How to get into MIT as a UK student

Studying at a prestigious university like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is something that many students around the world strive for. Its strong reputation in STEM, coupled with its global influence and groundbreaking research, makes it a top contender for many high-achieving students. But don’t let that intimidate you. 

Here, at The Profs, we’ve helped many students to get into top-tier US universities. Our team has plenty of experience in university admissions so if anyone has the know-how, it’s us.

As a UK student, you may wonder about the specific steps and strategies to boost your chances of gaining admission to MIT University. Well, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we guide you through the process and provide valuable tips on how to make your application stand out to MIT. 

If you’re in need of bespoke guidance, just reach out to our expert US admissions team. 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities. 

Also, don’t forget to check out our main article on getting into US universities as a UK student. 

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What are MIT’s entry requirements?

The University of MIT does not have official GPA requirements, however, you should ensure that you have a 4.17 weighted GPA for your best shot of getting in. This is equivalent to nearly straight A’s in all subjects. Generally, MIT expects you to be at the top of your class. 

By this same merit, your grades should be in traditional academic subjects. MIT strongly values STEM subjects. MIT accepts both A levels and IB grades.

MIT is a competitive and prestigious university, so generally speaking, you want to ensure that your academic track record is as impressive as possible. Ensure that your GCSEs are as high as possible, especially in English, Maths, and Science. 

Your SAT and/or ACT scores should also exceed the average. This is especially important if your GPA falls below 4.17! 

Beyond demonstrating academic excellence, there are several other factors that will determine the success of your application. All of which will be broken down in this article.

What is MIT’s acceptance rate?

MIT’s acceptance rate for international students

MIT released statistics regarding its admitted students for the class of 2027. There were 26,914 first-year applicants. 1,291 of them were admitted, making the percentage admitted 4.8%. 

5,889 of the first-year applicants were international students and only 120 of these were admitted. Overall, 59 countries are represented by this class.

Consequently, MIT has a very low acceptance rate. Places are scarce and competitive, and even more so for international students. This means that you must truly excel in your application in order to have a chance.

MIT’s acceptance rates per course

It’s also worth noting how many undergraduate students major in each of MIT’s courses as this will affect the competitiveness of the course. The size of the school and spaces available on the course will also affect the acceptance rate, so ensure that you research this. 

Check out the table below (based on 2023-2024):

CourseTotal majors
School of Architecture and Planning64.5
School of Engineering 2,447.5
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences156.5
Sloan School of Management184
School of Science961.5

It’s also worth noting that MIT’s undergraduate degrees are harder to gain admission to as an international student. It’s easier for international students to get admitted to Master’s degrees as there is often a large maximum quota or none at all. The only downside is that you will have to pay for the course.

Do I have to apply for a student visa?

You’ll be glad to know that you need only deal with this step once/if you are admitted to MIT. Hence, applying for a student visa is not part of the application process. You need only do so if you receive an offer and accept it. Please note that you will need your admittance letter or proof of registration to begin the process! 

About the student visa

There are generally two visa categories for studying in the United States: the F-1 student visa and the J-1 student visa. Both require full-time personal study in the US.

Most admitted full-time international students at MIT are eligible for the F-1 visa. Only some students are eligible for the J-1 student visa. Check out the table below:

F-1 Student VisaJ-1 Student Visa
All students who have accepted offers to study a course full-time, on-campus are eligible for the F-1 visa.Students eligible for the J-1 student visa must be receiving 50% of their tuition funding from a government agency, official scholarship or an employer (student or personal loans do not qualify) OR they must have a government scholarship (hence the government requires that they use the J-1 visa) OR their visa must be sponsored by an agency such as Fulbright, USAID, or AMIDEAST.

Please note: Students who are eligible for both the F-1 student visa and the J-1 student visa must indicate which visa category they wish to use. 

If you need more information on US student visas for MIT, check out this page.

