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First Year Subjects

All MIT undergraduates must pass 18.01, Calculus of one variable, and 18.02, Vector Calculus. The Mathematics Department recognizes that students come with a range of experiences and objectives, and there is a correspondingly large selection of methods by which the Mathematics GIR (General Institute Requirements) can be completed.

Mathematics GIR Options

  • Subjects - The standard pathway is to take the subjects offered by the Mathematics Department. Students take 18.01 and 18.02 or their equivalent courses. These subjects have well-defined syllabi and learning objectives.
  • Advanced Placement - Many students receive credit for 18.01 by virtue of their performance on achievement exams of various sorts.
  • Transfer Credit - Students that took subjects at universities elsewhere might be eligible to receive transfer credit.
  • Advanced Standing - Another choice is to take one of the Advanced Standing Examinations set by the Mathematics Department during Orientation or at other times.

Advice for Choosing Your Fall Term Calculus Subject

  • If you have had less than a full year of calculus in high school, enroll in 18.01.
  • If you have had a full year of calculus but do not have 18.01 credit, take the 18.01 Advanced Standing Examination. Passing the first part gives eligibility for 18.01A. Passing both parts gives 18.01 credit.
  • If you have 18.01 credit, you may choose between 18.02 and 18.022. If you wish to review some Calculus I material, you may take 18.01A.

All calculus lectures are scheduled at the same time to facilitate switching to another sequence if the one you choose isn't suitable. However, with the exception of 18.01 and 18.01A, each subject sequence uses a different book, so some catching up may be necessary.


The Mathematics Department operates a learning center focusing on tutoring in calculus, differential equations and linear algebra.