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School of Engineering

Course VI -- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

MIT’s most popular major, Course VI, offers students a curriculum in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Course VI students may choose one of three specializations, depending on whether their interests lie in computer science or electrical engineering. Course VI-1 is Electrical Science and Engineering; Course VI-2 is Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Course VI-3 is Computer Science and Engineering.

Although students in all three groups are required to take the “double-0” series (6.001, 6.002, 6.003, and 6.004), the bulk of classes taken by an EECS major will fall under one of the three choosen headings.

The department also has a 5-year Masters of Engineering program (MEng.), which currently includes 250 of the 850 Course VI graduate students.

“You need at least a B average for admission [to the program],” said course secretary Anne Hunter. “Students are admitted after the end of their junior year and must maintain a B average each term. The requirements are complex, but basically include six additional classes and a masters thesis.”

In addition to the MEng. program, the department offers a Course VI-A internship program. This is similar to the MEng. in that it leads to a master’s degree in five years.

However, students in the program work on their theses while employed at a company in industry. Students apply to the internship program during the spring of sophomore year.

In contrast to several other majors, Course VI has no required IAP classes. However, the 6.270 contest, an intensive month-long competition in autonomous robot design, is a popular and often oversubscribed IAP class. Fifty-five teams participated in this year’s contest, entitled “Raiders of the Lost Parts”.

Course VI also has highly active undergraduate associations. The MIT chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, a national Electrical Engineering and Computer Science honor society, accepts juniors who have placed in the top fourth of their Course VI class and seniors who have placed in the top third of their class.

Eta Kappa Nu coordinates a free tutoring program for core undergraduate Course VI classes and publishes the “Underground Guide to Course Six”, which uses student input to rate numerous aspects of each Course VI class, including TA performance and difficulty level.

The department also has a student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Members of this group are eledgible for scholarships and have access to a vast amount of publications and research findings.

Undergraduate research opportunities in Course VI are plentiful. The Media Lab and the Laboratory for Computer Science provide a large number of UROP positions, and many other departments will hire students with computer skills. -- Susan Buchman