5 tips to get into MIT University

Before embarking on the application journey, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and prepare yourself for the rigorous admission process. Here are some key steps to follow:

1. Build your foundation blocks

Before you get to the point of filling out your application, you need to be prepared. Have you got an appropriate profile? Are you a suitable candidate? If you’re unsure, check out these factors below. 

The earlier you get started on your MIT application, the more time you have to check off these pointers!

Get to know MIT’s requirements:

First things first, familiarise yourself with MIT’s admission criteria, including academic requirements. As previously mentioned, you should be aiming for straight A’s or higher in your A levels or IB grades for your best possible chance at receiving an offer.

Have you got a strong academic profile?

As has been mentioned, focus on achieving excellent grades throughout your secondary school years. Even consider improving any weak GCSE grades, especially if they are in your chosen discipline or in Maths, Science or English.

Take challenging courses that demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and passion for learning. Ensure that your subject combinations complement your chosen course at MIT. If not, pursue related activities, qualifications, and projects outside of school to demonstrate your academic aptitude for your chosen discipline.

Smash the SAT or ACT

MIT requires first-year and transfer applicants to sit the SAT or the ACT. Don’t worry if these tests are totally new to you, we have articles on what the SAT and ACT are and how to prepare.

The ACT writing section and the SAT optional essay are not required. MIT accepts both the paper and digital SAT.

MIT released the middle 50% score range of their admitted students for the class of 2027 (the 25th and 75th percentiles). You should aim to meet or exceed these grades! See the scores in the table below.

TestRange
SAT Math780 – 800
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW)740 – 780
ACT Math35 – 36
ACT Reading34 – 36
ACT English34 – 36
ACT Science34 – 36
ACT Composite34 – 36

MIT provides more information on standardised tests here.

Please note that amazing SAT or ACT scores can make up for a lower GPA!

Worried that you might not achieve the grade you need? Contact our admissions team for further advice, or our talented SAT and ACT tutors for expert help. 

Ace your English language test

MIT has English language requirements. If English is not your native language you will be required to take an English proficiency exam. All departments at MIT require a comprehensive knowledge of the English language. However, each department has its own language requirements and policies so it’s important that you check your specific course’s application requirements.

It is strongly recommended that you provide results of an English proficiency exam if you have been using English for fewer than 5 years or do not speak English at home or in school.

Some departments offer waivers on a limited basis. To request a waiver you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Your main language of instruction was English throughout your school years (primary and secondary education).
  • You have been residing in the US or another English-speaking country for a minimum of three years and you have earned a degree from an accredited institution there (where the main language of instruction is English).

MIT accept the following English language courses and proficiency exams:

Competitive scores for MIT include a 100 in the TOEFL and 7.5 in the IELTS.

More information on English proficiency tests for MIT can be found here.

Consider taking the GRE

MIT requires the GRE for some of its postgraduate courses, meaning that first-year applicants will not be required to submit a GRE score. Some of the courses that ask for the GRE, also accept the GMAT.

More information on MIT’s policies regarding the GRE and GMAT can be found here.

Submitting a GRE score of 325-330 could really maximise your chances of obtaining an offer from MIT. 

Unsure whether you should take the GRE/GMAT or worried that you might not achieve a decent score? Contact our admissions team for further advice, or our talented GRE and GMAT tutors for expert help. We even have articles on how to prepare for the GRE and GMAT.

Say yes to extracurricular activities:

Do not underestimate extracurricular activities, especially if you intend to apply to a US university or college like MIT. MIT specifically highlights its interest in extracurriculars. 

Participate actively in extracurricular activities that align with your discipline or demonstrate relevant skills and showcase your leadership, teamwork, and passion. Generally, MIT values students who are collaborative and cooperative, so any activity that demonstrates these qualities should be mentioned. MIT also mentions a love for creativity and innovation!

Consider pursuing internships, volunteering, or joining clubs and organisations related to your intended field of study. 

It’s also a good idea to get work experience that’s related to your interests. MIT values ambitious students with real-world experiences and clear career goals.

