Graduate Policies & Procedures

Language proficiency

There is no Institute language requirement; however, several departments require that a candidate be able to read or speak a second or third language with intermediate competence. A student may satisfy the requirement in one of three ways:

  • by fulfilling the requirement before entrance by passing one or more intermediate or advanced subjects with a grade of C or better;
  • through examination by MIT Global Studies and Languages (GSL);
  • or by taking language subjects offered by MIT GSL or its affiliated cross-registration partners according to the requirements of the candidate’s home department.

Normally, introductory courses in a language cannot be used to satisfy a requirement for language proficiency.

MIT GSL offers a variety of intermediate and advanced language subjects, stressing the ability to read and speak in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. For the purpose of meeting the requirement through examination, MIT GSL gives written examinations each semester prior to pre-registration (November and April) in any language offered at MIT. If a candidate wishes to be examined in a language not offered at MIT, his or her home department will have to arrange for this examination.

More information on the MIT GSL Graduate Language Exam page.