Engineering work is critically dependent upon communication skills. Engineers must be able to report their ideas and designs clearly and succinctly to their coworkers, supervisors, and customers. The format of engineering communications can vary widely, from complete written reports, to short technical memos, to oral presentations, to visual displays. The MIT Communication Requirement, as implemented in the MechE program, is intended to prepare students to work effectively in all of these formats.
Departmental subjects that involve extensive education in communication include: 2.671, taken in the sophomore or junior year; 2.009, taken in the fall of the senior year; and 2.672, taken in the senior year. Through this set of classes, students gain experience in technical reporting in written, oral, and visual formats, both as individuals making reports and as members of teams making reports. The MechE faculty regard the development of good communication skills as an essential learning outcome of our programs.
The MechE Department has placed a variety of resources and guidelines for technical communications at: http://meche.mit.edu/academic/undergraduate/commguide/.
These include: guidelines for the preparation of engineering problem sets; instructions for keeping lab or design notebooks; guidelines for plotting data; instructions for writing and formatting technical reports; and advice for public speaking and designing of presentation material.
Details of the Communication Requirement follow.
The Sophomore Year
You must complete your second Communication Intensive subject by the end of your sophomore year. You may receive CI credit for only one CI-H subject per semester. Since CI-H subjects may be either HASS-D or HASS Electives, you should carefully consider the most appropriate subject for you. To enroll in a CI-H subject that is also a HASS-D, you will need to participate in the HASS-D lottery; to enroll in a CI-H subject that is a HASS Elective, you will register as you do for other MIT subjects. A list of CI-H subjects is online at http://web.mit.edu/commreq/cih.html .
The Junior and Senior Year
You must complete one Communication Intensive subjects in the major (CI-M) by the end of the junior year and a second one by the end of the senior year. In Course 2, the combination 2.671 and 2.009 together satisfy the CI-M component of the Communications Requirement. Generally, 2.671 will be the junior year CI-M and 2.009 will be the senior year CI-M. In Course 2-OE, the combination 2.671 and 2.019 together satisfy the CI-M requirement, with 2.671 in the junior year and 2.019 in the senior year.
In Course 2-A, for the Class of 2009 and later, the CI-M requirements are the same as for Course 2.
Students who do not fulfill the CI-M requirement cannot graduate from MIT. Further details of CI-M subjects are available at http://web.mit.edu/commreq/cim.html .
If you are a transfer student, you are subject to the Communication Requirement. You will need to pass a total of four CI subjects: two CI-H subjects and two CI-M subjects. Some of these subjects may be completed through transfer credit. The HASS Overview Committee is responsible for determining CI-H transfer credit and the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement will determine CI-M transfer credit. As a transfer student, you must, during your first year at MIT, either pass a CI-H subject or receive transfer credit for one.
The first step towards fulfilling the Communication Requirement is to take the Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE). Because you will not know until Orientation whether or not you will receive CI-H or CI-HW transfer credit, you are strongly encouraged to take the online FEE, described above. If you are unable to take the online FEE, you should plan to take the paper-and-pencil make-up test given during Orientation. The only transfer students who do not need to take the FEE are those who have received scores of 5 on either the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Test or the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Test. An approved score of 5 on one of the AP English exams is the equivalent of earning a "Pass" on the FEE. If you earned a score of 5 on either of these AP tests, don't forget to request that the College Board submit your AP scores to MIT.
Double Major and Dual Degree Candidates
You must complete two CI-H subjects and the CI-M subjects that fulfill the communication component of each major. Typically, this means that you must take four CI-M subjects, two for each program. However, if a subject is approved as a CI subject in both majors, you may use that subject to fulfill the CI-M component of both programs simultaneously, with the approval of the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement (SOCR). Contact the Office of the Communication Requirement (12-126; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.