Want to know how to get into MIT? You’re in the right place. This blog will go over admission statistics, school requirements, and all the proven strategies that you need to get into this prestigious school. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is consistently ranked among the top schools in the world and is at the forefront of innovation and research. MIT is famous for its engineering and technology programs, but it is more than a STEM school. That’s why every year, thousands of students from across the globe submit an application in the hopes of getting admitted. So, with that kind of competition, you need to have the right tools and information to create an application that stands out. Keep reading to find out what kind of student MIT looks for, the types of college essays you will need to write, and so much more.
Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
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MIT’s Mission Statement
The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.
The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. It also seeks to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.
MIT’s Undergraduate Curriculum
MIT's undergraduate curriculum is unique in many ways. It is a rigorous student-centered academic program that gives students a broad and strong foundation with its General Institute Requirements and learn-by-doing approach.
General Institute Requirements (GIRs)
The GIRs are MIT's core curriculum. If you've looked into getting into Columbia, you are probably familiar with the idea of core curriculums. Essentially, it is a series of courses that all undergraduates are required to take, regardless of their major or area of study. At MIT, these courses are designed to give students a strong foundation in various fields so that they are equipped with the knowledge required to solve problems in a complex world. Most undergraduate students actually spend half of their time at MIT taking the GIRs, and the other half specializing in their courses of study. There are six General Institute Requirements, and they include:
The First Year
The structure and forgiving grading system of the first year at MIT also play a role in giving students a strong foundation by easing them into the higher education system. Since MIT students do not have to declare a major or apply to a specific faculty, they get to spend their first year of study exploring their academic interests while taking some of the GIRs. Instead of simply enrolling in classes, students can participate in learning communities built around common interests, dedicated advising, and smaller cohorts. Additionally, during their first term, students are graded differently. They can either pass the class or receive no record of taking it. It is only during their second term at MIT that they will start receiving letter grades.
Eventually, students do declare a major. They have the choice between a variety of traditional degrees, interdisciplinary degrees, joint degrees, or double majors. All of which are offered through MIT's five different schools, the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT Sloan, the School of Management, School of Science; or the Schwarzman College of Computing.
MIT was one of the first universities in the US to give undergrad students a chance to get some research experience. Their Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is still going strong today. About 94% of MIT graduating seniors conducted research during their undergraduate years for pay or credit. Students can apply for advertised UROP positions or propose their own at any time while completing their degree. They can also choose to conduct the research at MIT, off-campus, or even internationally.
Interested in an overview of some keys points we'll be going over below? This infographic is for you:
MIT’s Admissions Statistics
- Acceptance rate: 4.1%
- Average ACT score: 35
- Average SAT score composite: 1535
- Gender: Male (50%), Female (47%), Different gender identity (2%)
- U.S. citizens & permanent residents: 90% (48 U.S. states represented)
- International citizens: 10% (62 countries represented)
The institute does not share its matriculants' average GPA but based on the exceptionally high average SAT and ACT scores; we can safely conclude that a strong academic background is necessary for admission to MIT. That said, the school does have a holistic admission process, and Matt McGann, MIT's former director of admissions, has previously stated that he had never used high standardized scores as an argument to admit that student. This brings us to our next point, where we discuss what MIT is actually looking for in applicants.
MIT’s Selection Factors
The MIT admissions team has over 6,400 blog entries on their website to help you precisely understand the MIT admissions mission and how the admissions team looks at the different applications they receive every year. Here are the critical elements that the admission board looks for:
A Solid Academic Background
While MIT has a holistic admissions process, it’s important to remember that your grades and scores are a big part of it. Even though the school does not have a minimum GPA requirement, as evidenced by MIT’s admitted students’ high SAT and ACT scores, you do need to have a GPA and SAT scores that are good enough. At this time, MIT has suspended its standardized test requirement, but if you do choose to submit it, you should make sure that your score is competitive. If you’re hoping to get into college with a low GPA, you should ensure that your other application components, including your SAT scores, are impressive. Please note that this standardized test suspension does not apply to language proficiency tests. If you are an international applicant and you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to take an English proficiency exam like IELTS or TOEFL. If you take IELTS, you need a score of at least 7 to be considered for admission, and if you take TOEFL, the recommended score is 100.
An Alignment with MIT’s Mission
MIT is dedicated to serving the nation and the world, and they are looking for students who want to do the same. Students often assume that this means that you need to have been part of something outstanding like curing a disease, but it’s not about that at all. Admission officers just want to see that you care about making an impact. You can serve your community with volunteer work, by lobbying a senator to amend a bad policy, or by spearheading a fundraising event at your school. There are thousands of ways to show that you care about serving your community and the world.
