Dual Degree with MIT

The MIT-Wellesley double-degree program enables a Wellesley student who is accepted to the program to earn a B.A. degree from Wellesley and an S.B. degree from MIT over the course of five years.

A double-degree candidate must fulfill the requirements for a degree at both institutions. An interested Wellesley student must first apply at Wellesley to be a candidate for the double-degree program. If accepted by the Wellesley committee, she then applies to MIT through the transfer process in the spring semester of the sophomore year. A student should only consider the following MIT courses (i.e. departments) and should also be aware of the fact that access to a given department could at times be limited for transfer students:

Architecture (Course 4)
Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Nuclear Engineering (Course 22)

Once accepted by MIT, a student defers her admission and enrolls at MIT after the completion of her junior year at Wellesley. During the junior "bridge" year, while still a “Wellesley student,” she will be assigned major advisors at both institutions in order to plan a program to advance toward both degrees. During the fourth and fifth years, the student is enrolled at MIT. Our existing Wellesley/MIT Exchange permits cross registration throughout the five-year period; the exchange enables a student to integrate her two study programs thoroughly.

Students should be aware of the financial aid implications of this program, because during the fourth and fifth years, double-degree candidates are governed by MIT’s financial aid policy.  (See FAQ.)

Initial Preparation

MIT COURSES:  All students exploring the double-degree program should familiarize themselves with the MIT Bulletin at http://web.mit.edu/catalog/index.html, which contains explanatory sections for every MIT department.

SCIENCE CORE:  All fields at MIT require completion of a sequence in calculus equivalent to Wellesley's MATH 115, 116, and 205; a physics sequence equivalent to Wellesley PHYS 107 and 108, and additional science and laboratory requirements.  Beginning these courses early in a student’s Wellesley career is a good means of learning about these areas of study and testing her level of interest and achievement.

MIT and WELLESLEY DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: A candidate must understand that the program requires the completion of degree requirements at both institutions.  However, course work at one school may be accepted in fulfillment of requirements at the other. A student's foreign language or major course sequence at Wellesley, for example, may fulfill the humanities concentration requirement at MIT.  This will be evaluated as part of the MIT transfer application process, which includes evaluating Wellesley courses for potential MIT credit.

Application Procedure

Interested first-year or sophomore students should:

  • schedule a meeting with Class Dean Alison Black and with Professor Ted Ducas (Physics Dept) to explore options
  • take one of Wellesley's introductory engineering courses and appropriate math and science courses each semester
  • become familiar with prospective departments at MIT by talking with faculty members there and by taking at least one course at MIT
  • contact the transfer admissions office at MIT during fall of the sophomore year to request an application
  • complete the Application for Wellesley Support and submit that to Class Dean Alison Black by January 15 of the sophomore year
  • contact the transfer admissions office at MIT during fall of the sophomore year to request an application

Wellesley Support

Wellesley will indicate to MIT its support for the candidacy of an applicant appropriate for this program.  An applicant should work with Class Dean Alison Black to develop her plans and determine whether she is an appropriate candidate and can be supported in this way.  A student appropriate for support has a grade point average of at least 3.5, no grade below a B in math or sciences courses, strong SAT II scores in math and science fields, and has taken at least one course at MIT in her area of proposed study by the end of the fall of the sophomore year.  Students should submit the Application for Wellesley Support to Class Dean Alison Black, who together with Professor Ducas and other faculty members as appropriate to the student’s proposed plan of study, will determine whether Wellesley supports her application to this program.  The application includes an essay about the student’s interest in this program, describing her proposed major plans at Wellesley and MIT, her plans for a career in engineering (e.g. graduate school, work right away after college, or as grounding for some other career); and importantly why she wants to do the double degree program (for example, rather than do a four year science or math major at Wellesley plus a coherent package of courses at Olin or MIT).

The full transfer application is due at MIT in the spring of the sophomore year. This application involves an essay and three recommendations, so a student should allow ample time for obtaining letters of recommendation, including at least one from an MIT faculty member. Acceptances are announced by MIT in May.

Once admitted to MIT, a student defers admission to MIT by one year, then works with Class Dean Alison Black and her major advisors on plans for a transitional third year at Wellesley (taking courses at MIT as appropriate), and then enrolls at MIT during the fourth and fifth year (taking courses at Wellesley as appropriate).  Both degrees will be awarded at the end of the five years of study.

For further information, contact:

Class Dean Alison Black at Wellesley, 781.283.3152, ablack3@wellesley.edu
Professor Ted Ducas at Wellesley, 781.283.3047, tducas@wellesley.edu
Emily Sheldon, MIT Transfer Admissions, esheldon@mit.edu
Professor Amy Banzaert at Wellesley, 781.283.3756, abanzaer@wellesley.edu
Professor Lyn Turbak at Wellesley, 781.283.3049, fturbak@wellesley.edu
Professor Robbie Berg at Wellesley, 781.283.3110, rberg@wellesley.edu

Please see this FAQ for answers to some common questions about the dual degree program with MIT.