Info for Current Students

What's the difference between doing a thesis and an independent research project?

A thesis requires a defense, and significantly more research and writing than an independent research project. If you manage your time well, combining 4 full classes with an independent research project is doable, and has been done by many students in the past in a single semester. However, given the workload of the thesis, you should anticipate needing two semesters to complete the process of writing and defense.

Can I waive a course(s) if I have already taken something similar?

Talk with your academic course advisor (either Daniel Weinstock, Weiwei Pan, or Pavlos Protopapas). 

What is the maximum number of courses I can enroll in per semester?

There is no cap on the number of courses you can take. However, due to the significant workload, we discourage students from taking more than 4.

When should I take AM 207, Advanced Scientific Computing: Stochastic Methods for Data Analysis, Inference, and Optimization?

You should discuss this with your advisor. When a student takes AM207 will depend on their background and interests.

How do I cross register at MIT?

Cross registration for MIT courses is directly done through Be sure to check the registration deadlines since they may vary from Harvard. 

  1. Add the course to Crimson Cart
  2. Submit petition for the course
  3. Once the MIT instructor approves your request to enroll, you will see a Permission Approved icon in You must be sure to enroll into the course after this.
Do MIT courses count towards degree requirements?

Appropriate courses from Harvard or MIT can be used towards electives. Undergraduate (U-level) MIT courses will count against the limit of 100/1000-level classes permitted for the degree.

Is is possible to switch between an ME and SM degree?

Yes, you just need to let your advisor know when you want to switch.

How can I change a course registration status?

All registration matters are handled through the registrar and Please use those resources as Applied Computation staff cannot make registration changes.

Can students get funds to attend a conference?

Harvard SEAS helps fund students who are first authors for conference papers to attend conferences, usually splitting the costs with the student’s advisor/lab. We have also sent master’s students as ambassadors to student recruiting/diversity conferences. You can check with your faculty advisors as they might have funds too.