Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA

Reviews

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4.24 Average Rating

alicia from oh

accepted here and planning to attend soon
25 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
mit is all about constructive chaos. the institute provides the resources and environment you need to be creative/innovative then they just kinda yell "go". in a sense, you're on your own to pave your path and make the most of the opportunities, but there's also plenty of help if you seek it.
Tips for prospective students
there's no magic formula to get accepted to mit. focus on really presenting your best self in the admissions essays. warning: just because the essays are short doesn't mean they should take less time than the 650 word statements for ivies like princeton. talk about the things you love the most (not the things you think are most impressive). be honest and lighthearted. and have fun!
Academic Rigor
i haven't started classes yet but i think mit's academic record speaks for itself. if you want to go here, be prepared to work. you'll work harder than you ever have but you'll also learn twice as much as you would at most other schools.
Dorm Life
housing is guaranteed for 4 years, very few people move of campus. there are 11 undergraduate dorms and 5 cultural houses (french, spanish, and german, as well as chocolate city for minority men and ihouse for international development), plus sororities and fraternities. once you accept your admission, you get to rank all 16 dorms and cultural houses from your favorite to least favorite and you'll be entered in a lottery that considers your preferences and assigns you a dorm. most people get something in their top 4. once you get to campus, you get a few days to explore all the dorms (they put on fun events for the frosh); if you decide you like a different dorm than the one you've been assigned, you can switch that first week. all the dorms have their own culture and an awesome sense of community.
Food and Dining
there are several meal plan options and i've heard the food is pretty tasty. some dorms are cook for yourself, meaning that you can buy groceries and make your own food or you can buy a meal plan and go to one of the other dorms' dining halls.
Bang for the buck
my financial aid package was amazing. i won full-tuition merit scholarships at two schools but mit (which only has need based aid, no merit) topped even that. by far the most affordable place i applied (ignore the sticker price and wait for your aid package)
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
hacking! look up the hacks throughout the years.
Great for these types of students
the more of these that apply to you, the better fit you are for mit:
-you're independent and willing to pursue your passions when given an overwhelming amount of options
-you want to challenge yourself
-you also like humanities! despite mit's reputation as a technological giant, humanities classes (hass) are an important part of the general institute requirements and the mit hass department was ranked #1 in the world. if you have no use for anything other than stem, know that at mit you'll have to take at least 8 hass courses (they have some awesome options!)
Clubs and Activities
anything you can think of. theater, music, art, robotics, origami, athletics, hacking, etc. if you want it, you can find it (or find like 4 people and start your own group).
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Peter from Cambridge, MA

a current student here
23 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The material taught in the lecture hall of MIT is...difficult. There's no way around it. But don't fear, you won't be alone in thinking it is. However, the professors are always available during office hours as well as the TAs so receiving help on those weekday nights doing problem sets isn't an issue. The classes here have a lot of material, sometimes it seems like too much, but as long as you do what you are expected to (doing the readings, doing the problem sets, going to lecture, etc), you will learn more in depth and in scope here than anywhere else in the world.
Am enjoying being here
Though many people see MIT as simply a nerdy place for those who feel pleasure from solving a triple integral problem in multivariable calculus (ok ok, we do have some of those types here too), the party scene here is vastly underrated. Students from around the area including Boston University, Boston College, Wellesley College, Tufts University, Harvard University (them and their oxford clothing of course), and many others primarily come to MIT on the weekends due to the active fraternity scene here. The students are also usually welcoming and due to the extremely high diversity you will find on campus, you can always find a group of friends.
Bang for the buck
The money you pay to go to MIT isn't primarily for the academics. As with many top schools, it is for the sheer number of activities you can be involved in, the prospective internship and professional activities you can be exposed to and last but not least, the connections you can build amongst not only fellow students, but the faculty who have already achieved monumental breakthroughs and continue doing so today. Though it may be expensive, coming to MIT will pay off; the catch is that you must be able to push yourself, work hard, and ACTIVELY search for the opportunities lying around for you. Also, financial aid here is pretty good; over 58% of the student body takes on financial aid that does not need to be repaid (grants, scholarships, etc).
Tips for prospective students
Don't try and just get by. It's possible - in fact, many students do it every year and there are several super seniors that I know personally. But it's not worth it. At all. To lose out on the opportunities presented is a complete waste of the financial strain you might have to put on yourself and your family. Be ready to have a lot of fun and have the time of your life...but also be ready to work hard.
Great for these types of students
Anyone with a drive to excel and succeed.
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Margaret from Cambridge, MA

