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Academy Review: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a world-renowned university in the United States of America. The institution was founded in 1861, two days before the Civil War broke out in North America. MIT is one of, if not the top universities in North America, for Computer Science and Information Technology degrees. MIT has been consistently ranked #1 in the U.S. by QS World University Rankings by Subject since 2012. The university hosts 98 Nobel Laureates within its staff, faculty, and alumni. MIT’s motto is Mens et manus, which translates to ‘mind and hand.’ This Latin phrase relates directly to the mission and vision of MIT’s founders, who aimed to provide education for practical application.

Location

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology resides in the state of Massachusetts in the New England region of the Northern Eastern United States. The university was originally located in Boston’s Back Bay area and later moved to the Charles River region. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology finally settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1916 and has remained there ever since. Cambridge is located just across the river from Boston. Many Massachusetts residents commute to the city of Boston daily for work. As the city is so close, we have noted some interesting things to do in Boston and Massachusetts.

MIT Campus

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology boasts an incredible 168-acre campus with 19 separate halls of residence. MIT’s campus has 26 acres of playing fields, perfect for athletics competitions, recreational activities, and sporting events. The beauty of MIT’s campus ranges from its exceptional architecture to the 40+ gardens and green spaces. The university’s collaborative, hands-on, curiosity-driven image extends beyond the classroom and into the institution's surrounding area. MIT is incredibly diverse and is known as a playground for opportunity and innovation. There are over 500+ student organizations, 40 Greek-letter and independent living groups, and chaplains that host more than 20 faith traditions. MIT is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, accommodating various cultures. The residence halls are student-centered environments: part entertainment center, part brain trust, and part support system. Everything you need is on campus, making MIT the perfect incubator for innovation, creativity, and drive.

Meeting Massachusetts

Here are some places you should explore in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Harvard Square - this area hosts a vibrant array of bookstores, cafes, music venues, and street performers. Over 8 million people visit Harvard Square each year to explore the vast history, indulge in the culinary offerings, and experience live performances at some of the square's top spots.
  • MIT Museum - visit the MIT Museum, home to exciting exhibits, and encourage its visitors to participate in ongoing research. Through the unification of science, technology, humanities, and the arts, exhibitions at the MIT Museum address real-world issues faced within our world today.
  • Central Square - located between Harvard and MIT, Central Square is another quaint quarter that boasts a diverse range of restaurants and venues with live music and hosts many festivals throughout the year. Despite its modern feel, the area maintains its artistic and eclectic feel.
  • Fenway Park - visit Boston’s famous stadium, well known for its expansive history and incredible architecture. Home of the Red Sox, Fenway Park is one of North America's oldest active Major League baseball stadiums.
  • Freedom Trail - a 2.5-mile path that has 16 historical sites along its route. These sites include the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s stately home, and the Old North Church.
  • Museums - there are various museums to explore in the Boston area. These museums include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museums.

Famous alumni

Some of the world's most famous faces have graced the halls of MIT. Here are some of the university’s notable alumni:

  • Buzz Aldrin - American astronaut on the Apollo 11 space flight and engineer Buzz Aldrin earned a Doctor of Science degree in Astronautics from MIT.
  • Richard Feynman - American theoretical physicist best known for his work in quantum mechanics and for assisting in developing the atomic bomb. Feynman studied an advanced post-graduate degree at MIT and graduated in 1939.
  • Amar Bose - American entrepreneur, electrical engineer, and sound engineer, was the founder and chairman of Bose (an audio equipment company). Bose was a lecturer at MIT for over 45 years.
  • Tim Berners-Lee - British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, best known for inventing the World Wide Web, the HTML markup language, the URL system, and HTTP, was a professor emeritus at MIT.
  • Richard Stallman - American free software movement activity and programmer best known for his work on the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs. Stallman was a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Unique aspects of MIT

As MIT is ranked one of the best universities in the world, particularly for computer science and information technology degrees, a range of practices, traditions, and events make MIT unique.

MIT hacks

MIT students are famous for their “hacks.” These creative practical jokes represent students' technical ability and intelligence while paying homage to pop culture or historical references. “hackers,” usually undergraduate students, orchestrate these hacks in the dead of night. One example of one of these hacks is the conversion of the campus into a giant, interactive game of Tetris. Students celebrated Star War Day in 2015 by turning the Great Dome into a giant image of R2-D2. This is just one of the unique ways that students express themselves at MIT.

MIThenge

This interesting tradition illuminates the length of the 825-food Infinite Corridor that runs through the central campus, connecting various buildings. The buildings' construction allows the setting sun to illuminate buildings 3, 4, 7, 8, and 10, flooding the corridors with beautiful sunlight. From phenomena to another eccentric MIT cultural tradition.

Learning made accessible

MITx is MIT’s first huge open online course with globally recognized certificates. Over 250 online courses are available at MITx, with more than 12 million students enrolled and 300,000 certificates awarded. MIT also has a range of free materials with over 2600 resources related to undergraduate and graduate programs. These resources are completely free for anyone to use. This includes lectures, notes, syllabi, videos, readings, assignments, and exams. MITx also has MicroMasters programs in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy alongside a highly unique quantum computing course taught by MIT Professor William Oliver, appointed to President Biden’s National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee.

