What you need to know

The Institute Laboratory Requirement consists of subjects that require a major commitment of your attention in comprehensive projects rather than stand-alone experiments or exercises. The MIT Bulletin contains a complete description of the Institute Laboratory Requirement and the subjects that have been approved to fulfill it. To make a substitution for an Institute Laboratory subject, you must submit a petition to the Committee on Curricula (CoC).

The CoC denies most petitions to substitute individual project work for the Institute Lab Requirement because it can be difficult to determine whether such work fulfills the criteria. Only when the faculty project supervisor designates that the individual project is of outstanding quality, and the supervisor details a continued close involvement with the student's work, will the petition be favorably considered.

Some key points to remember:

  • Decisions are based on CoC guidelines.
  • In its review, the Committee may consult with the instructor and department offering the proposed substitution.

What you need to do

  • Download and fill out an Institute Laboratory Substitution Petition.
  • Print the form and have it signed by your advisor and your project supervisor, if you are seeking approval to substitute individual project work.
  • If applicable, ask your faculty project supervisor to contact CoC staff regarding your petition.
  • Deliver your completed petition to the Registrar’s Office in Room 5-115.
  • Your petition will be considered as the Committee agenda permits. The meeting schedule for the academic year is posted here.
  • You will receive notification of the Committee’s decision by email.