a current student here
20 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
An awesome place full of students and professors who are excited to learn and teach each other, who collaborate every day on projects that advance knowledge on topics ranging from aerospace technology to brain and cognitive sciences. Not only do you receive one of the best educations available, you are part of an amazingly talented and enthusiastic group of people who live and learn together as a community. There are opportunities for everything here at MIT, including athletics, study abroad, theater and arts, and numerous research and internship opportunities all over the world.
Tips for prospective students
If you are enthusiastic about learning and want to make a difference in the world or discover something new, MIT is a great place to go. In high school I would recommend joining groups that you are sincerely interested in, and if there is no group for your interested start one of your own. Academics are important, so work hard in your classes, but more important is your drive to excel and learn. If you really want to be at MIT, do what you love to do as best as you can.
Academic Rigor
MIT is no breeze. Everyone has to work hard and a lot to get through here, but it is definitely worth it. I know that I am learning a lot of stuff and I find all of it interesting. While the school work is hard, the fact that everyone here goes through the same difficulties is comforting and creates a strong community.
Dorm Life
I live in Next House, one of the dorms on campus, and it is like coming home every day. I have great friends a close wing, so we spend a lot of time together and enjoy being around our home.
Food and Dining
My dining hall is awesome, I have never gotten a bad meal. We have a stir fry station, a grill, a comfort food section, and other random stuff including an ice cream bar!
What to do for fun
Here at MIT there is a lot to do for fun. We are a short T-ride or walk from Boston which has activities of all sort including professional sports games as well as concerts and anything else you can find in a major city. Here at MIT there is a student run group that shows upcoming movies, there are numerous performing based student groups, and a lot of the students participate in some type of intramural or club athletics. In my dorm we have a lot of Nerf gun wars, ping pong tournaments, movie marathons, and wing competitions including this years Wingter Olympics.
Bang for the buck
MIT is definitely worth its steep tuition. The education is one of the best in the world and opportunities for both students and alumni are unending. The reputation that MIT has in science, mathematical, engineering and other fields is incredible, and the alumni network helps graduating students to find almost any job they want.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Hacking is a famous MIT tradition, its hard to explain but if you Wikipedia it you will learn everything you need to know. Every parent's weekend there is the famous tradition of dropping a grand piano from the roof of Baker House, and we are home to an arts show/festival which feature glass blown pumpkins near Halloween.
Great for these types of students
Motivated, hard working, and eager to learn
Clubs and Activities
There are clubs for everything here at MIT, and if you want to make your own it is pretty easy. There are athletic, musical, artistic, comedic, cultural, community-service centered, and interest based clubs all over campus. Along with those clubs we have several fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
Greek Life
There are 6 sororities and twenty something frat's associated with MIT, most of them have houses in Boston off campus.
Campus Safety
MIT is home to a Blue-light system and with our Campus police I never feel in danger, even in the middle of the night. Our dorm security is also top notch.
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Jedidiah from Acton, ME

