The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the top Engineering schools in the world. The 4,500 student body is split roughly between 55% men and 45% women. Around 25% are minorities. Students from all 50 states in the US and 120 countries flock to MIT. Computer technologies, engineering, consulting and finance are the top job choices for graduating students. The average starting salary for an MIT graduate is $83K.
MIT offers 49 majors, ranging from what you would expect, e.g. Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Chemical engineering, etc. but also those you would not really expect, e.g. Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Theater Arts and Anthropology, etc. In fact, MIT offers strong programs in the humanities than you might initially imagine. MIT also takes great pride in its sports programs with 33 varsity sports team (largest Division III in the nation), 30+ club teams and 18 intramural teams. Community service, music and the arts are a focus as well. There are over 500 student organizations for students to pursue a variety of interests. The university is unique in that every student gets an opportunity to do research (even Freshman) and global studies.
The Admissions Process
Like any top university, MIT is looking for intelligent people that have diverse yet interesting traits. They are not looking for curated cookie-cutter students. The “hard factors” are easy to state. The “soft factors” are little bit harder to get your head around. The acceptance rate for 2016 was 7.9%. The rate was just a bit higher at 8.4% for early applicants.
We are not going to repeat the checklist of items required for MIT admissions (that can be found on their website), but rather our focus is on what you need to prepare for admissions to MIT.
Hard Factors High school curriculum: 1 year of physics 1 year of chemistry 1 year of biology 1 year of additional science 4 years of Math through calculus 2 years of foreign language 4 years of english 2 years of history/ social sciences
Standardized tests: MIT requires one test either the old SAT, new SAT or ACT. MIT “superscores” so takes the highest of each section across a single type of test. The below table provides a rough estimate score you should aim for, but obviously, the higher the score, the higher the probability of admission.
Old SAT:2285 New SAT (projected): 1550 ACT Math: 35 English: 34 Composite: 34
Additionally you need to take 2 SAT subject tests. Next after minimum number of courses and standardized tests, rigor of coursework (AP courses help demonstrate rigor, and a getting a ‘5’ in a select few AP tests in courses will also get you college credit) and GPA are considered important. Class rank is considered as well.
We will look at additional admission factors in Part 2 of this series. Stay tuned!