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With an admissions rate of 7.2%, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the most selective schools in the U.S. MIT is especially famous for its top STEM programs in fields like engineering and computer science, but it does have programs in other fields—even in humanities subjects, such as creative writing.


If you hope to attend MIT, you’ll face stiff competition. Read on for the school’s admissions requirements, and learn how you can boost your chances of admission.


Recommended (and Encouraged) Coursework

While MIT doesn’t require specific high school courses for admission, it does recommend the following 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


You should also strive to take a rigorous course load. Since the average GPA for incoming students is 4.13, your grades need to be stellar, and you should take plenty of AP or IB and honors courses.



Standardized Test Requirements

MIT superscores, meaning the admissions committee will only consider your highest test scores. Along with the SAT and ACT, applicants must submit two SAT subject tests, one of which must be Math I or II, and the other of which must be Physics, Chemistry, or Biology.


If you are not a native English speaker, you must achieve a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL. Your scores must be extremely high in order to be admitted. Below are the scores at either end of MIT’s middle 50% range:


SAT Math[770, 800]
SAT EBRW[730, 780]
ACT Math[34, 36]
ACT English[34, 36]
ACT Composite[34, 35]

(Source: MIT Admissions website)

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The MIT Application

Students may apply to MIT under the early action or regular decision plan. Unlike many selective colleges, MIT doesn’t use Common App or Coalition application, but uses an independent application specific to the school. However, it’s similar to other applications in that you will need to complete sections such as your biographical info and activities and extracurriculars.


Check out How to Write the MIT Application Essays 2017-2018 to learn more about the application and essay prompts.



Letters of Recommendation

MIT specifies that you should submit two teacher recommendations: one from a math or science teacher and one from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. (For more information on letters of recommendation, check out How Important Are Letters of Recommendation?)



The MIT Interview

MIT strongly recommends scheduling an interview. According to the website, 10.8% of applicants who had interviews were admitted, while 1% of those who did not have interviews were admitted.


You will be given the contact information for your interviewer, or Educational Counselor, via your MyMIT account, through which you will also submit your application. MIT requests that you contact your Educational Counselor, rather than waiting for him or her to contact you, and provides deadlines for doing so.


If there aren’t any interviewers available in your area, MIT may arrange a Skype interview. If you are unable to have an interview due to limited local availability, this won’t count against you in the admissions process.



The Takeaway

Admissions are highly competitive at MIT, so you will need to have stellar grades, SAT scores, and activities in order to be accepted. It’s a great choice for STEM majors as well as students studying other specialties. In fact, if you’re interested in other specialities, such as humanities disciplines, you might have a leg up in the admissions, since having strong candidates for these programs will help MIT build up other fields.


If you’re considering applying to MIT, be sure to keep track of the deadlines for each component of your application. Check out our guidance for writing MIT’s essays as well.


Looking for help with your college applications? Check out our College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully  pair you with the perfect admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal specialist will help you with branding, essays, and interviews, and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine

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