Take the holistic approach

As MIT’s motto would suggest, hands-on learning is strongly emphasized. Within the curriculum, a range of different requirements is unique to MIT. William Barton Rogers, MIT’s founding president, once stated, "The abstract studies of the philosopher are often the most beneficial sources of practical discovery and improvement,” demonstrating that practical application and theoretical understanding are at the institution's heart. MIT states to achieve this diverse level of education, all students at MIT must adhere to the General Institute Requirements, no matter what they study. These six requirements are:

  • Science core - this includes six foundational courses in mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry.
  • HASS requirement - includes a minimum of eight subjects in humanities, arts, and social sciences, including three to four concentrations of your choice.
  • Communication requirement - this involves taking four communication-intensive courses, including at least two relevant to your major, to develop effective writing and speaking skills.
  • Laboratory requirement - this requirement promotes project-based work, resourcefulness, improved planning skills, and analysis.
  • REST requirement - this includes two subjects of the Restricted Electives in Science and Technology. This requirement allows students to develop areas they have previously studied or explore areas outside of their major.
  • Physical education requirement - a minimum of four courses promotes a mind-body connection that can help students build upon their physical health while stimulating their cerebral abilities.

Computing Programs

MIT Schwarzman College of Computing requires students to choose a major. This step must be done by the end of Year 1 (Freshman year) for students to participate in their chosen subject.

Here are some interesting facts about the Technology at MIT:

  • 27 companies formed using MIT intellectual property
  • MIT has 65+ research centers, labs, and programs
  • Approximately 800 companies collaborate on faculty and student research.

Bachelor's degree programs

MIT offers a mix of programs in Computing at an undergraduate level. These include Majors, Blended Majors, and Minors.

Here is the list of Bachelor programs offered by MIT:

  • Electrical Science and Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making

One aspect of MIT’s unique bachelor programs is the Blended Major. This program allows students to take a multidisciplinary approach to their learning by combining specific subjects that help further their professional and academic development.

Here are the Blended Majors that MIT offers:

  • Computer Science and Molecular Biology
  • Computation and Cognition
  • Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science
  • Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science.

Students can also choose a minor or an extra subject to study along with their major. Your minor will be the secondary subject you will take throughout your degree. A minor can only be chosen outside of your main subject area. If you pursue these programs as your minor subjects, the entry requirements will not be as strict.

Here are the minors related to Computer Science and Information Technologies at MIT:

  • Computer Science
  • Statistics and Data Science

To learn more, visit the page here.

Master degree programs

Here is the list of programs MIT offers at Master's level.

  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computation and Cognition
  • Computer Science and Molecular Biology
  • Thesis Program with Industry

Here is the list of programs that MIT offers on a Postgraduate level.

  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Social and Engineering Systems

To learn more about these programs, please visit the page here

Entry requirements and acceptance rates

This university is ranked among the highest in the world and is mainly well known for its computer science and information technology degrees. Due to its esteemed reputation, academic excellence, and high-quality, holistic approach to education, the acceptance rate at MIT is 4.8% (2023).

Bachelor's degree programs

We suggest you begin applying to MIT at the start of your last academic year in high school. Alternatively, if you are applying as a transfer student, we suggest you apply as soon as possible. You must take various steps throughout the application process to secure your place at MIT. You will be required to pass SAT standardized testing in both cases - as a first-year or transfer student. MIT does not require an ACT writing section or the SAT optional essay.

MIT always welcomes International students, regardless of where you have attended school. However, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind that are required when applying. For example, here are some compulsory subjects you should have taken during high school:

  • Mathematics (thorough calculus)
  • 1+ year(s) of Physics
  • 1+ year(s) of Chemistry
  • 1+ year(s) of Biology
  • 4 years of English
  • 2 years of a Foreign Language
  • 2 years of History or Social Sciences

If you want to learn more about the entry requirements and how to proceed if you do not have the required qualification just yet, please visit the page here.

Master’s degree programs

Master’s degrees demand various requirements depending on your specialization. As there are so many different master’s degrees to explore, we suggest you turn to the MIT website to find out more about what it takes to embark on a master’s degree at MIT. To learn about Master's degree and PhD program entry requirements, please visit the page here.

Admissions Calendar

If you want to apply for a first-year admission, you must take the required tests before November 30 for Early Action and before December 31 for Regular Action. It is also suggested that you pass an additional English language test if you have been using English for fewer than five years and do not speak English at home.

Please visit the website here to find out what English tests are accepted.

Here is the academic calendar you can follow when applying for a program at MIT.

Early Action

November 1 - all individual application components - general information, essays, activities, and academics.

November 1 - two letters of recommendation.

November 1 - Secondary School Report, including the high school transcript.

November testing date - Standardized Testing dates. This is also the time to pass your English Proficiency test if your native language is not English.

Mid-February - February Updates & Notes Form that you will need to fill in if you are admitted or deferred in Early Action.

You should receive your admission decision by mid-December.

Regular Action

January 4 - all individual application components - general information, essays, activities, and academics.\

January 4 - two letters of recommendation.

January 4 - Secondary School Report, including the high school transcript.

December testing date - Standardized Testing dates. This is also the time to pass your English Proficiency test if your native language is not English.

Mid-February - February Updates & Notes Form that you will need to fill in if you are admitted or deferred in Early Action.

You should receive your admission decision by mid-March.

To learn more about the deadlines and documents to be submitted, please visit the website here.

To learn more about the application process at MIT, you can visit the page here.

Submit your application to MIT here.