Whilst it’s ideal for your extracurriculars and work experience to be as relevant to your discipline as possible, it’s still valuable if it’s not. Unlike UK universities, US universities tend to value seemingly irrelevant activities and student jobs because US applications are more personal and focused on applicants’ individual characters and experiences. 

On this note, if you meet a certain standard in a sport that MIT offers, you could reach out to the department that manages that team and get a leg up in your application process. 

Where relevant, don’t be afraid to talk about things you genuinely enjoy that relax you. MIT wants to admit students who implement work-life balance and know how to recharge.

Please note: MIT has an activities form as part of its application process, demonstrating how important extracurriculars are to them. However, this only has enough space to list four things so MIT asks that you choose the four that mean the most to you and tell them a little about them. MIT states that they are more interested in the activities that mean something to you and they are less concerned with what those activities are. They want to see your heart and understand what guides your intensity, curiosity and excitement! So, go by quality over quantity. 

Watch out for deadlines

Note down your deadlines in advance so that you can work towards an organised timeline of goals. Again, the earlier you start preparing, the better. Be sure not to miss any deadlines or find yourself rushing at the last moment. The best way to do this is by checking the deadline for your chosen course on MIT’s website for your intended year of admission.

MIT has two deadlines for UK applicants: ‘early action’ in November and ‘regular action’ in January. 

  • Regular action refers to the standard deadline for submitting your application to US universities. You may apply to as many universities as you choose by this deadline. If you choose this route, you can receive a decision by mid-March.
  • Early action refers to an early deadline that allows you to pursue your favourite university earlier than the others. If you choose this route, you can receive a decision by mid-December. 

There is no guaranteed advantage or disadvantage to either of the above routes of application. However, MIT might interpret your early application to mean that they are your top choice and, as a result, might favour your application. But you should also consider the standard of your peers in each cycle as you will be competing against them.

You can check out the deadlines for MIT applicants here.

Does MIT offer scholarships?

Yes, MIT University offers scholarships and grants. Their most popular type of aid is the MIT scholarship. Approximately 58% of MIT’s undergraduates receive MIT Scholarships! 

Unlike many other US universities, MIT’s scholarships are based solely on financial need. There is no separate application; you will automatically be considered when you fill out the CSS profile. This is the same case as federal and state grants, however, you are unlikely to be eligible for these as an international applicant. Check out this page for more information on the MIT scholarship.

There are a number of private scholarships and grants that you can apply for too. See here.

If you have not gotten a scholarship and you’re worried about finances, you might want to explore other affordable options. For instance, you could study for a semester or a year at MIT as part of an undergraduate course in the UK. Check out this page for further information. 

Please note: There is a $75 application fee to apply to MIT but you can request an application fee waiver, as discussed here

2. Craft your application

Once you have laid the foundation, it’s time to focus on creating a compelling application that highlights your unique strengths and experiences. 

Unlike most other US colleges and universities, MIT does not use the common app. Instead, they use their own system called MyMIT. It takes a few minutes to sign up and is simple to manoeuvre. 

Unfortunately, this system means that you cannot reuse your CommonApp application. However, this is an opportunity to create an application specific to MIT which is more likely to impress them and stand out than a generic application for multiple universities! More information on this process is available here.

Next, prepare the following aspects:

  • Choose the right course for you. Research the specific programme or field of study that you are interested in and ensure it aligns with your academic and career goals. Check out all the courses available at MIT here.
  • Gather your academic transcripts and standardised test scores.
  • Collect your 2 teacher reports and 1 counsellor report.
  • Complete multiple short answer essay questions for MIT.
  • Complete your self-reported coursework form (quick tips to complete this section are available here).

Further details of MIT’s application requirements can be found here.

Don’t underestimate your letters of recommendation:

MIT requires two teacher recommendations. Ideally, one of your evaluations will be from a Maths/Science teacher, and one will be from a Humanities, Social Science, or Language teacher. MIT also requires materials from your school counsellor (typically including your official transcript and, once this is available, a School Profile and letter of recommendation).

