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How do I apply to be an Exchange Student, Special Student, or Visiting Student?

An Exchange Student enrolls at MIT to take classes as a non-degree student. Exchange students are affiliated with a university in which MIT has an established agreement, and both universities exchange students with mutual reciprocity. Exchange agreements are very selective; as such, there are very few of these arrangements. MIT participates in the Exchange Scholar Program, which enables current graduate students to enroll at participating institutions for a set duration. For a list of member institutions and the further details please visit the Exchange Scholar Program. For additional information about departmental exchange programs, please visit the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI).

Special Students are non-degree students who take classes at MIT. You will apply through the program headquarters and should contact the program directly for information on registration procedures. In all programs, students must demonstrate their ability to handle MIT’s rigorous academic standards. The undergraduate Special Students program is closed except for a very limited number of cases with institutions who have strategic partnerships with MIT.

If you are interested in doing research at MIT, you will need to be invited by an academic department as a Visiting Student. There is no central application to apply as a visiting student. Instead, individual faculty members must invite you to their lab to engage in research. If there is a specific area of research you find interesting, you may try contacting the affiliated department, laboratory, or faculty member to learn about available opportunities. For a list of current research areas, please visit the research site.

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