Academic Year 2023-2024

14 Appendix: Excerpts from Rules and Regulations of the Faculty Regarding Degrees

2.80 Degrees19

Rules and Regulations of the Faculty
Revised 4/19


The degrees for which candidates may be recommended to the Corporation shall be Bachelor of Science (S.B.), Master of Science (S.M.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master in City Planning (M.C.P.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Finance (M.Fin), Master of Business Analytics (M.B.An), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), Engineer in Aeronautics and Astronautics (E.A.A.), Chemical Engineer (Chem.E.), Civil Engineer (C.E.), Engineer in Computer Science (E.C.S.), Electrical Engineer (E.E.), Environmental Engineer (Env.E.), Materials Engineer (Mat.E.), Mechanical Engineer (Mech.E.), Metallurgical Engineer (Met.E.), Naval Engineer (Nav.E.), Nuclear Engineer (Nucl.E.), Ocean Engineer (Ocean E.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.).

The graduate degrees of Engineer, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor may be awarded jointly with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


The Officers of the Faculty are authorized to receive the recommendations of the Committee on Academic Performance and the Committee on Graduate School Programs for the awarding of degrees and to forward the recommendations to the Corporation on behalf of the Faculty. The Officers are expected to bring unusual or disputed recommendations to the Faculty for resolution. The number of degrees awarded at each level shall be reported to the Faculty at the next regular meeting. The Provost, the Chair of the Faculty, and either the Chair of the Committee on Academic Performance (in the case of S.B. degrees) or the Dean for Graduate Education (in the case of graduate degrees) together may add names to the Commencement degree list that had been recommended by the Faculty to the Corporation, for the purpose of accommodating late recognition of degree requirements that had been completed by the established deadlines.


One unit of credit toward degree requirements represents approximately one hour per week of lecture, exercise, or preparation for one term. Unit designations of courses normally shall be multiples of three units. No instructor shall require more outside work than can be satisfactorily performed under ordinary working conditions in the preparation time assigned to the course by students of average capacity, adequate preparation, and reasonably good habits of work; and, in order that this rule may be practically enforced, each instructor is expected from time to time to ascertain the amount of outside preparation actually given to each of his or her courses by students whose work is of passing grade.

The term "subject" used in the remainder of Section 2.80 is construed to be a major commitment of a student's intellectual effort, explicitly in the 9- to 15-unit range, and usually 12 units.


To be recommended for the degree of Bachelor of Science, a student must have attended the Institute at least three regular academic terms, which ordinarily must include the term of graduation. A student who does not graduate within ten years of first entry will normally be expected to fulfill the requirements of the class with which he or she graduates.

A student must have satisfactorily completed a program of study approved in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty. Current requirements are as follows:

  1. The General Institute Requirements, which offer a broad education in humanistic and scientific disciplines:
    1. Six core science subjects, one subject from each of the following groups: 3.091, 5.111, or 5.112; 7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016; 8.01, 8.011, 8.01L, or 8.012; 8.02, 8.021, or 8.022; 18.01, 18.01A, or 18.014; and 18.02, 18.02A, 18.022, 18.023 or 18.024.20 The available choices shall be equivalent as prerequisites for Departmental programs.

    2. Two Restricted Electives in Science and Technology, at least one of which is not in a student's own department.

    3. One Laboratory subject of 12 units, or two Laboratory courses of at least six units each, so that the Laboratory work will call for a major commitment of the student's attention; it is suggested that students satisfy at least a portion of the Laboratory Requirements during the first two years.

    4. The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, consisting of eight subjects, including the following: a. A Distribution Component, consisting of one subject each in the following three categories: the Humanities, the Arts, and the Social Sciences. b. A Concentration Component, consisting of three or four subjects, as approved by the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement. The remaining subjects in fulfillment of the eight-subject HASS Requirement, beyond the Distribution Component and the Concentration Component, shall be chosen by the student.

    5. The Communication Requirement, consisting of four Communication-Intensive subjects as voted by the Faculty.

    6. The Physical Educational and Wellness Requirement.

  2. A total of at least 180 but not more than 198 units (excluding ROTC units) as follows:
    1. At least 96 units in courses offered by MIT.
    2. Unrestricted electives totaling at least 48 units.
    3. A Departmental program normally including up to 132 units and the equivalent of 11 subjects; but the Committee on Curricula may approve Departmental programs including up to the equivalent of 12 and one-half subjects and 150 units. In addition, Departmental programs may specify or expect up to three subjects that are also used by students to satisfy the General Institute Requirements, with the understanding that the department would allow specified substitutions of closely related subjects in other departments where possible.

Departmental requirements shall permit the student to schedule their program each year within a normal load of the equivalent of eight or eight and one-half subjects and shall guarantee at least 12 units of unrestricted elective time in the first year. It is normally expected that most of the core science subjects can be completed during the first year and that the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology and half of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement can be completed during the first two years.

All approved Course curricula for the degree of Bachelor of Science shall make it possible for students to complete all degree requirements in the equivalent of 32 to 34 subjects.

Within the limitations of the degree requirements specified above, the Faculty delegates to each department the authority to approve departures by individual students from approved Course curricula which are comparable to the established curricula in breadth, depth, and integrated approach to a well-defined educational objective. Departmental authority to approve departures which involve substitutions not in kind for more than one subject shall rest with a single member of the Faculty or with an appropriate department Faculty committee, rather than individual Faculty advisors, and a summary of all such departures shall be reported to the Committee on Curricula each term. The individual departments shall exert strong efforts to make it possible for students who have taken only one or two of the appropriate departmentally prescribed subjects during their first two years to complete their degree requirements in a normal four-year period.