a current student here
19 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The students here are all brilliant, motivated, inspired people. Everywhere you go there is amazing science happening, and every individual has terrific opportunities through the UROP program and the many research connections that MIT has to gain experience and participate in the lab. The work is difficult, but the opportunities are worth it.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to be challenged. The classes are going to push your limits and you may find it nearly impossible to do the homework at times, but remember that in the end, all the work you do will get you closer to the field of science that interests you the most.
Academic Rigor
The work here will challenge you. It's very difficult, and you will often be completely stumped on a problem. MIT allows for cooperation on homework, but it does not tolerate cheating of any kind. Do your work the best you can and you are sure to do fine in the end though.
Dorm Life
MIT allows students to choose the dorm that they want to stay in. It's a terrific setup that allows students to explore different dorm cultures and decided which one fits best.
Food and Dining
The meal plan is absolutely terrific. It is a little on the expensive side, but you definitely don't have to worry about going hungry. Also, there are many restaurants on campus and a few places nearby where you can pick up groceries.
What to do for fun
There is always something going on! Usually there is some student created event going on, or a special lecture by a famous scientist. Weekends in the winter offer free Ice Skating, and all of the dorms have game rooms of some kind. Also, there is the entire city of Boston to explore.
Bang for the buck
When you get an education at MIT, businesses look for you. When you graduate, you will have no trouble paying off the bills that you acquired while attending.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The entire campus has a very diverse set of architecture which is always fun to explore. The Stata center and the Kresge Auditorium are just a couple examples. Some examples of strange traditions include MIT henge where the sun shines down the third floor infinite corridor.
Great for these types of students
Students who are inspired, motivated, and scientifically inclined would fit in here very well. Also, it helps to be quirky in some regards and unique. MIT is always looking for those individuals that demonstrate a new skill to bring to the very diverse culture of the student body.
Clubs and Activities
Anything you can think of probably has a club associated with it. If you can't seem to find a club that you are interested in, then you have the power to create one. It's a terrific system that allows the student body to control the student culture.
Greek Life
There are many fraternities on campus and nearby in Boston that take people. During RUSH, they offer tons of things to do and offer free food everywhere. Most offer cheaper housing alternatives than the dorms and some are even closer to main campus.
Campus Safety
There is not a lot of crime that occurs on the campus. The students are all very friendly and there is virtually no hazing of any kind.
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Michael from Waynesville, OH

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Despite preconceived notions of MIT, students here are not cut throat; rather, more like the cliché “we’re all in it together”. Although, as much as they say it’s not competitive, it really is. The attitude/atmosphere doesn’t feel competitive like everyone is at your throat, but it’s still there. Most technical classes are curved, and you ARE competing with everyone else in that class for your grade.
MIT requires all its graduates to have a significant breadth across math, science, and humanities; however, any undergraduate degree will leave you inches deep and miles wide in terms of specialization Most freshman attending MIT already have a sense of direction, and now that the masters is the ‘new bachelors’, specialization is even more important. That being said, yes, an MIT education is very demanding and you will learn a lot, but everyone nowadays will agree that a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering hardly makes you an engineer, let alone a master’s. Regardless, MIT has an excellent program in Course 6 (EE) called M.Eng, which allows MIT undergrads to enroll in a special one year masters program in engineering. In lieu of academics, a primary source of motivation to get good grades as an undergrad is that acceptance into this program is dependent only your undergrad performance; in particular, an A/B average will almost guarantee acceptance. After one year at MIT, my focus narrowed greatly as I now know my interest and exactly what role MIT will play in my specialization, just as it will for you.
Am enjoying being here
The collaborative nature of the student body is fantastic, being the best resource for undergrads. Then there are office hours, which in many cases are one on one with the professor, and personal tutoring services available to help students manage MIT. Many classes are video-taped, and can be (re)viewed (hopefully) on ocw.mit.edu. OCW has been an invaluable resource that has the most exhaustive, public collection of all lectures for most MIT courses that you won't find anywhere else (note a distinction at MIT is Course refers to a specific department like EE or Physics, whereas course refers to classes within each Course, like Physics I or Single Variable Calculus). In addition, MIT has an exceptional gym (it’s huge and new) and sits on the Charles River. So if you fancy swimming, lifting, basketball, fencing, sailing, crew, etc., MIT has it.
Bang for the buck
What you get from MIT is what you make of your education. There are resources available, but it is up to you to take advantage of them. Otherwise, MIT is not worth $55k unless you have masochistic tendencies. The UROPs alone (see Tips below) validate the cost of attendance. Generally speaking, the opportunity to publish as an undergrad is dismal and often times difficult. MIT is designed to be collaborative (the problem sets are so difficult they’re nearly impossible to complete individually), and professors love help in their research, especially from whom better than an MIT student? Making it through your first year already shows competence and reliability, so remember to be assertive and outgoing because you’ve earned it.
Tips for prospective students
I came to MIT expecting instruction by professors to be excellent, very much similar to most of my high school teachers. The sad truth is MIT is a research institution and the quality of instruction depends solely on the professors doing the research, which often is less than adequate. However, make good to take advantage of this fact by doing undergrad research opportunity projects (UROP), which far too few undergrads actually do. The job of MIT professors is to do research, not to teach. While they are required to teach and some professors put their heart into lecturing, in general, this is not the case. Having 6k grads and only 4k undergrads, these numbers alone show what kind of institution MIT is. Regardless, expect to make very good friends who will help you get through MIT together. Prove to yourself that MIT is best for you, not the other way around. The most important thing to exhume on your application is to demonstrate perseverance if you think MIT is a great match for you.
Great for these types of students
The reason I am attending MIT is that I want to do research, so I feel most if not all students should have some sort of desire to do research (because MIT is primarily a graduate, research school). But then again, I feel all MIT students have unique learning-styles with a touch of masochism. Whatever your calling, remember MIT is difficult because the students (who, as a given, were all top of their class) are driven to succeed, which should motivate your own ambition. You don’t have to be valedictorian to get accepted into MIT. You just need to show you’re motivated and capable of competing with students from across the world that were, otherwise MIT will be very, very difficult. Even if you were the best at your high school, MIT still won’t be smooth sailing, but it’s up to you to make the most out of it.
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Samantha from Sylmar, CA

