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Enhancing the First Year at MIT

Draft Data

This document (an interim report) provides an overview of initial changes observed in relation to the CUP experiments and this presentation offers a high-level overview of the experiment to date.

The experiment was intended to provide flexibility for students to move some of their Science Core GIRs out of the first-year, providing more opportunities for students to take classes that enable them to explore majors and minors early in their time at MIT.

Our initial observations suggest that students are in fact taking fewer Science Core GIRs (~0.5 fewer per student). Survey data has also indicated that exploration and learning play a larger role in student subject selection than in past years.

We note that this experiment will affect student behavior and performance throughout their time at MIT and beyond, and this initial data should not be treated as a final “result” of the experiment by any means.

We will continue to update this page as we collect more data on the effects of the experiment.


  • Enrollment data is courtesy of the Registrar’s Office and reflects student registration as of the fifth week of the specified term.
  • The term “Science Core GIRs” refers to the following general institute requirements: Physics 1 (8.01 and variants), Physics 2 (8.02 and variants), Calculus 1 (18.01 and variants), Calculus 2 (18.02 and variants), Chemistry (3.091, 5.111, and variants), and Biology (7.01x and variants).
  • “Advanced Credit” refers to credit awarded via an advanced standing exam, transfer credit, or an Advanced Placement test.