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The MIT education: Majors & minors

At MIT, majors are conventionally called courses, and they’re numbered rather than named; meanwhile, our credits are called units and they’re counted differently than at most other universities. The terminology can be confusing, but the important thing to know is that we have many things you can learn through programs that are at the leading edge of their field.

Your first year

When you apply to MIT, you apply to the entire university, not to a specific major or school, so all first-year students begin MIT undeclared. During your first year, MIT will provide academic fairs, lectures, seminars, and other programs to help you determine which major will suit you best; you are then free to choose from among any of MIT’s courses of study, without any additional requirements or admission procedures.

Our five schools

As an administrative matter, MIT is organized into five schools:

Each of these schools offers degrees in their courses of study, as well as minors and/or concentrations, and teach thousands of classes open to any student no matter their course of study or departmental affiliation. Students may complete a traditional degree, an interdisciplinary degree, a joint degree, or a double-major. However, at MIT, the focus is less on credentialing and more on the substance of what you need to learn to effectively solve problems that matter to you.

Degree chart

You can skim the degree chart below to get a quick visual sense of what you can study at MIT, or read the catalog for the gory details.