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I have truly found paradise or I hate this fracking place. Both are true all the time. This is the most stressful, most fun, and most challenging experience I have ever had, and I love it.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to meet some of the most intelligent, most interesting people you will ever know. Know your limits. Know when to ask for help. Be passionate about something. I would say the thing that I have noticed about MIT is that everyone has something they truly love.
Academic Rigor
It's tough.
Dorm Life
The wing in my dorm is the best. I am friends with everyone. The dining is meh but everything else is great :)
Food and Dining
It's just okay.
What to do for fun
I do theater and intramural soccer.
Bang for the buck
And if you don't have the buck, financial aid is need-based so the Institute has you covered.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Hacking is the best. Look it up at hacks.mit.edu.
Barker is a good place to nap or enjoy the view of the ridiculously large dome above you.
Go on an Orange Tour. Do it.
Everything is a number here: We don't say major names. I am course 1. = I am studying Civil and/or Environmental Engineering. The buildings are numbered and we rarely use names for them. The courses are numbered so the general institute (gen ed at other schools) requirements are 7.01x, 5.11x, 18.02, etc.
Great for these types of students
Ambitious. Passionate about their work. Science and engineering are a huge part of your life but not everything if you don't want them to be.
Clubs and Activities
So many things to do!!!
Greek Life
50% of guys are in one of our 36 frats. 30% of girls are in a sorority. Greek life is a lot bigger than expected here. We are just nerdy greeks.
Campus Safety
MIT Police are great.
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Christopher from Elmhurst, IL

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The pace is really fast, but everyone works hard and with each other on problem sets so everything is definitely manageable. This is a difficult school but you are always learning and constantly improving both yourself and your academics.
Am enjoying being here
There are so many types of people here that constantly disproves the stereotypical MIT geek. That being said, most of us love to work and are passionate about we do. However this does not just mean homework, but also being involved in other activities as well. Having a balanced life here is very important and with so many clubs, activities and opportunities it is pretty easy.
Bang for the buck
Sure you end up paying a lot, but for the education it is definitely worth it. People respect not only the MIT name, but the students who graduate from the institute as well and are impressed by our level of work and standards.
Tips for prospective students
It is important to take difficult classes in high school, especially in math, biology and chemistry. Moreover it is important to make sure that you are having fun and that you like what you are doing. It is so much easier to work harder when you are motivated and passionate about what you are doing.
Great for these types of students
MIT is great for students who like to be challenged and have fun.
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Aaron from Farmington Hills, MI

