What you need to know

You may take an Advanced Standing Examination (ASE) to earn credit for an MIT subject. Typically, these are offered in math, physics, chemistry, biology, and electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). If you fail the ASE, you may not retake the exam, but you can register for the subject in a subsequent term.

You must submit a petition to take an ASE, and your advisor or registration officer, along with the instructor in charge of the subject or the appropriate department administrator, must sign it. The instructor may require additional evidence of competence if the subject normally involves measures of student performance qualitatively different from the examination.

Some key points to remember:

  • Special students are not eligible to take ASEs.
  • To be eligible to take an ASE, you cannot have attended or been registered for the subject or any of its variations (e.g. 8.022 Physics II and 8.02 Physics II).
  • An exception can be made if you never attended the class and submitted a drop form within the first week of the term.

What you need to do

First-year and transfer students may take ASEs during orientation. All other students should follow these procedures:

  • Review petition deadlines in the Academic Calendar.
  • Familiarize yourself with ASE grading policies.
  • Contact the appropriate department for specific information about when their exam(s) are offered.
  • Confirm that you have not attended or been previously registered for the subject in question.
  • If you were registered for the subject, you must have not attended any classes and must have submitted a drop form within the first week of the term.
  • Print and complete an ASE Petition, including all required signatures, and email your petition to records@mit.edu.
  • You will receive an email notification regarding the status of your petition shortly after your submission.
  • Those approved will receive scheduling information about the ASE.
  • If you decide not to take the exam, it is your responsibility to contact the department offering the subject. If you fail to cancel, you may be denied the opportunity to take the exam at a later date.

ASE schedule overview

Date offered

Credit awarded for

Late August/early September (before Registration Day) Fall semester
December (during final exam period) Fall semester
Late January/early February (before Registration Day) Spring semester
May (during final exam period) Spring semester

Department contact information