It goes without saying that you should select teachers who know you outside of class and can vouch for you. You want them to convince MIT that you’re an exceptional student who aligns well with your chosen course and MIT itself. 

You also want your referee to boast for you: what are your achievements and talents, and how do your extracurriculars demonstrate your drive and/or leadership skills?

Ideally, you want to choose referees that teach you. It’s even better if one of your referees teaches you in your chosen discipline or something related to it. However, the most important thing is that they know you well and can speak in depth about your academic aptitude, personality, and potential. 

You can refer to this page for a better idea of what you’d like your referees to mention. It’s even better if you can show your referees this page so that they can use it as an MIT-specific guideline!  

Don’t worry if you don’t have any teachers who know you well enough, it’s not too late to build this bond. Ask your teachers to grab coffee at break time or to meet with them over lunch. Get to know your referees so that they can get to know you!

Invest time in this step as it’s not to be overlooked. MIT takes your references very seriously and cares a lot about who you are as a person. 

If there are things you’d like your referees to mention, then tell them about these things and politely ask them to reference them for you e.g. achievements and goals. 

MIT offers more information on recommendations here.

Make it personal:

Unlike most other US universities, MIT asks its students to answer multiple short answer essay questions with 100-200 word responses rather than a statement of purpose (known as a personal statement in the UK). 

There will also be a final, open-ended, additional-information text box where you can tell MIT anything else you think they should know about you.

Craft well-written and authentic answers to MIT’s questions that showcase your personality, motivations, and aspirations. Try to mention your future ambitions and highlight your achievements and wins. You should especially not shy away from personal factors that are relevant to who you are and your experiences. 

However, remember to stay on the topic of the question. Yes, it’s great to bring up all the factors that “sell” your application, but these points should always be aiding you in answering the question. You want to sound focused and concise to convey that you are competent and articulate. 

MIT wants to know if you would be a good classmate and roommate and what you offer them as a university. Use their questions as an opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, critical thinking skills, and how you can contribute to the MIT community.

You can check out our previous article on personal statements which can offer some helpful tips for this step, however, as MIT’s short answer essay guidelines and goals are different we recommend chatting with our US admissions team. We can match you with expert coaches who specialise in US university admissions, we also have professionals on our team who have graduated from MIT! 

MIT claims to have students who take care of each other and lift each other up. Hence, they want to admit new students who will maintain this ethos. So, don’t underestimate the personal side of the questions. MIT wants to see that you’re an empathetic and supportive person. 

Remember: Even though MIT does not require the ACT writing section or SAT optional essay, it values writing and communication highly. Accordingly, all admitted MIT undergraduates must fulfil a communication requirement that integrates the teaching and practice of writing and speaking into all four academic years and into all areas of the MIT curriculum. So, it’s important to use the short answer essay questions to demonstrate your aptitude in writing and communication.

MIT published its previous student essay titles for 2023/24 on their website. You can view them below:

  • What field of study appeals to you the most right now? (Note: Applicants select from a drop-down list.) Tell us more about why this field of study at MIT appeals to you.
  • 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.
  • How has the world you come from—including your opportunities, experiences, and challenges—shaped your dreams and aspirations?
  • MIT brings people with diverse backgrounds together to collaborate, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to lending a helping hand. Describe one way you have collaborated with others to learn from them, with them, or contribute to your community together.
  • How did you manage a situation or challenge that you didn’t expect? What did you learn from it?

Visit this page for more information on MIT’s short answer essay questions.

Worried about your writing skills, or fretting over what to say? We know how to help! Here, at The Profs, we have excellent writing tutors with plenty of experience who can help you craft a compelling body of work. If you need any assistance, just reach out.

3. Stand Out from the Crowd:

MIT is incredibly competitive, hence the students who apply there are of very high calibre. Meaning, it is tough to stand out. A polished academic track record and glowing references are a must, but they’re not enough as many of your peers will also have this. You need to offer more.

