Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Where Practicality Meets Intellect

Finding the right school to get your higher education might be one of the most important decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Even thinking about you’ll be spending four years of your life in the institution you pick, surrounded by its community creates an element of pressure. During this time some people make pros and cons lists, some people follow their childhood dreams and some follow their heart. Regardless of one’s logical or emotional decision process, surely one university will come up on every student’s list : the world renowed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, aka MIT. Even though people think MIT is for those who want to major in math, engineering, science related fields, this university has something to offer to all types of minds and hearts.

Founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution[1] in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT adopts “mens et manus”. This motto means mind and hand, and directly reflects the university’s mission pertaining to the necessity of finding a practical solution to the problems we face in our lives. With the same mindset, freshmen get either pass (A, B, C) or no-record (it doesn’t show on their transcript.) This allows students to make a nice transition/adjustment into their first semester of college life, and serves as a practical solution to the angst of being a new student in a new environment.

Inside MIT, within a campus that stretches along 168 acres, there are five academic schools—the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the School of Science—and the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. These schools total enrollment reaches to 10,000 and admission to them is highly competitive. Along with these schools that offer both graduate and undergraduate education, there are numerous research centers and laboratories such as nuclear reactor, a computation center, geophysical and astrophysical observatories, a linear accelerator, a space research center, wind tunnels, an artificial intelligence laboratory, a center for cognitive science, and an international studies center.

When considering the admissions MIT states that even though grades and scores are important, what they look for is the chemistry between the candidate and the institution. This means sharing a similar vision with the university, which is making the world a better place through education, research, and innovation. Additionally, MIT values teamwork and clearly expresses that if you enjoy working alone all the time, that’s completely valid, but you might not be particularly happy at MIT. Moreover if you are someone who waits for the opportunities to arise, and don’t enjoy taking initiative, your application might be overlooked. This is because while the opportunities are abundant at MIT, they are not simply handed to students with good grades here. You need to be sociable, creative and brave. This also means the university likes risk takers. What this means is that they are looking for people who are not afraid to try and fail. As a student, you might plan to succeed, but you also need to be resilient against failure. While doing these you also have to think for your community too. MIT describes its community as a combination of people who take care of each other and lift each other up, who inspire each other to work and dream beyond their potential. And finally, all these traits shouldn’t be focused only on studies or professional life. You need to be a person who balances spheres of your life, and will continue to do so to find a place at MIT. Fair is fair. But after this list of “what we are looking for”, is MIT what you are looking for? What can MIT offer to its graduates?

First of all MIT is regarded as one of the best higher education institutions in America with around 25 billion dollars endowment assests. Its education method helps all the students improve themselves with the help of one of the best academic bodies in the world. Secondly, even from day one there are plenty of research opportunities with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). This great experience gives the students first hand experience to work on cutting edge research. What’s more, you will be having these benefits in a location that can give you the best of both Cambridge and Boston. Once you graduate from MIT’s top tier faculties, there is no doubt that you’ll be landing into big companies and institutions. Thanks to the university’s relations and reputation that grew over the years, you will have the chance to get the high paying jobs. Furthermore, you will have a chance to not only meet amazing people around campus, but also become a part of an amazing alumni network. If these are the things you are looking for in a university and if you are meeting their criteria, you should definitely consider applying to MIT…or since they like risk takers, maybe you can still apply and prove that you are not afraid of trying.

Here are some statistics about MIT’s admissions.

First-year applications 33,767
First-year admits 1,337
Percentage admitted 3.96%

Early Action

Early Action applicants 14,781
Early Action admits 697
Deferred to Regular Action 9,488
Deferred applicants admitted
during Regular Action

Regular Action

Regular Action applicants 18,986
Total considered during Regular Action (including deferred students) 28,474
Regular Action admits
(including deferred students)
Offered a place on the wait list 763

Wait list

Applicants offered a place on the wait list 763
Number admitted from the wait list 0

U.S. citizens/permanent residents

Applied 24,165
Admitted 1,201

International students

Applied 9,602
Admitted 136

Middle 50% score range of admitted students (25th and 75th percentiles)

SAT Math [790, 800]
SAT ERW [730, 780]
ACT Math [35, 36]
ACT Reading [35, 36]
ACT English [35, 36]
ACT Science [34, 36]
ACT Composite [35, 36]