Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

All judgments regarding credit are made by the Literature Transfer Examiner based upon the documentation provided by the student. To receive transfer credit in Literature, the Examiner must decide (a) whether the work done at an outside institution is comparable in quality and quantity to warrant credit, and (b) what kind of credit is appropriate. There is thus no guarantee that transfer credit will be granted; nor is it guaranteed, even when credit is granted, that a student will receive the 12 units of credit usual for Literature subjects at MIT.
It is generally advisable to communicate with a Transfer Credit Examiner in Literature prior to taking the subject for which a student hopes to receive transfer credit. However, all decisions as to transfer credit will depend upon the Examiner’s evaluation of the documents provided by the student after the subject has been completed.
Please note that the Literature Faculty generally does not approve credit for college subjects taken while in high school. Nor does it approve credit for any advanced placement exams.

What form does a student require to apply for Transfer Credit?

Traditional “transfer students” (i.e., college students who started their studies elsewhere and transferred
to MIT either in spring or fall) will request credit through the form entitled “MIT Request for Additional Credit Based on Subject(s) Completed at Outside Institution,” which is available for download here (PDF).
Regular MIT students who have taken classes elsewhere under a variety of circumstances (summer sessions, study abroad, etc.) request transfer credit through the same “Request for Additional Credit” form. Instructions can be found at The “Request for Additional Credit” form can be obtained online at Questions concerning this form may be directed to the UAAP at 617-253-6771.
Please note that students taking classes at Harvard University and Wellesley College do not need to complete a transfer credit form. They receive credit through cross-registration, a process overseen by the Registrar’s Office (5-111). Instructions may be found here:

What kind of Literature Transfer Credit can one receive?

In general, a student may request one of four types of transfer credit:

  1. General Elective Credit: Subjects deemed appropriate for such credit do not count toward the Institute’s 8-subject HASS requirement. They do, however, count as unrestricted elective credit towards the student’s graduation
  2. HASS-Elective Credit: Subjects deemed appropriate for such credit are designated as HASS-E on the appropriate transfer form, and do count toward the Institute’s 8-subject HASS requirement. The Literature Faculty will accept at most one such subject toward a Concentration in Literature, and at most two such subjects toward a Minor in Literature.
  3. Subject-Equivalent Credit: In this case, the transferred subject is consider the equivalent of a particular subject offered by the Literature Faculty. It therefore counts exactly as that Literature subject (in units, HASS elective status, and so on).

What kind of documentation does a student need to provide the Transfer Credit Examiner?

Students should contact the Literature Transfer Credit Examiner and arrange to provide a copy of the following material:

  1. Subject description and syllabus.
  2. Detailed descriptions of writing assignments.
  3. A copy of an essay written by the student for the subject and/or a completed examination.
  4. Copy of transcript showing grade received and the duration of course.

The Literature Transfer Credit Examiner will peruse the documentation carefully and decide how much credit (if any) and what type of credit is appropriate. A list of current Literature Faculty Transfer Examiners may be found on the Faculty Advisors page of this website.