how to get into mit; collegeadvisor.com image: MIT campus photo

MIT is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1861 as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Society of Natural History. The student body of the university is almost 12,000, with 4,638 enrolled undergraduate students.

In this How to Get into MIT guide, we’ll cover what you need to build a strong application:

  • MIT acceptance rate
  • MIT GPA requirements
  • Average MIT SAT scores
  • MIT Early Action and regular MIT application deadline
  • Effective MIT essays
  • Acing the MIT interview
  • MIT class of 2025 statistics, and more.

Figuring out how to get into MIT takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes MIT graduates. Want to maximize your MIT admissions odds? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

How do I get into MIT?

The first thing to look at when considering MIT is its acceptance rate. Of the 33,240 applicants for the MIT Class of 2025, MIT accepted 1,340 for an overall acceptance rate of 4.0%. This means that for every 100 applicants for the MIT Class of 2025, MIT admitted only 4. The MIT Early Action acceptance rate for the MIT Class of 2025 was 4.8%. The prior year saw a higher acceptance rate of 7.3%, due to fewer MIT Early Action applicants than the MIT Class of 2025. 

The school subscribes to a holistic admissions process and doesn’t have minimum MIT GPA requirements. However, due to the caliber of students accepted, you should aim for a weighted GPA of over 4.17. Strong MIT essays will also be key to a successful “how to get into MIT” strategy.

Keep in mind that MIT admission is a lofty goal for even the most exceptional students. Although there are no official MIT GPA requirements, you’ll need a nearly perfect high school GPA, in addition to high standardized test scores, compelling responses to the MIT essays, and glowing letters of recommendation. Start strategizing well before the November 1 MIT Early Action or January 5 regular MIT application deadline. Plan to keep your GPA high regardless of the absence of MIT GPA requirements, prepare as early as possible for the SAT and ACT so you can hit the average MIT SAT scores, and engage in extracurriculars that demonstrate leadership skills. 

How hard is it to get into MIT?

MIT is one of the best schools in the country, boasting a rigorous curriculum, access to state-of-the-art technology, and an accomplished faculty. It should come as no surprise that tens of thousands of students are also considering how to get into MIT. It takes more than exceptional grades and standardized test scores to get in. Though MIT is not a member of the Ivy League, it is highly ranked and arguably more selective, even though up until recently the university has had a more favorable acceptance rate than the Ivies. Even without MIT GPA requirements, the GPAs and MIT SAT scores of admitted MIT applicants are some of the highest in the country.

What is the required GPA for MIT?

When figuring out how to get into MIT, know that there are no minimum MIT GPA requirements. However, 97% of MIT Class of 2025 admitted students graduated in the top 10% of their classes, so your GPA must be high in order to compete. This means that although there are no minimum MIT GPA requirements, you’ll need mainly A’s in all your classes—but don’t take easy courses in order to hit your target GPA. In addition to your GPA, MIT looks at the rigor or your course load. You’ll want to take honors, AP, or IB courses, and even courses at your local community college to prove you can successfully manage academic challenges.

Aim high

Even though there are no official MIT GPA requirements, you should aim for a 4.17 weighted GPA. If you’re already a junior or senior figuring out how to get into MIT and your GPA is lower than 4.17, know that scores close to the average MIT SAT scores or ACT scores can counterbalance a lower GPA. Due to the pandemic, MIT admissions has suspended its usual MIT SAT scores and ACT scores requirement for the 2021-2022 application cycle. However, if you can safely test, CollegeAdvisor.com encourages you to do so and send in or self-report your scores. Strong test scores that either meet or exceed the average MIT SAT scores and ACT scores are important factors in your “how to get into MIT” strategy.

Even though there are no MIT GPA requirements, you may still wonder how to get into MIT with a GPA lower than the MIT average GPA. Check out our article for useful tips to help you overcome a lower GPA or lower test results than the average MIT SAT scores. 

What does the MIT application include?

Students wondering how to get into MIT are often curious about the admissions process. Like most top-tier schools, MIT uses a holistic admissions process. This means they consider all possible factors, not just standardized test scores or MIT GPA requirements. MIT admissions officers want to get to know you as well as they can through your application, which means each part of the process is a chance for you to enhance your candidate profile.  

Before you begin, think about the best way to present yourself, especially in the MIT essays. Carefully consider your goals, accomplishments, and abilities. These characteristics reveal aspects of your personality that numbers cannot and are important factors to highlight when figuring out how to get into MIT.

