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Exchange attracts over 200

By Alison C. Morgan

Second in a two-part series on undergraduate and graduate cross-registration opportunities.

Over 200 MIT graduate students are presently cross-registered at either Harvard University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), Brandeis University, Tufts University, Boston University (BU) or Wellesley College.

The largest graduate cross-registration program is the Harvard exchange, which has operated since 1922. MIT graduate students enrolled in 144 Harvard subjects last spring.

The Health Science and Technology (HST) program attracted 70 of the MIT cross registrants, a program which integrates health and medicine education into the graduate and undergraduate curricula of Harvard and MIT. The purpose of HST is to focus science and technology on human health needs, according to Richard Kitt, co-director of HST.

An MIT student may take a Harvard subject not offered at the Institute as long as the Harvard subject is not overcrowded. Credit for Harvard subjects is automatically accepted toward MIT degrees.

Currently, 110 MIT graduate students from a dozen departments, including nearly all of the engineering departments, are enrolled in the MIT/WHOI program. WHOI is an independent research center offering some classes and degrees.

The combination of WHOI's facilities and staff with the faculty and students from MIT makes it one of the top centers for oceanography in the world, said Mary Athanis, MIT coordinator for WHOI.

Doctoral and professional degrees are granted by five oceanographic programs of joint study with WHOI. Through joint study with Harvard, some students receive an SM in biomedical engineering or physics from MIT after two years and an MD from Harvard after another two years.

It is also possible to receive the degrees simultaneously, but fewer students choose this option, said MIT Registrar Warren D. Wells.

MIT/WHOI students are eligible to register for oceanographic subjects at Brown University or BU. They may also participate in BU's cross-registration program with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), which is located near WHOI. The Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) offers a complementary exchange of faculty and facilities similar to MIT's exchange with WHOI.

Other exchange programs are much smaller than the Harvard and WHOI programs, according to Wells. None of them involve more than 20 students each year.

MIT's smaller cross-registration programs include those between the MIT Departments of Economics and Political Science and BU's African Studies Program, between the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis, and between the MIT Department of Applied Biological Sciences and the Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

Fewer than 12 MIT graduate students per year cross-register at Wellesley, according to the MIT-Wellesley Exchange Office. Wellesley subjects may not be taken in lieu of graduate degree required courses.