Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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School Overview

Founded in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an internationally-renowned, private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT employs over 1,000 faculty and professors. Previous and current faculty affiliated with the institute include 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 77 Nobel Laureates, 45 Rhodes Scholars, and 38 MacArthur Fellows.

MIT has 5 academic schools and one college made up of 32 departments that offer some of the best science, applied technology and engineering programs of any higher education institution in the world. In addition to premier science and engineering programs, MIT also offers several arts and humanities programs. In fact, many programs at MIT now combine technology and arts to provide students with broader perspectives.

MIT’s new emphasis on art is reflected in its student organizations. Multiple student dance, music, and theater groups are located on-campus. MIT also sponsors intramural sports and 33 men’s and women’s NCAA athletic programs, including a Division I rowing program.

Unlike many other research universities, MIT employs a European, polytechnic education-model that emphasizes laboratory instruction at both the graduate and undergraduate level. MIT students work closely with industries throughout their education and participate on real-world projects in cooperation with top domestic and international businesses and corporations. In fact, MIT researchers have been involved with the development of current computer technology, integrative cancer research, and inertial guidance systems employed in defense research.

MIT is also one of the most entrepreneurial institutions of higher education in the world. Many MIT graduates have gone on to found and grow some of the most successful companies the world has ever seen. In fact, the total revenue of companies founded by MIT graduates is equal to the annual revenue generated by the 11th largest economy in the world. Currently, MIT has an endowment of about $8 billion and manages over $700 million in research expenditures.

MIT is committed to helping qualified students attend who cannot afford the cost of tuition. Nearly 20 percent of undergraduate students come from middle-class families. Most undergraduate and graduate students receive scholarships, loans, or federal Pell grants.

During the 2011-12 school year MIT had an enrollment of 4,384 undergraduates and 6,510 graduate students. With an average annual acceptance rate of 9%, MIT is a very selective university. Students interested in attending MIT are encouraged to schedule an interview with an admission representative. Students applying for undergraduate study must complete all application materials by January 1. Graduate application requirements differ by program.

MIT has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1929.


The majority of students that attend MIT are enrolled in graduate or professional programs. Classes begin each year during the fall semester which begins in early September and ends mid-December. Between the end of fall semester, and the beginning of the spring semester in February, is a 4-week “Independent Activities Period” that extends throughout the entire month of January. Spring semester begins in February and ends in late May.


MIT is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, QS World University, Academic Ranking of World Universities and several other national and international reputable college ranking associations. MIT’s School of Engineering has been ranked number one in the world by both the National Research Council and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Many other MIT programs, including their natural science, computer science, economics, business, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy and political science programs are also ranked among the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Programs

MIT consists of four academic schools, one college and 32 departments that offer 44 undergraduate degrees. At the undergraduate level, MIT only offers the bachelor of science. The most popular undergraduate program at MIT is the engineering program which enrolls nearly 63% of all undergraduate students in one of its 19 degree programs. The second most popular undergraduate program at MIT is the science program offered by the MIT School of Science. It enrolls nearly 29% of undergraduate students. The remaining 7 to 8% of students are enrolled in programs offered by the School of Humanities, Sloan School of Management, Arts and Social Sciences, and School of Architecture and Planning. The most popular undergraduate degrees at MIT are in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics.

All MIT undergraduate students are required to complete the General Institute Requirements (GIRs), the school’s core general education curriculum. A major component of the core curriculum is the Science Requirement which is also a prerequisite for students pursuing science and engineering degrees. The Science Requirement includes two semesters of calculus, two semesters of physics, one semester of biology, and one semester of chemistry. The second component of the GIRs is the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement which includes a minimum of one semester of humanities, one semester of arts, and one semester of social sciences. The final general education requirements include a Communication Requirement (which is completed as part of the HASS) and a physical education component which requires all students to complete four quarters of physical education courses and a swimming test.

Even though the difficulty of MIT’s undergraduate programs has been compared to “drinking from a fire house”, the school’s retention rate is on par with other national research universities. Most of the classes at MIT employ lectures, recitations by graduate students, regular problem sets and exams. Even though undergraduate coursework at MIT is challenging, some of the stress students experience is mitigated by MIT’s “pass/no-record” grading system – which reports nothing more than whether or not a student passes the course.

