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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

For those of you who commented in the last post or emailed me, thank you for your birthday wishes =)

I’m in the office today, reading applications as well as giving a presentation on MIT & admissions to a group of 175 juniors who are doing a college tour of New England. It was fun to do a presentation today; I haven’t given a presentation since probably late October. Luckily, I’ve done so many of them, I can talk about MIT on a moment’s notice and still do an okay job. And people laughed at my jokes, so overall I’d say things went well.

I think I have time tonight for one question (more soon!) before heading off to my friend Satwik’s birthday shenanigans…

LBizzle asked, “How does cross registration work and how easy is it to set up?”

MIT has cross registration (“crossreg”) with Wellesley College, Harvard University, the Massachusetts College of Art (“MassArt”), and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). Cross registration is actually surprisingly easy and a fun thing to do.

My junior year, I took a class at Harvard, in the Graduate School of Education (all Harvard graduate schools except for the Business School are open to cross-registration). Basically, all I needed was a signature on a form from the Harvard professor and from my academic advisor; both were pretty much formalities.

It was interesting to see “how the other half lives.” I was grateful for the opportunity to take a graduate-level course in education (I had many graduate-level Management courses at MIT, as there’s no restrictions against it, and really there’s no distinction bewteen undergraduate and graduate classes anyway). At the end of the day, I was glad to call MIT my home (as I prefer MIT’s housing and student life systems as well as its culture), but it was refreshing to experience a Harvard course.

Probably the most popular cross registration classes for MIT students are language classes. Some of my friends cross-registered for Welsh, Gaelic, and Taiwanese. There’s no stigma against cross registration. I think many more people come in thinking they’re going to crossreg than actually do, mostly because MIT’s offerings in the humanities and social sciences really do meet what most MIT students are looking for. But those who do crossreg, in my experience, definitely enjoy it.

Crossreg is made easier by the transportation between the campuses. Boston’s public transportation is terrific. The bus and subway go directly to Harvard, while going to MassArt and SMFA require just one transfer. Wellesley is further away, in the suburbs, but because of the MIT-Wellesley partnership, there’s a shuttlebus that runs directly between the two campuses.

In a future post, I’ll talk about partnerships between the Boston area schools, and all the interesting things that happen when two or more of Boston’s 50+ universities get together. Also, I’ll get to answering more of your questions. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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