Doctoral Program: First Two Years

Reg Day Meetings

  • At the start of the Fall Term, Registration Day Meetings will be held for students. At these meetings, students meet with the Discipline Group Chair and two other faculty members in the student’s discipline. The student’s advisor is not present. These meetings serve as a time for the student to speak with faculty about their academic plan, progress, career trajectory, and any concerns they have in the program. Students will be sent a brief questionnaire to complete prior to the meeting so that the faculty the student is meeting with have background information on the student to prepare for the meeting. In August, students are sent the questionnaire along with a scheduling tool to sign up for a meeting slot.


  • First-Year Seminar: Students are encouraged to take 12.S597 in their first term if enrolling in the fall, or in their second term if enrolling in the spring. This class is designed for first-year students to learn about the breadth of research in the department and to introduce them to resources that they may use throughout their graduate education.
  • Class Load: During Fall and Spring terms students must maintain a load of 36 units. Students register for a mix of classes and Current Research (see below) to prepare for the General Examination. During Summer term students must maintain a load of 24 units of Current Research to work on General Exam Projects.
    • Students will discuss with their advisor what classes to register for each term. The most up-to-date class schedule for EAPS-specific classes will always be found on the EAPS website here:, but all department schedules may be accessed here:
    • Current Research: Students may register for Current Research as either letter graded or P/D/F. Letter graded options end on an even number (e.g., 12.460) and P/D/F options end on an odd number (e.g., 12.461). Registering for Current Research gives students credit for their pre-thesis research conducted while preparing for the General Examination. Students should discuss with their advisor how many units of Current Research to register for.


  • In order to maintain satisfactory standing in the department students are expected to receive a grade of “B” or better in all subjects that are letter graded and a “P” in subjects that are graded P/D/F. Information on grade definitions and grading policies may be found here:

Last Updated: August 2019