Here are the steps to complete your MIT application:

  • Register for a MyMIT account at my.mit.edu –MIT uses its own application system. There is a $75 application fee. You may qualify for a fee waiver if needed.
  • Submit Part 1 – The MIT Early Action application deadline is November 1. The Regular Action MIT application deadline is January 5.
  • Schedule your MIT interview –The MIT application deadline for scheduling your MIT interview is December 10 for Regular Action, and October 20 for MIT Early Action.
  • Teacher evaluations – MIT requires two teacher evaluations. The MIT Early Action deadline for this is November 1. The Regular Action MIT application deadline for this is January 5.
  • Secondary School Report –The MIT Early Action deadline for this is November 1. The Regular Action MIT application deadline for this is January 5.
  • Submit Part 2 – Part 2 consists of your MIT essays, your activities list, honors, test scores, and information about your secondary school coursework.
  • Standardized tests – Take tests on or before the November test date for MIT Early Action or the January test date for the Regular Action MIT application deadline.
  • Midyear Grade Report – Have your guidance counselor or principal complete this form after your first semester, trimester, or second quarter. Send the form as soon as your grades are available.
  • Financial aid materials – Submit all financial aid materials to the Financial Aid Office before February 15 to meet the regular MIT application deadline, and by November 30 to meet the MIT Early Action deadline.

Optional

  • Submit music and/or art portfolios – If you are interested in submitting a portfolio for evaluation, the MIT application deadline is January 1 for Regular Action and November 1 for MIT Early Action applicants.
  • Contact MIT Coaches & ROTC – If you are an athlete considering playing at the varsity level, MIT encourages you to contact the appropriate MIT coach for your sport. If you are interested in one of MIT’s ROTC programs visit https://ovc.mit.edu/.

Answering all MIT essays should be a key part of your “how to get into MIT” plan. There are five short-answer essay questions and one open-ended text box where you can include information not mentioned elsewhere in your application. Each essay is a great opportunity for the real you to shine, so while we encourage you to have others proofread your responses, don’t let them edit so much that it takes your unique perspective. You will also want to focus on meeting the average MIT SAT scores, and the assumed MIT GPA requirements.

What extracurriculars do I need for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?

When thinking about how to get into MIT, keep in mind that the extracurriculars you participate in can say a lot about you. They show where your passions lie, what your personal skills are, and your capacity to be a leader on MIT’s campus. You don’t have unlimited space to include your extracurriculars, so prioritize activities that display a high level of achievement or leadership through rank, awards, and national or international recognition.

Want to know how to get into MIT? Start by engaging in activities that promote your personal and intellectual enrichment rather than simply signing up for as many activities as possible. Aim for depth over breadth by competing in American Mathematics competitions, qualifying for the International Biology Competition, or attending a distinguished summer program like the Telluride Association Summer Seminars, for example.

Independent activities

MIT values independent thinking and action. Given how most extracurriculars suffered during the pandemic, be sure to mention self-motivated activities to help set yourself apart from other applicants. This can include solo activities like developing and coding an application, learning a new language, or conducting independent research and experiments.

When thinking about how to get into MIT and the impact extracurriculars have, remember to choose your activities carefully. Do not overschedule yourself to the detriment of your schoolwork and mental health. If your school and community do not provide remarkable activities to choose from, don’t worry. MIT views your extracurriculars in the context of the opportunities that were available to you.

What is the acceptance rate at MIT?

The acceptance rate is one of the first things to consider when figuring out how to get into MIT. The unprecedented 33,240 applicants for the MIT Class of 2025 resulted in an overall acceptance rate of 4.0%. This marks a 66% increase in total applications for the MIT Class of 2025, which caused the acceptance rate to drop to almost half of what it was the previous year. Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services, Stu Schmill, wrote that the increased applicant pool likely occurred due to the “permanent elimination of the SAT Subject Tests from consideration…as well as the suspension of the MIT SAT scores and ACT scores requirement.”

The university decided to to suspend the MIT SAT scores and ACT requirements to avoid creating a disadvantage for those students who are unable to safely test as a result of the pandemic. MIT is expected to once again require MIT SAT scores beginning fall 2022.

Average scores

While the school doesn’t specify a score cutoff, they do publish the average MIT SAT scores of admitted students. According to the data, the mid-portion of the MIT Class of 2025 earned between 1510 and 1580 on the SAT, meaning MIT SAT scores of 1500 are below average for MIT. The top 75% of admitted MIT Class of 2025 students scored 34 or higher on the ACT.  

Fortunately, MIT allows applicants to superscore their tests, so you can choose to submit your highest scores from individual sections from different test dates.

MIT Early Action admissions for the Class of 2026 show a small decrease from the MIT Class of 2025’s record-high applicant pool.

Want to learn more about acceptance rates? Check out our expert guide.

Does MIT require interviews?

Another key factor in how to get into MIT is the MIT interview. Of the eligible MIT Class of 2025 applicants, 15% of those who participated in an MIT interview were admitted. The MIT interview can be a fun part of the admissions process, even though it is not required. CollegeAdvisor.com encourages you to take part in the MIT interview because it helps the school better understand you.

The person who conducts your MIT interview is referred to as an Educational Counselor or EC. ECs are MIT alumni volunteers who meet with applicants in their communities. It is your responsibility to access your assigned EC’s name and contact information via your MyMIT account. Once you have this information, it is recommended you schedule an MIT interview at the earliest date available. MIT Early Action applicants are required to contact their EC by October 20, and Regular Action applicants must contact their EC by December 10. 

