How to get into MIT

What you need to know

Strategy for getting into MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT’s mission 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” by “generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, [and] working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.”

There are five undergrad schools at MIT, which focus on the following fields: Engineering, Science, Humanities, Management, and Architecture.  Engineering is the most popular school with over 60% of students in its 19 degree programs, followed by the School of Science. Roughly 90% of undergraduates are majoring in STEM. However, there is also the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, Sloan School of Management, and School of Architecture and Planning, which make up the rest of the academic options.

To prepare for MIT you should take the following high school courses:

  • One year of high school physics
  • One year of high school chemistry
  • One year of high school biology
  • Math, through calculus
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history and/or social sciences

MIT students are busy. There are 500 student groups or organizations—including a Laboratory for Chocolate Science, 55 varsity DIII sports teams, 33 club teams, the entire city of Boston at your disposal and 84% of MIT undergraduates do an internship while they are in school. About 90% of students live in residence halls.

  School Standardized Testing Stats

What you need to know

The average SAT score composite at MIT is a 2220


You must score extremely well. MIT has one of the lowest acceptance rates of any college. You should aim for above 700 on all exams before you consider applying. Many students waste valuable time on an MIT application that is completely unviable. That being said there are certainly outstanding and exceptional students who score in the mid-600s on certain areas of the exam who are admitted.

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Reading 723 680 770
Math 769 750 800
Writing 729 690 780
Composite 2220 2120 2350

  Application Essays

What you need to know

MIT application essay tips

MIT has their own application and does not use Common App. The MIT essays are several short response questions and essays. As their admissions department states: “Be honest, be open, be authentic – this is your opportunity to connect with us. You should certainly be thoughtful about your essays, but if you’re thinking too much – spending a lot of time stressing or strategizing about what makes you ‘look best’, as opposed to the answers that are honest and easy – you’re doing it wrong.”

MIT’s 2015-2016 Essay Questions

1.We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (*)(100 words or fewer)

2. Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (*) (100 words or fewer)

3. At MIT, we seek to develop in each member of our community the ability and passion to work collaboratively for the betterment of humankind. How have you improved the lives of others in your community? (This could be one person or many, at school or at home, in your neighborhood or your state, etc.) (*) (200-250 words)

4. Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?(*) (200-250 words)

5. Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?(*) (200-250 words)