The Communication Requirement for First-Year Students


All undergraduates at MIT are required to complete one Communication Intensive HASS (CI-H or CI-HW) subject in their first year. This will fulfill their first of four subjects required to satisfy the Communication Requirement.

Step 1: Placement via the First-Year Essay Evaluation (FEE), AP, and IB scores

  • Incoming first-year students take the FEE to determine which type of Communication Intensive (CI) subject they must complete during their first year.
  • Students may submit an AP score of 5 on either English exam in lieu of taking the FEE. Also, those who scored a 7 on the English A or B Higher-Level IB exam may be exempt from the FEE.
  • You and your advisees will be able to view the FEE results in their Online Advising Folders.

Step 2: Helping Your Advisees Choose an Appropriate Communication Intensive Subject

  • If your advisees take the online FEE, their results (indicating the placement for which type of subject will fulfill their first CI-H or CI-HW subject) as well as their essays and comments on those essays will be available in their Online Advising Folders.

Step 3: Interpreting the FEE results

  • CI-H/CI-HW Required: Your advisees may take any HASS subject labeled CI-H or CI-HW in either Fall or Spring of their first year.
  • CI-HW Required: Your advisees must take a HASS writing-focused subject, designated CI-HW, as their first CI subject in either Fall or Spring of their first year.
    • Other CI subjects taken prior to a CI-HW will not count toward the Communication Requirement.
  • 21G.222 Expository Writing for Bilingual Students (ELS) Required​: Your advisees must take 21G.222 as their first CI subject in either Fall or Spring of their first year.
    • Other CI subjects taken prior to 21G.222 will not count toward the Communication Requirement.
  • 21G.220 Foundations of Academic and Professional Writing (ELS) Required: Your advisees must take 21G.220 in the Fall.
    • 21G.220 does not carry CI credit, but it will count as a HASS-H subject toward the HASS Requirement.
    • Your advisees must then take 21G.222 as their first CI subject in the Spring.

Take aways:

  • Your advisees may take their first CI-H or CI-HW subject in either Fall or Spring of their first year.
  • CI-HW Required students will not receive CI credit for CI subjects taken prior to a CI-HW.
  • If your advisees take two CI-H or CI-HW subjects in the same term, both subjects can count toward the HASS Requirement, but only one will count toward the Communication Requirement.
  • If you or your advisees have any questions or concerns about their individual circumstances or progress, please reach out (use the contact information below).

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