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Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Quick Overview

Quick Stats
  • Year founded1861
  • Number of students enrolled11,376
  • Average cost (in total)$70,160
Application Info
  • Acceptance rate6.7%
  • SAT/ACT1490/34
  • Application dateJanuary 1 – Early Action

History and Mission

There was a proposal presented to the Massachusetts General Court in 1859 to use the land in Black Bay, Boston, which had recently been filled in, for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal did not pass. However, not long after in 1861 a proposal William Barton Rogers for the creation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was signed off on by the governor of Massachusetts. Rogers wanted to have an institution of higher learning that dealt with scientific and technological advances of the time. The aim was not to establish a professional school, but rather one that had those aspects as well as a liberal arts education.

The plan that Rogers laid out for MIT was to reflect the German model of a research-based university. This model puts an emphasis on faculty research and also classroom learning that center around seminars and laboratories. Only two days after the charter for MIT came into effect the Civil War began and delayed classes. The first classes for the university began in 1865 in Boston at the Mercantile Building. The funding for the building of MIT came from the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act and in 1866 the building of the university at Back Bay begun.

In the beginning, MIT was referred to as Boston Tech and the university grew in the late 19th century despite the fact the school had constant financial issues. At this time, various programs such as electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering came about and because of that the student population increased significantly. In the late 19th and early 20th century there were six attempts for MIT to be absorbed into Harvard and it was close to happening and the MIT Corporation even approved it to happen despite objections with those association with MIT. In 1917 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that there would be no merger with Harvard. In 1916 the issues of the overcrowded and smaller facilities for the college were dealt with the movement of the campus to a tract that was a mile long on the Cambridge side of the Charles River.

The Mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to educate students to advance their learning in the areas of x science, technology and other areas of academia that will not only best sever the nation, but the world as well. MIT has a strong commitment to create, investigate, and keep the knowledge to work with others with different ideas to solve some of the biggest problems the world over. MIT is dedicated to give the students at their university an education the brings together tough coursework and the excitement that comes with finding new ideas. They aim to do this with the support of the faculty and all of the intellectual stimulation of the community of the university. They look to cultivate every student in the MIT family to give them the chance and drive to work in a wise manner, be creative in their endeavors, and be effective for the better of society as a whole.

Areas of Study

MIT is mostly a university that deals with research to fulfill the academic needs of their undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are five schools and one college that make up MIT with 32 academic departments. While the college is very well known for sciences and engineering, they have become one of the best research universities in the nation and also has solid programs for the fields of economics, biology, business management, and linguistics. MIT has a four-year undergrad program that has a focus on furthering a professional major and there are also a few courses available in terms of the arts and sciences. The five schools of MIT are:

School of Engineering

Offers graduate and professional degrees in the engineering field, which is the most popular at MIT.

School of Science

This school is gaining a solid reputation quickly, as while the focus at MIT is mainly on technology there are no lack of programs in the science department.

School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Interesting fact in that MIT was recently named the #2 university in the world for the arts and humanities.

Sloan School of Management

The Sloan School of Management is simply known as Sloan is the business school at MIT and they offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.

School of Architecture and Planning

This school is considered to be an academic leader in the design fields the world over.

In MIT’s five academic schools there are 44 degree programs that are available. For undergrads, the Bachelor of science is only available while a few of the other popular majors are architecture, science, humanities, business management, mathematics, mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science and engineering. By far the two most popular undergraduate degrees are in the majors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In terms of the undergrad coursework at MIT it entails a mixture of problem sets, examinations, lectures and seminars, and recitations. The pace of learning at MIT is very difficult, but since MIT is an elite university that is not surprising. One of the positive aspects of such intense and hard coursework is that rather than striving for grades undergraduate classes simply have a pass or no-pass grading system.

More so than other universities MIT’s graduate and undergraduate programs are very intertwined and there are classes that will have both types of students in them. The program for a doctorate degree at the university mainly focus on the STEM fields, but there are also doctorates that are available in the social sciences, humanities, and other subjects.

Online Program

MIT is at the forefront of new learning and teaching on campus, as well as of it, by implementing and taking advantage of the newest and latest in digital technologies. There are many online courses for MIT that can be taken on line, but no degrees can be earned through online classes. MIT uses the edX learning platform, which they created with Harvard University and any person that has internet access can take courses at MIT as well as Harvard using this platform.

The universities MITx has many available courses online that can be easily accessible and offer a wide range of interactive classes that are taught by professors at MIT. The university has a unique digital learning option for students in the OpenCourseWare that offers both students and teachers around the world an abundance of material in excess of 2,000 MIT courses, which are available free of charge online.

How do I apply to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?