Graduate Programs

MIT’s graduate degree programs are ranked as some of the best in the nation within their respective discipline. MIT offers a breadth of master’s degrees and comprehensive doctoral programs with degrees in social sciences, humanities, and STEM fields. MIT also offers an extensive selection of professional degree programs.

At the graduate level MIT offers academic degrees including the Master of Science (SM), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Doctor of Science (ScD). Other graduate degrees include Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of City Planning (MCP), Master of Finance (MFin), Master of Engineering (MEng), and various interdisciplinary programs such as the MD/PhD degree that is offered in cooperation with Harvard Medical School.

Graduate admissions at MIT are done through the individual department and/or degree program. The vast majority of students pursuing doctoral degrees at MIT are supported by grants, research assistantships, fellowships, or teaching assistantships.

The largest graduate degree programs at MIT are the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Sloan MBA, and Mechanical Engineering.

Library system

The library system at Massachusetts Institute of Technology consists of five individual, discipline-specific libraries including the Barker Library (Engineering), Lewis Library (Music), Hayden Library (Humanities and Science), Dewey Library (Economics), and Rotch Library (Arts and Architecture). The MIT library system also includes a few smaller specialized libraries and archives. MIT’s library system is home to nearly 3 million printed volumes, 2 ½ million microforms, over 650 reference databases and nearly 50,000 electronic or print journal subscriptions.

Traditions and Activities

Unlike several popular Ivy League and research universities, MIT does not award honorary degrees. Two of the core values espoused by both faculty and students are, technical proficiency and meritocracy. However, MIT did award honorary professorships to Winston Churchill and Salman Rushdie, in 1949 and 1993 respectively.

It is not uncommon to see MIt students and alumni sporting a large, heavy, and very distinctive ring called the “Brass Rat”. The ring’s official name is the “Standard Technology Ring” and while several derivations of the ring exist, they all feature a three-piece design, displaying the MIT seal, the class year, and an image of a beaver.


MIT resides on a 168-acre campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the north side of the Charles River basin. The campus is split down the middle by Massachusetts Avenue, with student housing, dormitories and student facilities located to the west and the majority the school’s academic buildings located on the east side of campus. The neighborhood surrounding the MIT campus includes a mix of high-tech companies and residential neighborhoods.

While most of the buildings on campus have a name, they’re also assigned a number which typically corresponds to the order in which they were built. Offices and academic buildings are usually referred to by their number and student residence halls by their name. MIT’s campus buildings are connected by an extensive network of underground tunnels so students can get around campus in comfort during cold winter months.


MIT’s School of Architecture (whose name was recently changed to the “School of Architecture and Planning”) was the first of its kind in the United States and is well known for designing progressive buildings, as exemplified by many of the buildings found across MIT’s campus. MIT’s first buildings were constructed in 1916 and were named the “Maclaurin buildings” in honor of MIT’s President, Richard Maclaurin, who commissioned and oversaw their construction. The Maclaurin buildings, designed by William Bosworth, were the first non-industrial buildings to be built with reinforced concrete. The Building 7 atrium which runs along Massachusetts Avenue is considered the entrance to the Infinite Corridor, as well as the rest of the MIT campus.

While MIT’s campus is considered a contemporary campus by many, others see it as a less-than-attractive, hodgepodge of disparate architectural concepts and influences. In fact, MIT was included in The Princeton Review list of twenty colleges whose campuses are “tiny, unsightly, or both”.


All entering freshman at MIT are guaranteed housing for their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years in one of MIT’s 12 undergraduate dormitories. Undergraduate students who choose to live on-campus in one of MIT’s dormitories can look forward to mentoring and academic support from live-in, graduate student tutors, faculty housemasters, and resident advisors. As students are allowed their preference of on-campus housing, several unique and diverse social atmospheres have been developed over the years. In fact, according to the Yale Daily News Staff’s The Insiders’ Guide to the Colleges 2010 there appears to be a noticeable social difference between East Campus and West Campus. In addition to on-campus, undergraduate housing, MIT also has 5 dormitories dedicated to graduate students and 2 apartment complexes designated for student family housing.

While MIT is considered one of the most prestigious, academic institutions in the World, it is also known for its active and vibrant campus life. MIT has a well-developed Greek housing system that includes 36 fraternities, sororities and independent living groups. About 90% of undergraduate students live in MIT housing, with 50% of the men living in fraternities and over 30% of the women living in sororities.

