MIT doesn’t require applicants to take advanced courses beyond what is commonly available in high school. However, many of our students, either through their schools or on their own, have taken advanced coursework through programs like the AP, IB, PSEO, EPGY, and many more alphabet soups of advanced academic programs.
We like to see that students have challenged themselves in high school and have taken advantage of their opportunities. If you’re using your resources in high school, you’re going to learn a lot, and we’re going to think that when you come to MIT you’ll learn even more. So it’s always a good thing to push yourself academically in high school, for your sake and ours.
That said, MIT does not commonly award credit for advanced coursework because we prefer to make sure that all of our students start on equal footing. Though most advanced coursework programs are “standardized” in theory, in reality they often differ substantially from regions, schools, teachers, and even individual classes.
More information on our credit policies for common advanced placement courses is outlined online.
If you are confident that you have been adequately prepared for introductory coursework at MIT, then you can take an Advanced Standing Exam (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.