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An Insight to MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Recently, we had the pleasure of taking the undergraduate tour at MIT in Boston. Here are some interesting things we learned during our visit!  


Your Application Essays: Don’t fall into the Grandma Trap

This is what the admissions rep called writing about your grandma in the “who has inspired you or had a big impact on your life essay”. While it may be true that your grandma has inspired you, for many students, this becomes the “fallback” response. Once you’ve picked the person, talk about them for 25% of the essay. Talk about YOURSELF for the other 75%. You’re going to college, not grandma! Always bring the essay back to you and how the influence and impact this person had on you has changed YOUR life.


The biggest point the rep made was don’t provide a “capsule” experience in your essay! Tell the committee how whatever you are writing about has changed your life and how it relates to who you are now.


Yes, MIT care about Math and Science on your Transcript

Colleges look at different things on your transcripts, and MIT is very transparent that they want to see rigorous math and science courses on yours. Students getting a 700 and above for SAT Math 2 is very common. MIT doesn’t prefer the ACT over the SAT, so take whatever you are more comfortable with. The admissions rep did make sure to note that while the standardized tests are important, MIT does take a holistic view of your application.


Your Extracurricular Activities

You can list 4 activities in your MIT app, and they want to see quality over quantity! Communicate how you engage in an activity and why you picked that for 3+ years of your life. There is a special section to list your summer activities. 


Your Admissions Interview

They will ask you why you’re interested in science and technology. They will ask how you see science and technology shaping your life, and what you want to do with it. A common interview question is “if you had unlimited time and funds, what would you do?” so prepare for that one!

75% of the interview will be about you, and 25% of it will be allotted to asking your interviewer questions – use that time! A great question you can ask is “did you engage in research during your time at MIT?” and “What is one thing you wish you had taken part in during your time at MIT”.


Classes at MIT

The average class size is 25 people. Freshman year has larger lecture-style classes, as you work through the years it becomes smaller. Professors at MIT try to be very accessible to you and offer a lot of office hours. The student to faculty ratio at MIT aims to be 12:1


The Campus Tour

MIT offers guaranteed housing for all 4 years of your undergrad study. There are currently 10 dorms, 5 of which have food halls in them. Each dorm has a different style: one has a ball put, Baker dorm is often where the athletics students live as it’s close to their early morning training locations, the East campus allows cats, there is a female only dorm and a dorm for single rooms.


Students are assigned housing based on a lottery. Students will be invited to list their dorm preferences during the summer before first semester, and will usually get their first or second choice of housing. During the first week on campus, students can apply to change dorms.

The Great Dome 


Fun MIT Facts!

– Completing a 100-yard swim is a graduation requirement for MIT undergraduate students

– You can also get a Pirate Certificate at MIT! Students who have completed Archery, Fencing, Pistol (or Rifle) and Sailing can get their Pirate certificate.

– The MIT Nano building is in the works. This will be an advanced research facility open to the entire MIT community. The goal of the building is to collaborate between groups of MIT students and faculty and accelerate the research opportunities at MIT. Check out more information on the building here. 

– There is a camera in one of the cafes in the Stata building on campus that has a camera connected to a café in Stanford University, California. This is designed so MIT students who have friends at Stanford can have a meal together!

– “Hacking” is a big tradition at MIT. This is when students play practical jokes/ pranks throughout campus. A great one to read about is the police car on the great dome in 1994.

– Sandbox is a program at MIT that provides funding for student ideas, no matter how big or small! 85% of Sandbox applicants get approved for funding. Find out more here.  


The Stata Building

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