Taking a Course at MIT as an Advanced Study Program Student or a Special Student

Taking a Course at MIT as an Advanced Study Program Student or a Special Student

An Advanced Study Program Student or a Special Student is an individual enrolled in coursework at MIT but not registered as a degree candidate. MIT employees who take these courses are eligible for tuition assistance provided that they meet the Tuition Assistance Plan’s eligibility criteria and follow the Plan’s rules.

If you are being reimbursed for a course taken as an MIT Advanced Study Program Student or an MIT Special Student, you may not be reimbursed for courses taken in any other capacity during the same term. Employees receive 100% reimbursement (prorated for part-time employees) for the successful completion of one MIT Advanced Study Program course or MIT Special Student course per term. Reimbursements for these courses do not count against the $5,250 (prorated for part-time employees) calendar year limit.

Do you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, are not currently enrolled in a degree program, and are interested in taking classes as a non-degree student at MIT?

If yes, apply as an Advanced Study Program Student.
If no, apply as a Special Student.

Eligibility

To use the Tuition Assistance Plan, you must be admitted as either a

Next Steps

The following steps need to be completed in order:

  1. Apply for acceptance.
    • If you have a bachelor's degree, apply to the Advanced Study Program (ASP). Complete the online application and submit it along with the required materials.
    • If you don't have a bachelor's degree, apply as a Special Student. Download the application (PDF). Complete and submit the application along with the required materials.
    • Application deadlines are
      • August 1 for fall term
      • January 1 for spring term,
      • May 1 for summer term
  2. Request to postpone your tuition.
    • If you are accepted as an ASP student or a Special Student, log on to your Tuition Assistance Account (Atlas) and enter your course information (except for the grade). With this step, you are creating a request to postpone your tuition under the Tuition Assistance Plan so that you do not have to pay up front for the course.
    • Choose an area of study for the course. If your area of study is Career-Related, you must also submit an online Career Development Proposal and receive approval from Human Resources.
  3. Wait for approval of your tuition postponement request.
    • If HR approves your request, you and the ASP office or your student account counselor in the Student Financial Services office will be notified by e-mail.
  4. If your tuition postponement request has been approved:
    • Advanced Study Program students, contact the ASP office directly.
    • Special Students, go to the Student Financial Services office in building 11-120 and meet with your student account counselor. Bring your acceptance letter. You’ll complete an Address Biographic Information form and receive a financial clearance.
  5. Take the course.
    • Take the course for credit. Auditing a course, which is referred to at MIT as a Listener status, is not permitted under the Tuition Assistance Plan.
  6. Tuition reimbursement will be credited to your student account in agreement with the requirements of the Tuition Assistance Plan.
    • While you are taking a course, your student account will show a balance due.
    • If you successfully complete your course by earning a final grade of C- or better for an undergraduate course, or B- or better for a graduate course, and if you remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Plan through the last day of your course, your student account will be credited with the tuition amount (a prorated amount for part-time employees) by an internal transfer of funds.
    • Important: If you drop or withdraw from your course, if you do not earn the minimum final grade, or if you do not remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Plan through the last day of your course, you will be responsible for the cost of the tuition.
  7. Request a reimbursement for the application fee, if applicable.
    • If you paid an application fee when you submitted your ASP or Special Student application, and if you are eligible for a reimbursement for your course, you must submit proof of payment to HR to be reimbursed.

Taxes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, an employee who takes graduate-level courses as an ASP student or a Special Student at MIT (or graduate-level courses at another institution along with these MIT courses) and receives employer-provided tuition assistance above $5,250 during a calendar year is subject to taxes on the amount above $5,250. For courses taken in the fall term, any tax owed on the amount above $5,250 will be withheld from your pay in the following year; for courses taken in the spring and/or summer terms, any tax owed will be withheld from your pay later that year. The $5,250 limit applies to graduate ASP courses or Special Student courses at MIT whether or not the courses are job-related.