Interview format

As a safety precaution, the MIT interview is temporarily conducted virtually. Monitor your inbox closely, as your EC will contact you using the email address provided in your application. Normally, if there is no EC near you, your MIT interview might be waived. Virtual interviews help avoid this issue, however, MIT admits that EC’s do have limited availability and may not be able to offer interviews to everyone. If your interview is waived as a result of this, your application will not be negatively affected.

The answer to how to get into MIT does lie in your individuality. Before your interview, prepare discussion items like your interests and activities, and remember to ask questions you have about the school.

How do you write an MIT essay?

An important component when considering how to get into MIT is the MIT essays. Each short-answer essay is designed for you to paint a portrait of yourself for MIT admissions officers. The short-answer MIT essays are 250 words or fewer.

The following MIT essays appeared in the 2021-2022 application:

Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (250 words or fewer)

Pick what field of study at MIT appeals to you the most right now, and tell us more about why this field of study appeals to you. (100 words or fewer)

We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (200–250 words)

At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200–250 words)

Tell us about a significant challenge you’ve faced or something that didn’t go according to plan that you feel comfortable sharing. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)

Learning exactly how to respond to these MIT essays should be central to your “how to get into MIT” strategy. Check out our MIT essay guide for instructions on answering each of the MIT essays.

How does MIT review applications?

As an applicant, it’s easy to find the average MIT SAT scores and MIT average GPA. Even though there are no official MIT GPA requirements, you can assume that you should try to be in the top 10% of your high school class. However, while these are important factors in your application, MIT’s admissions process is holistic. This is likely why there are no published MIT GPA requirements. Focusing too closely on the numbers is not how to get into MIT.

MIT outlines its review process on the “What We Look For” page. Admissions officers consider the following key elements, which you should also consider when thinking about how to get into MIT:

  • Alignment with MIT’s mission
  • Collaborative and cooperative spirit
  • Initiative
  • Risk-taking
  • Hands-on creativity
  • Intensity, curiosity, and excitement
  • The character of the MIT community
  • The ability to prioritize balance

The first person to review your application will be the senior admissions officer. Once deemed strong, other AOs will evaluate your application and summarize it for the admissions committee. From there, both the summary and your full application will be directed to the selection committee. A dozen or more people will discuss your application. The number of people involved in this process is meant to ensure that no individual biases will unfairly affect an application decision.

Will MIT look at my social media accounts?

When competing for a spot at MIT, it’s normal to wonder if your social media presence will impact your chances for admission. Nevertheless, MIT admissions officers avoid looking at applicants’ social media accounts. Having a stellar online presence is not a factor to stress about when considering how to get into MIT.

However, this doesn’t mean you should post offensive or irresponsible content on social media. It might not get in the way of your admission to MIT, but the content you post could affect other opportunities, such as internships or jobs. 

Is MIT a good school for me?

When researching how to get into MIT, some students forget to consider whether the school would be a good fit for them. The truth is, even though many are enticed by its status, MIT isn’t for everyone.

As is the case with other elite schools, MIT is a reach even for gifted students. Fortunately, if you’re seriously considering how to get into MIT, you’ve most likely made high grades close to the assumed MIT GPA requirements, been thoughtful in your selection of extracurriculars, and have done the test prep necessary to meet or exceed the average MIT SAT scores. If this is the case, you’ll likely be successful wherever you end up.

Researching how to get into MIT should start with you thinking about how attending MIT would serve your personal and intellectual goals.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do MIT’s offerings align with my interests?
  • Who do I see myself becoming on MIT’s campus?
  • What do I want to do with my future and can MIT get me there?

When thinking about how to get into MIT, know that self-reflection like this can actually help you if you do decide to apply, as these are elements you’ll reference in both your MIT essays and MIT interview.

Additional tips to get into MIT

1. Build your profile

When thinking about how to get into MIT, remember that the school looks for candidates who show initiative, take risks, and have demonstrated their intellectual prowess. Well before the MIT application deadline, develop your interests and seize opportunities that strengthen your candidate profile.

2. Cultivate your relationships

MIT relies on your recommendation letters to add another perspective in understanding you. Reference letters can be an important factor in how to get into MIT. During high school, build strong relationships with your teachers, counselors, coaches, and mentors. Although MIT only requires two, they will accept and consider additional letters of recommendation.

3. Don’t wait

You can boost your MIT admissions chances by strategizing early. The MIT application deadline arrives quickly,  so start preparing for the MIT application deadline immediately. Be proactive about scheduling your MIT interview, and if you’re applying for MIT Early Action, give yourself enough time to submit your test scores.

MIT wants to admit exceptional students who think outside the box, and as such, there’s no singular answer to how to get into MIT. However, if you want to go to MIT, apply! Don’t let the MIT average GPA or the average MIT SAT scores scare you off. Instead, focus on submitting the strongest application you can, writing effective MIT essays, and giving a good MIT interview. Consider MIT Early Action if MIT is your top choice. Good luck!


This guide was written by Amanda Rebuck. If you want to know how to get into MIT, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes MIT graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.