As previously mentioned, highlight your extracurriculars and/or work experience. But try to go beyond this. 

Mention if you happen to have any extra qualifications e.g. the STEP, TMUA or MAT. If you got the highest available grade in an assignment or earned the top score in your class, mention it. If you have won any prizes for STEM or essay competitions, say so. 

MIT values Maths and Science Olympiads in particular, this is especially the case when it comes to international applicants. Even a bronze medal is an advantage! The UK Maths challenge could be an alternative way of standing out.

MIT is known for its cutting-edge research from cancer to AI. Unlike most other universities, MIT offers its undergraduate students the chance to contribute to this from a young age. So, it’s great if you have any research experience or interest and can demonstrate this. Being published certainly helps!

A lot of the international students at MIT have completed exchanges, like summer school, in the US, Europe and elsewhere before. Hence, it could aid your application to mention your experience in different countries and around different cultures. 

Some international applicants get admitted to MIT without having the highest GPA grades or standardised test scores because they are entrepreneurs, have entrepreneurial ideas and/or have pitched their projects. This can really boost your application!

However, don’t dismiss smaller things as unimportant. Something as simple as tutoring younger students in Maths could be more than enough, especially if you can mention the impact you had. MIT specifically mentions this example itself! 

MIT’s mission is to make the world a better place, so you can demonstrate alignment with this in simple ways, such as being the chairman of the LGTBQI+ society at your school or organising Black Lives Matter protests. 

Anything that colours who you are as a person, or shows tenacity or heart could help you to stand out. Think, how are you different?

Identify unique experiences, perspectives, or talents that set you apart from other applicants. If you could do with a little more to mention, consider pursuing independent research, participating in a competition, or engaging in an impactful initiative.

This is why it’s great to start thinking about your application as early as possible. If you’re in year 11 or 12 you have time to focus on what you have accomplished and think about what aspects of yourself you’d like to highlight or develop. 

Showcase your achievements:

The advice for UK applicants typically encourages students not to mention ALL their achievements. Instead, it’s usually recommended that you only mention achievements relevant to your discipline. 

However, US universities want to hear about all your achievements. MIT loves to see that you managed to balance winning a gold medal in cross country and completing World Challenge, whilst also maintaining straight A’s in school! So, highlight your academic accomplishments, awards, research projects, activities and/or significant experiences.

Do not solely consider traditional achievements. Also, think outside the box. MIT values students who take initiative and risk. When have you done so and what did it lead to? Don’t be afraid to talk about an example where you failed. 

If you pursued something completely independently and stayed focussed and refused to give up even when it went wrong, this is still an achievement worthy of mentioning to MIT!

Create a comprehensive CV that reflects your achievements and background, then refer to this when you are drafting your answers.

Kill the interview

Interviews are typically part of MIT’s application process, so whatever course you’re applying to, if you’re shortlisted, you will probably be interviewed! 

MIT views its application process as holistic. Hence, they are interested in the whole person, rather than just their on-paper profile. MIT offers interviews with a member of the MIT Educational Council, a network of over 3,500 MIT graduates around the world. 

So, you will still be interviewed as a UK applicant and you may even have your interview in person within your local area. However, if this is not possible, you will have your interview online instead.

Interviews are informal and usually last for an hour, though they range from thirty minutes to two hours.

An interview can make or break whether you receive an offer. It’s the last step of the application process and you should really aim to be memorable, as a lot of students will give the same interview performance.

MIT advises applicants to be their authentic selves in the interview and that they need not dress up. It’s also a good idea to anticipate and practise some of the questions you could be asked with your friends and family. 

Revise your MIT application, including your short answer essay questions, and your CV. Think about what readings, stories and examples you might mention to aid you in answering a question or illustrating your passion, commitment and/or drive for your discipline. MIT also has blogs on their interview process, such as this one.

Be sure to check out our previous article on preparing for an online interview and our video on how to smash a university interview. 

