Massachusetts Institute of Technology Requirements and Campus Guide

School Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

School Location: Cambridge, MA

School Type: STEM

Class of 2025

  • Regular Applications: 18,204
  • Regular Admitted: 1,340
  • Regular Acceptance Rate: 7.4%
  • Early Admission: 15,036
  • Early Admitted: 719
  • Early Admission Acceptance Rate: 4.8%

General Info 

Historical SAT/ACT Score (Test Optional)

  • SAT Math: 790-800
  • SAT ERW: 730-780
  • ACT: 35-36


  • High Reach


  • Restrictive Early Action: November 1
  • Early Results: Mid-December
  • Regular Deadline: January 6
  • Regular Results: Mid March

School Info

  • Schedule: 4-1-4
  • Curriculum Type: General Institute Requirements
  • Greek Life: Yes
  • Athletics: D3

MIT FAQs and Requirements – Here’s everything you should know before you apply to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is the highest ranking technical institute in the U.S. It’s a home to innovators and scientists, and maybe even you some day! Here’s everything you need to know about MIT and the requirements to get accepted:

Where is MIT?

MIT is a 166 acre university in Cambridge, MA. It’s just across the bridge from Boston, and just down the road from Harvard. The campus has more than 20 gardens and green spaces to soak up the sun when you’re not enduring one of those legendary New England winters. Cambridge is America’s oldest college town, and Boston is as equally college-friendly as its neighbor. Throughout the school year, there are events across the city that college students can enjoy, as well as easy transportation to New Haven, Providence, and New York for when you want to break out of the college bubble.

How do I apply to MIT?

MIT has both Early Action and Regular Action deadlines. Early applicants are required to submit their materials by November 1 and complete all of their standardized testing within November at the latest. Students applying in the Regular Action cycle need to do so by January 1, with December being the latest test dates. In terms of standardized testing, you no longer have to take SAT subject tests, but you are still required to submit SAT or ACT test scores. Students from both applicant pools will need to update MIT by February 14 with their midyear report. In addition to filling out the Common Application and writing the Common App essay, students will have to submit one evaluation from a science or math teacher and one from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. You can also submit additional materials via fax (most ideal) or mail.

How hard is it to get into MIT?

MIT is a very selective university. For the class of 2023, there was a 6.7% acceptance rate overall; 7.36% of EA students and 4.08% of RD students (including waitlisted students) are accepted. The international acceptance rate is 3.09%. The 50th percentile for test scores are 790-800 for the SAT Math section, 730-780 for the English Reading & Writing section, and 35-36 for ACT Composite score.

Even though MIT is a STEM-focused school where competitive test scores are a MIT requirement for admission, they also care greatly about school fit. They want skilled scientists who want to make an impact in an area they are very passionate about, take risks, and work well with others. The most attractive candidates are those who demonstrate that they take initiative and ownership of their own learning and opportunities. This is because there are so many opportunities and research experiences to take ownership of once on campus.

MIT encourages interested applicants to attend an interview in their area or via skype during the application process. These interviews last anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours. Although an interview is not required and won’t make or break your application, interviews are a helpful tool for showing MIT what might make you unique and a potentially valuable member of their community.

What are academics like?

MIT consists of six schools, across which there are 54 majors and 58 minors. The six schools are School of Architecture and Planning, School of Engineering, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT Sloan School of Management, School of Science, and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Unlike some other colleges, you don’t have to apply to a specific school. All MIT undergrads enter undeclared and choose a school during their Sophomore year. That way, you have time to explore classes from all six schools and make an informed decision about which major is the best option for you. At MIT, you’ll be thankful you have a full year to decide on your major and minor. Some of the most popular areas of study are within Science and Math, but MIT offers everything from Ancient and Medieval Studies to Flexible Nuclear Science and Engineering. Many of the majors are also offered as minors, so if you’re interested in humanities, but primarily want a STEM degree, you can still pursue your passions in a consistent and intentional way.

Is MIT affordable?

The full price (including tuition, fees, room and board) of an MIT education for the 2020–21 academic year was $76,150. Like many top colleges, MIT is committed to helping students pay for their education. The university awards aid that meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, bringing the average total price paid by an MIT student receiving need-based aid to about $23,000. Overall, 89% of students receive some type of financial aid including scholarships and work, and about 70% of students graduate debt-free. MIT is one of only five US universities that is need-blind for both domestic and foreign students, meaning that they accept students regardless of their financial aid needs.

What is MIT’s student body like?

MIT has about 4,530 undergraduate students representing all 50 states and over 100 countries. Like most technical institutes, the gender balance is a bit skewed—about 60% male 40% female—so less balanced than most other top tier schools. However, MIT exceeds the diversity of other top tier schools in other ways. According to a 2017 New York Times report, MIT students come from a wider range of economic backgrounds than any other top 10 school, and has the highest economic mobility index among its peer schools. 16% of MIT graduates moved up one or two economic quintiles, and 3.4% moved from the bottom to top quintile. In terms of ethnicity and nationality, the MIT student body is 29% white, 30% Asian, 15% Hispanic or Latino, 8% two or more races, 6% black, 10% international, and 1% unknown. You can learn more about diversity on their website.

What Makes MIT different?

MIT is the only top-ten university that is a technical institute. What exactly makes it so exceptional? Just by the numbers, MIT has produced 90 Nobel laureates, 75 MacArthur Fellows 59 National Medal of Science winners, and 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners. Among the current teaching faculty, there are 10 Nobel Prize Laureates, 22 MacArthur Genius Grant Winners, and 2 Pulitzer Prize winners. In his book about MIT culture, Jay Keyser mentions the “incredibly strong bond” between MIT students and faculty, because the faculty can see themselves in their students, and students aspire to become like their professors. Additionally, students are encouraged to invest, test (research), and bring their ideas to life.

Fun fact: you also need to pass a swim test in order to graduate.

What is campus life like?

You might think that a campus full of Nobel Prize-bound scientists would be really serious and a bit dull, but MIT is actually the complete opposite. MIT has an open campus, so while you might be in lecture halls with Nobel laureates and MacArthur fellows, when you step outside you’ll be greeted by jugglers and fire spinners alongside the tourists and other students. MIT’s museums and libraries are open to the public, so even those academic spaces are much more diverse than the typical at a typical college campus.

All MIT freshmen must live in a residence hall, even if they choose to affiliate with an FSILG (Fraternity, Sorority, or Independent Living Groups). The summer before freshman year, students rank the ten residence halls in order of preference. If you end up in a residence hall you don’t love, you can apply to transfer dorms at the beginning of each year. For sophomore- senior year, students have the option to continue living in residential halls or more to an FSILG. More than 70% of undergraduates live on campus. Also, nearly half of MIT’s undergraduate students are affiliated with an FSILG, so you won’t be the odd one out if you choose to do so. Keep in mind that each of the residence halls and FSILGs vary in cost and have distinct cultures and rules.

Can I study humanities at MIT?

Yes! In fact, it’s not just that you can study humanities at MIT, you actually have to. All MIT students must complete courses in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as a part of the HASS requirement. HASS consists of eight subjects of at least nine units and should be completed by the end of junior year. More than half of the undergraduates enroll in arts courses each year, so you won’t be alone if you pursue an interest in subjects other than STEM.

What other resources are offered at MIT?