This grading option only applies to students who entered as first-years before Fall 2020.

What you need to know

Sophomores may designate one subject as Exploratory during their fall and spring semesters. With an Exploratory subject, you can either accept the grade awarded or change to listener status. This option allows you to broaden your educational experience by exploring a subject you might not otherwise take, while reducing possible effects on term and cumulative ratings.

Some key points to remember:

  • Only first-year students entering MIT before Fall 2020 are eligible to use this grading option.
  • A subject can be designated as Exploratory any time before Add Date.
  • You may designate any subject as Exploratory, including an Institute or departmental requirement or a cross-registered subject taken at another school.
  • You receive no credit for subjects you choose to take as a listener; they do not appear on your transcript.

What you need to do

  • Designate a subject as Exploratory during registration.
  • After registration, request changes to Exploratory status through our Add/Drop application.
  • An email notification will be sent to your advisor. He or she must approve your request.
  • After your advisor has approved the request, return to your Add/Drop application to submit the change.
  • Complete the subject and review your grade. If you are satisfied, no action is needed.
  • If you are not satisfied and would like to change your Exploratory subject from for-credit to listener status, submit an Add/Drop form online through Registration Day of your next semester at MIT.

Exceptions to the Registration Day deadline

  • If you are not registering for the following semester because you are studying abroad or taking a leave of absence, you have until Registration Day of your next semester at MIT (fall or spring) to change the designation.
  • If you receive an O/OX or I in your Exploratory subject, you have until Registration Day of your next semester (fall or spring) after the final grade is posted to change the designation.