to take 7.18 next semester when I am likely applying for grad school and should not be spending 6 hours (or more!) in lab working on a project that would have looked better on my grad school apps had I completed it earlier.

So I’m a 7A. My non-7.02 CI-M is 9.28 Current Topics in Developmental Neurobiology, a whole 21 units less than 7.18 would have been. All is well except now effective Fall 2019 I’ll just be a course 7. And I didn’t even have to fill out a major change form! All because…

  • Courses 7 and 7A are being consolidated into just Course 7.
  • 7.18 will no longer be offered.
  • 7.02 is being replaced with the 6-unit 7.002 Fundamentals of Experimental Molecular Biology and the 12-unit 7.003 Molecular Biology Laboratory. 7.002 was first offered last semester as a sort of intro lab class that first years can take to gain the skills necessary to get a bio UROP without needing to have completed the standard course 7 prereqs.

I took 7.02, so I know just how much time that class took. I am happy that these changes have been made. It did, however, make things a little difficult for me last week when I was trying to get my double major11 On my way! to a CMS major form signed. I already had to change the graduation date from 6/2020 to 5/2020. I took my form to the bio department to sign on Tuesday, then on Wednesday they emailed out about how everyone who is 7A will just be a 7 from now on, so when I got my form I had to cross out 7A in the primary major spot.

If you’re interested, you can find all the required classes for the bio major here (and if you click some of the stuff on the left you can find the requirements for other majors but why click on those when you can be a bio major). Here are the biology restricted electives of which you pick at least 3:list of biology restricted electives: biological chemistry 2, quantitative and computational biology, human physiology, microbial physiology, developmental biology, immunology, molecular basis of infectious diseases, principles of human disease, molecular biology, cellular and molecular neurobiology, fundamentals of ecology 1 and 2, current topics in mammalian biology: medical implications, systems biology, evolutionary biology: concepts, models, and computation, molecular and engineering aspects of biotechnology, biological and engineering principles underlying novel biotherapeutics, principles of chemical biology, hallmarks of cancer, building with cells, developmental neurobiology, neural circuits, neuromodulatory, and neuroendocrine systems

They’re all good options! Be a course 7!

  1. These are jokes made in the spirit of playful rivalry! Please don't blacklist me Mr. Corporation! I need a job! back to text
  2. This feels like an oxymoron at this point back to text
  3. You call it corn major, we call it maize course back to text
  4. You can take more than two if you want back to text
  5. Usually meaning that you write papers or do presentations and then have to meet with a communication instructor for feedback so you can improve on the next paper or presentation back to text
  6. Again, you can take more than two if you want back to text
  7. Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences back to text
  8. There are always plenty of people who do both of these freshman year, or on the other end of the spectrum, people who put off their last CI-H for freshman year because they want to take CI-Ms earlier back to text
  9. At MIT, 1 unit=1 hour of in-class and out of class work per week back to text
  10. This is not to disparage the planners and class-passers; most course 7s I know of actually have cohesive projects that they have been working on for a long time and respect the 30 units of credit that they get for pursuing their passions back to text
  11. On my way! to a CMS major back to text