General Information

Admission Office

77 Massachusetts Avenue, Rm 3-108

Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

(617) 253-3400

Fax: (617) 258-8304

Contact: Stuart Schmill

Dean of Admissions

Main Address

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

(617) 253-1000


Total undergrads: 4,153

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 1,048

Degree-seeking undergrads: 4,138

Graduate enrollment: 6,146


Urban setting

Small city (50,000 – 249,999)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:




Tuition & Fees

Estimated Annual Expenses 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
Tuition and fees $34,986 $36,390 $37,782 $39,212 +3.78%
Books and Supplies $1,114 $1,150 $1,150 $1,050 -8.70%
Living Arrangement – On Campus
Room and Board $10,400 $10,860 $11,360 $11,234 -1.11%
Other $1,700 $1,700 $1,708 $1,714 +0.35%
Living Arrangement – Off Campus
Room and Board $0 $0 $0 $0 0.00%
Other $0 $0 $0 $0 0.00%
Total Expenses 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
In-state On Campus $48,200 $50,100 $52,000 $53,210 +2.33%
In-state Off Campus $36,100 $37,540 $38,932 $40,262 +3.42%
In-state with Family $36,100 $37,540 $38,932 $40,262 +3.42%
Average Graduate Student Tuition & Fees
Tuition for In-state Students $38,940
In-state Student Fees $2,012
Tuition for Out-of-state Students $38,940
Out-of-state Fees $2,012

Financial Aid

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students
Type of Aid Students Percent Amount Average Per Student
All students financial aid 899 86%
Grant or scholarship aid 684 65% $21,439,432 $31,344
• Federal grants 269 26% $1,906,984 $7,089
• Pell grants 176 17% $642,528 $3,651
• Other federal grants 269 26% $1,264,456 $4,701
State/local government grant or scholarships 25 2% $56,826 $2,273
Institutional grants or scholarships 641 61% $19,475,622 $30,383
Student loan aid 262 25% $1,588,654 $6,064
• Federal student loans 236 23% $1,037,592 $4,397
• Other student loans 26 2% $551,062 $21,195

All Degrees and Programs

Total of All Education Programs 1150 1597 577 - -
Architecture and Related Services 23 166 17 - -
Architecture 12 63 6 - -
City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning 11 73 11 - -
Real Estate Development - 30 - - -
Biology and Biomedical Sciences 124 3 53 - -
Biology and Biological Sciences, General 93 3 41 - -
Computational Biology - - 3 - -
Neuroscience 31 - 9 - -
Business, Administration, Management, Marketing, etc. 82 567 10 - -
Business/commerce 82 535 10 - -
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management - 32 - - -
Communication and Journalism Programs 12 53 4 - -
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia - 31 4 - -
Journalism, Other - 7 - - -
Mass Communication/Media Studies 12 15 - - -
Computing and Information Sciences 150 136 45 - -
Computer and Information Sciences - 22 - - -
Computer Science 150 114 45 - -
Engineering 433 643 284 - -
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering 56 74 13 - -
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 38 13 46 - -
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 44 - - - -
Chemical Engineering 32 42 32 - -
Civil Engineering 17 39 6 - -
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 67 89 58 - -
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering 13 20 10 - -
Materials Engineering 20 22 38 - -
Mechanical Engineering 136 142 49 - -
Nuclear Engineering 10 24 15 - -
Operations Research - 13 5 - -
Systems Engineering - 137 10 - -
Transportation and Highway Engineering - 28 2 - -
English Language, Composition and Literature/Letters 8 - - - -
Creative Writing 2 - - - -
English Language and Literature 6 - - - -
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 3 - 3 - -
Foreign Languages and Literatures 2 - - - -
Linguistics 1 - 3 - -
History 1 - - - -
History 1 - - - -
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 6 - - - -
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 6 - - - -
Mathematics and Statistics 116 3 22 - -
Mathematics 116 3 22 - -
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies 20 - 5 - -
Cognitive Science 9 - 4 - -
Mathematics and Computer Science 11 - - - -
Science, Technology and Society - - 1 - -
Physical Sciences 116 20 104 - -
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology - 1 2 - -
Chemistry 28 6 34 - -
Geology and Earth Science 8 4 5 - -
Geophysics and Seismology - 3 2 - -
Meteorology - 1 4 - -
Oceanography, Chemical and Physical - 3 12 - -
Physics 80 2 44 - -
Planetary Astronomy and Science - - 1 - -
Social Sciences 46 6 30 - -
Anthropology - - - - -
Economics 39 1 20 - -
Political Science and Government 7 5 10 - -
Visual and Performing Arts 10 - - - -
Music 10 - - - -
Above data represents first majors only.
(-) Indicates that a program is not offered at this level.