A Passionate, Curious & Creative Mind
One mistake that students often make is assuming that they need to have a high number of extracurricular activities on their high school resume to be an attractive candidate for colleges. MIT stresses that they look for quality over quantity. The admissions officers want to see activities and interests that make sense together. Your activities should show what you care about and that you are curious and passionate about whatever that is. It would also be ideal to show that you have some creative hands-on experience, as it tells the admissions team that you can apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.
A Collaborative and Cooperative Spirit
MIT is a famously collaborative school. You can see it in the school’s interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinary majors, and even the undergraduate curriculum which involves several group activities and assignments. So, you should definitely highlight your collaborative efforts and group activities in your application.
Looking for more info and tips on the college application process? Check out this video:
MIT’s Admission Process
MIT applicants have the option of applying through Early Action or Regular Action. There is no strategic advantage to using either of the application systems, and the Early Action admission plan does not require you to attend if admitted, unlike with Brown University or Dartmouth. The main difference between the two application plans is the dates. As implied by the name, the Early Action plan has an earlier application deadline, and students get a response from the admissions board earlier.
For both Early Action and Regular Action and domestic and international students, the admission process at MIT is very intentional. MIT is not among the many schools that use Common app, so you will need to set aside time to complete their application separately on the MIT application portal. You will need to prepare the following application components:
In addition to these application components, your school guidance counselor, registrar’s office, principal/headmaster, or other official entity will need to send your official transcripts and two college letters of recommendation from your teachers. MIT requires one evaluation from a maths or science teacher, and one from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. Your school official can submit the documents through the application portal, a third-party service, or they can send them to MIT as PDFs by email. Remember to remind your counselor to include your name and application number in the email’s subject line for easier processing.
After you submit your application, you may be contacted by an Educational Counselor (EC) to schedule an admissions interview. Most Early Action interviews will take place in November, and most Regular Action interviews will occur in January. They are usually about an hour-long, but they can range from 30 minutes to two hours long. We recommend that you start preparing for it as soon as you submit your application to avoid being caught off guard. You should review common college admissions interview questions or international student interview questions and invest in the services of a school advisor to help you make the most of your interview.
Acceptance or Rejection
Applications must be submitted by November 1st if you’re applying Early Action or by January 5th if you’re using Regular Action. Once you’ve submitted an application, a senior admissions officer will first read it and consider it holistically. If your application is strong, it will then be evaluated by additional admissions officers, who will summarize it for the Admissions Committee. That summary, along with your entire application, will then go to the selection committee, where multiple groups of the other admissions staff and faculty members will weigh in.
You should know that MIT has stated that they do not have any school, state, or region quotas, which means that you are not at any disadvantage if other excellent students from your school or area are also applying. Additionally, they do not consider legacy/alumni relations in the admissions process.
Early Action applicants will get an admissions decision in mid-December, and Regular Action applicants will receive a response in mid-March. Students' applications will either be accepted, waitlisted, or rejected. Admitted students will have until early May to inform MIT of their enrollment decision; the exact date is yet to be announced.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Website
Massachusetts Institute of Technology admissions Website
Email: [email protected]
1. How hard is it to get into MIT?
It's pretty hard. MIT is an incredibly selective school with an acceptance rate of 4.1%, so you will need an impressive application to get an offer of admission.
2. What grades do I need to get into MIT?
You need outstanding grades to get into MIT. We're not saying that academics are the only thing that MIT cares about but the average SAT score for the most recently admitted class was 1535, so they are a very important factor.
3. Should I even bother applying to MIT if I don't have a perfect SAT score?
Yes, you should! As important as your grades and SAT scores are, MIT has a holistic admissions process that considers other factors when reviewing applications. Plus, this year, the test requirement has been suspended, so you actually don't have to submit SAT scores at all.
4. What are the GIRs?
General Institute Requirements are the core curriculum of undergrad study at MIT. It's a series of requirements that all students must fulfill to graduate, regardless of their major.
5. Is MIT's curriculum really that hard?
We won't lie to you, MIT's curriculum can be challenging, but the difficulty level will depend on your chosen program and level of preparation.
6. Does MIT accept international students?
Yes, it does. MIT receives applications and admits students from all over the world every year.
7. How many college essays do I need to write for MIT?
MIT looks for passionate, creative, and curious applicants with a solid academic background and a collaborative spirit.
8. How can I improve my chances of getting into MIT?
You can improve your chances of admission to MIT but working to improve your grades, giving yourself enough time to research and prepare your application components, and working with a college advisor who can help you maximize your chances of admission.
Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo
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