Taking a course at MIT

MIT has special policies regarding non-students who wish to take any regular undergraduate or graduate courses at MIT. 

  • It may be possible to audit a course (sit in on a class without receiving a grade or academic credit), but you must ask the professor teaching the course for permission. According to MIT policy, it is necessary to register for a course as a “listener” and pay the same tuition charge that you would pay if you were taking it for credit. If you are eligible for the Tuition Assistance Plan, please note that Plan benefits are not available for courses you take as a “listener.” Under the Plan, you must take a graduate course for credit and receive a grade of C- or better to receive plan benefits. Postdocs should discuss the proposed activity with their supervisors and postdoc key administrative contacts.
  • International postdocs should also follow these guidelines.  
  • The guidelines outlined under Considerations for MIT Teaching Opportunities for Postdocs also apply to postdocs taking courses. Briefly stated, Postdoctoral Fellows must follow the terms of their fellowships, and Postdoctoral Associates who are paid entirely from their supervisors’ sponsored research funds must devote full-time effort to their research activities unless adjustments are made to their effort and appropriate approvals are in place. 
  • Anyone taking a course toward a degree at MIT must follow admission procedures for admission to that program. In most cases, a scholar cannot take full-time courses toward a degree and simultaneously be on appointment at MIT.
  • In order to officially register part-time for an individual MIT course (not toward a degree), one must apply through the Advanced Study Program and pay tuition. 
  • Individuals enrolled in the Advanced Study Program are not eligible for financial aid from MIT, but Postdoctoral Associates who meet eligibility requirements may be eligible to use the Tuition Assistance Plan to pay the cost of one Advanced Study Program course per term. 

Updated: November 2023