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $75

Online application fee: $75

Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 10%

Percent students who return for sophomore year: 98%

Admissions Considerations

Secondary school GPA: Recommended

Secondary school record: Required

Recommendations: Required

Admission test scores (SAT/ACT): Required

College-preparatory program: Recommended

TOEFL: Recommended

Undergraduate Admissions Fall 2011

Number of Applicants: 17,909

Percent Admitted: 10%

Percent Admitted Who Enrolled: 65%

Test Scores: Fall 2011

SAT Critical Reading

  • 670 (25th Percentile)
  • 770 (75th Percentile)

SAT Math

  • 740 (25th Percentile)
  • 800 (75th Percentile)

SAT Writing

  • 680 (25th Percentile)
  • 770 (75th Percentile)

ACT Composite

  • 32 (25th Percentile)
  • 35 (75th Percentile)

ACT English

  • 32 (25th Percentile)
  • 35 (75th Percentile)

ACT Math

  • 34 (25th Percentile)
  • 36 (75th Percentile)

ACT Writing

  • 8 (25th Percentile)
  • 10 (75th Percentile)

Enrollment Statistics


Undergraduate Attendance Status

Undergraduate Student Gender


Undergraduate Student Age

Undergraduate Student Residence


Graduate Attendance Status


Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Retention and Graduation Rates


Retention Rates for First-Time Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees

Overall Graduation and Transfer-Out Rates for Students


Graduation Rates for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees


6-Year Graduation Rate by Gender for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees


6-Year Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees

Undergraduate Majors

Architecture & Related Programs

Architecture B

City/Community/Regional Planning B

Arts, Visual & Performing

Music – General B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Business – General B

Communications & Journalism

Mass Communications/Media Studies B

Computer & Information Sciences

Computer Science B


Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering B

Biomedical Engineering B

Chemical Engineering B

Civil Engineering B

Electrical/Communications Engineering B

Environmental Engineering B

Materials Engineering B

Mechanical Engineering B

Nuclear Engineering B

English Language & Literature

Creative Writing B

English Language & Literature – General B

Foreign Language & Literature

Foreign Language & Literature – General B

Linguistics B


History – General B

Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liberal Arts & Sciences B


Mathematics – General B

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Cognitive Science B

Mathematics/Computer Science B

Neuroscience B

Science, Technology & Society B

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy B

Physical Sciences

Chemistry B

Geology B

Physics B

Social Sciences

Anthropology B

Economics B

Political Science/Government B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

      A = Associate degree
      B = Bachelor’s degree
      C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (617) 253-1000
Type of School: 4-year, Private non-profit
Apply Online:
Address: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
Setting: City: Midsize
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 11,520
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 94%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 3 to 1
Distance Learning Programs:
Distance Learning Students*: 11,474 (100% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $53,790
Out-of-state Tuition: $53,790
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 74%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $49,775

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Architecture and Related Services 243
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 323
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 221
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 131
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 122
Engineering 101212
English Language and Literature/Letters 2
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 211
History 1
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 1
Mathematics and Statistics 221
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 32
Philosophy and Religious Studies 11
Physical Sciences 388
Social Sciences 322
Visual and Performing Arts 2
Grand total 393837

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $53,790
Out-of-state $53,790
Books and supplies $820

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $57,059
Out-of-state $57,059

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 825 74%
Grant or scholarship aid 666 60% $49,775
Student loan aid 100 9% $8,568

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 2,981 65% $46,952
Federal student loans 432 9% $6,057

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled Massachusetts Institute of Technology students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 21,312 14,522 6,790
Percent admitted 100% 5% 11%
Percent admitted who enrolled 5% 4% 8%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 11,520
Undergraduate enrollment 4,530
Graduate enrollment 6,990

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Accreditation

This institution is accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education

Specialized institution accreditations:

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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