a current student here
94 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
MIT is the #1 Engineering school in the nation and perhaps the world. However, even those studying other subjects have come to a University that pushes the limits of time management and, quite plainly, one's genius. This University requires its students pass Calculus I and II, Physics I and II, Biology, and Chemistry to graduate, which says a lot about the emphasis on learning.
Am enjoying being here
From day one MIT will feel like home. Orientation acquaints Freshman with MIT and eases qualms. For the majority of September, Freshmen are exalted to celebrity status. After follows hundreds of hours of work yet because the student body is overrun with brilliance, the standard is perfection. Despite cryptic Math problems and accursed Physics tests, MIT draws one in like light to a fly. Making it through the fire on Graduation, you will have inevitably made lasting memories and friendships.
Bang for the buck
Everyone in the academic world knows MIT and with good reason. MIT is one of the top Universities in the world. The benefits from having MIT on your resume cannot be expressed in terms of money. In the job market the allure of an MIT graduate is reliability. Proving yourself in an MIT classroom assures excellence, and employers know this.
Tips for prospective students
If you dream of MIT then apply early action! It is not binding, but it shows commitment to MIT on your part. Additionally, if you don't get in early, don't be discouraged. Most recruited athletes are accepted early and spots are limited- that's just how it is.

Are you unsure if MIT is for you? Many doubt that MIT can provide a normal college life for students. Please don't believe such speculative talk and take a visit for yourself. You will be surprised how normal and friendly the people are.
Great for these types of students
Intelligent, hard-working students looking for the challenge of a lifetime.
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Hannah from CT

a current student here
44 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Not only is there an extensive amount of material covered, but you also have professors who are the top of their fields, right from the beginning of freshman year!
Am enjoying being here
Because MIT is such a diverse school in the middle of Boston and Cambridge, which are great cities, you have tons of opportunities to experience different clubs, activities, and even kinds of food. The people are incredibly interesting, and the professors and graduate students are very helpful to undergraduates.
Bang for the buck
The opportunities available are amazing. Starting from freshman year you can participate in research with professors in any field. Classes are open to all students in all departments, so even if you are not majoring in something you can still take classes in it.
Tips for prospective students
Be yourself on your application. Don't try to be who you think MIT wants you to be. The admissions staff know how much effort goes into each application, so they really take the time to read each one and get to know the student who submitted it. Make sure you have something (outside of your schoolwork) that you are very passionate about....whether it is a sport, a musical instrument, or a hobby you've had since childhood. MIT wants students who are interesting, the kind of people who will make a difference in the school rather than just existing for four years.
Great for these types of students
Students who like a challenge and are very self-motivated will do well at MIT. You also have to be willing to work with other students; cooperation and collaboration are a big part of life at MIT. If you are very competitive with your classmates, this is not the school for you. Students never receive rankings, and the goal is to have students work together as much as possible.
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Rebecca from Louisville, CO

a current student here
33 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Freshman year nearly everybody takes a version of the same classes: physics, chemistry, biology and calculus. Most of these classes are good, but you may have learned some of the material before in high school. I found this especially true of physics. There are multiple levels, however, of each class, and this allows students to choose one appropriate to their skills.

I found my HASS (humanities) classes to be great. They are generally small (<20 students) and very interactive. I have learned a lot so far at MIT. I would even say that more of what I have learned has come from outside of the classroom. Homework and social activities offer an opportunity to learn how to stay organized. Extracurriculars have given me a chance to learn how to be a leader, and work with other people.
Am enjoying being here
I love MIT. It is a place where anyone can find their niche. There is a stereotype of MIT being just for nerds, and well, it is. But nerds come in all genders, colors and personalities. Everyone here loves learning, but there is more to them than that. I have finally found a place with people like me, and I know people here who are completely different than myself and they would say the same thing.
Bang for the buck
MIT is expensive, but for the most part, they have good financial aid, and even if you have to pay out of pocket, I would say that MIT is one of the few schools that are worth it.

Not only do you get the experience of being at MIT, surrounded by the Institvte, but you also get name recognition, which actually is incredibly helpful.
Tips for prospective students
Don't stress over getting perfect scores and perfect grades. MIT is looking for interesting students, who have a life outside of school (but who are also smart...). They are looking for passion, whether it be in Math Olympiads, or knitting, or anything in between. If you have good grades and scores, make sure that you let them know who you are in your application. Being yourself is most important.
Great for these types of students
Anybody, as long as you are willing to work hard. You don't have to work all the time, and anyone can find a place where they fit in.
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