For undergraduate students, the process of admissions in the application for the university is done online. If there is any information that has to accompany the MIT application students will have to create a MyMIT account, download and print a MIT Supplemental Document Cover Sheet, and then attach the pertinent information. In the application itself prospective students will have to complete short essays, describe their activities, and also have their transcripts. The other parts of the application process are letters of recommendation, tests and scored (such as the SAT), interview, and creative portfolios. MIT values the interview process greatly, as that can make or break an application no matter what their past academic and test scores are. Prospective students can learn more about the essays they will write on as well as the interview process if the Admissions area on the main MIT website.

The process for applications for the graduate schools will be a little different, but not much and must be completed electronically. For all of the supplemental documents, students can fax them to the university at 617-687-9184. While the university strongly recommends any materials that have to do with the application be dome electronically than they can send them to:

MIT Undergraduate Admissions Processing Center

P.O. Box 404

Randolph, MA 02368

Acceptance rate

The acceptance rate for MIT is 6.7% and at that number it is one of the hardest universities in the United States to be accepted into. The acceptance rate will differ for the graduate and professional programs, but like the undergrad acceptance rate it is low and not easy to get into. However, when peaking of the post undergrad programs students that received their bachelor’s degree from the university will have an easier time being accepted.

Student life at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Student live is alive and well at MIT with over 500 student organizations, many opportunities for sports and recreation, a thriving arts scene, and no lack of great events all around campus. There are 40 combined fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups and at MIT they strive for every non-academic organization to strive for diversity and inclusion for all no matter race, religion, or gender.

MIT has 33 varsity sports, 17 for men and 15 for women one co-ed, and they compete in Division III with their conference being the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. The nickname of the varsity sports teams is the Engineers. Besides the varsity sports there are also many club sports and many more intramural teams in, pretty much, any sport you can imagine. The motto of the MIT Intramural Program is “For Students, By Students” and the IM page even has a mission statement.

While MIT is not really known as a party school there are many opportunities to have some fun all around campus and just off it as well. There are always frat parties going on as well as those with the over 500 organizations that are associated with the university. There are smaller dorm parties always happening, mostly on the down-low, and just off campus there are many cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs in the Cambridge area.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Campus

The campus of MIT stretches along 1.6 miles along and situated on the Cambridge site of the Charles River. All around campus there are interconnecting buildings that were purposely built in that manner in order to bring about student and faculty interaction as well as between the schools and the departments. There are many styles of buildings on the MIT campus from modern to neoclassical and many of the buildings are designed by renowned architects. There are 18 residence halls at MIT and the campus is in an urban setting. The university strives to be green and sustainable and there are many gardens, open lawns, and other green spaces as well as free shuttles and bicycle shares. The campus is very easy to get around with many paths and walkways and public transportation is abundant in the area.

Costs of Studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The costs of studying at MIT are rather high, but that is because it is seen as one of the elite universities in the United States. On top of that the income that graduates can earn is significant and that is especially the case for those with graduate or professional degrees. There is a lot of financial aid available at MIT and the amount of financial aid given in 2018 was nearly $120 million. The average MIT scholarship is for undergraduates in 2018 was $45,524, 31% of students at the university do not pay tuition with the unique Need-based-aid program, and 72% of undergrads that graduated from MIT did so debt free. Here is the breakdown of the costs of attending MIT for undergraduates and the costs for graduate and professional programs will differ, but not by much.

  • Tuition and Fees $51,832
  • Room and Board $15,510
  • Books and Supplies $1,000
  • Other Expenses $1,818

MIT also offers an installment payment plan and travel expenses have to be factored into the costs as well.


MIT is located in Cambridge Massachusetts and is on the banks of the Charles River. Basically, Cambridge is a city of around 105,000 and a part of the Boston metropolitan area. It is easy to get around, as stated before, and the MBTA, which is Boston’s public transportation network, can be accessed from the MIT campus to travel to surrounding areas, especially all-around Boston. Harvard University is not far away and there are many gatherings and get-togethers between the two elite schools and the Boston Waterfront is also nearby.

Q: How much money will I make with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology degree? A: After graduation from MIT with a Bachelor’s degree graduation students can expect to earn a median salary of $78,000. This number increases with a graduate and professional degree. Q: How does the accreditation process work?A: MIT has no lack of transfer students both at the undergraduate and graduate level. The guidelines for incoming transfers for undergraduate studies are much the same as if applying out of high school in that SAT scores, past academic work, and the interview process are the main factors if students can transfer into MIT. For graduate and professional programs there are also guidelines, which can be found on the main MIT website detailing what needs to be done to attend any of the schools associated with the university. Q: What is the weather like at Massachusetts Institute of Technology? A: MIT is located in New England, which runs the gamut in really feeling all four of the seasons. The spring and, especially, the fall can be very temperate and since it is in New England the campus is and surrounding areas are simply gorgeous in the fall. In the summer, the temperature can get very hot as well as very humid and on the other end of the spectrum the winters can be very cold and a lot of snow is common.

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