ESG at a Glance

The main features of MIT’s original first-year learning community can be summarized by the following:

  • Centrally located 14-room suite houses the program on the MIT main campus
  • Core curriculum (GIRs) offered in biology, chemistry, math, physics, and the humanities
  • Small class sizes, typically 6 to 12 students
  • Interactive/Proactive learning
  • Discussion-based and contextualized learning whenever possible
  • Exploration of each student’s personal learning style encouraged
  • Flexibility of schedule (at least 2 GIRs in the fall and 1 GIR in the spring at ESG, but students can take other classes outside of ESG)
  • Population: 55 first-year students, 25-40 upperclass TAs, 11 staff members
  • Hands-on, interactive seminars (mostly in the spring)
  • TA training program for first-time ESG TAs
  • Community activities within and outside of ESG
  • Daily opportunities for casual social interaction outside of the classroom
  • Accessible teaching and advising staff,  all housed within the ESG space 
  • Community kitchen; weekly ESG luncheons and food for study sessions