Worried about your MIT interview, or any university interview for that matter? You don’t want to fall at the last hurdle. Your interview performance is crucial! Reach out to our experienced interview coaches for expert guidance.

4. Connect with MIT:

It’s important that you connect with MIT. Your application should not appear generic and the best way to do that is to build a bond with MIT itself. 

You can do this by:

  • Attending information sessions, webinars, or virtual tours offered by MIT to gain firsthand knowledge about the university.
  • Reaching out to current students or alumni to learn more about their experiences and seek advice.
  • Attending open days and virtual days – see here for more information.
  • Researching your course and department at MIT: what research do they carry out, what achievements and awards have they received, and what activities do they get involved with on campus or within the student community?
  • Researching what societies and sports MIT offers so that you can plan (and demonstrate) intentions to get involved.
  • Researching the opportunities and vibe in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Reaching out to people by calling/emailing your department (or during the open days or via LinkedIn) to network and ask questions. If this goes well, you might even have some names that you can note down in your application, or should you need any help.

Following the steps above will boost the quality of your application as you will be able to demonstrate alignment with MIT University. However, these steps should also serve you in your quest to be sure that MIT is a good fit for you.

Don’t forget to make your social media profiles MIT-appropriate and impressive. If this seems impossible, ensure that your profiles are 100% private. MIT is known to check on prospective students online, so you don’t want them to be deterred by your profile. 

Please note that it’s important to refer to the official MIT University website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

5. Seek Guidance:

Consider working with one of our experienced US university admissions tutors who can provide personalised guidance, review your application, help polish your essays, and coach you through the interview process. 

We have a track record of success in applying to top-tier universities like MIT, Harvard, Cornell, NYU and Oxbridge. In fact, 95% of our students receive offers to their first and second-choice universities. If MIT is your dream, take every step to make it happen and reach out to our expert team.

How we can help

Gaining admission to MIT as a UK student requires dedication, hard work, and careful preparation. By seeking guidance from our experienced and accomplished admissions team, you can maximise your chances of achieving your dream of studying at MIT. 

We offer a talented team of tutors, including specialists in:

We are here for every step of the process. Call us for an MIT application review and a bespoke plan of action. There’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed! Just reach out to join our winning team.

FAQs

How much does it cost to study at MIT?

MIT reports (2023-2024) that it costs each student $59,750 for tuition, $12,380 for housing, $7,010 for food, $406 for the student life fee, $880 for books and course supplies, and $2,304 for personal expenses. This comes to $82,730. However, this price is before any aid. 

MIT reports (2022-2023) that the median annual price paid by an undergraduate receiving an MIT scholarship was $12,715. 

More information, as well as how to receive financial aid, can be found here.

What are the admission requirements for UK students applying to MIT?

Students from the United Kingdom who are applying to MIT should meet the same admission requirements as international or US students. This includes demonstrating academic excellence, strong standardised test scores (SAT or ACT), showcasing extracurricular involvement, submitting excellent essay answers with two strong letters of recommendation, and completing an interview if offered. More information on admission requirements as well as tips and advice can be found in this article.


Are there any specific scholarships or financial aid options available for UK students at MIT?


MIT offers need-blind admissions for all students, including UK students. This means that the university does not consider an applicant’s financial situation during the admission process. 

MIT provides generous financial aid packages, including scholarships and grants, to help meet the financial needs of admitted students. More information on this can be found in this article as well on MIT’s scholarship page.


How can UK students prepare themselves academically for MIT?

 

UK students aiming to get into MIT can focus on taking a rigorous academic curriculum, especially in STEM subjects, during their high school years. Engaging in challenging coursework, participating in Science and Maths competitions, pursuing research opportunities, and demonstrating a passion for learning can strengthen their application to MIT. Need any help or support? We have expert tutors in US admissions, A levels and IB


Can UK students receive support or guidance during the MIT application process?


UK students can benefit from seeking guidance from educational consultants or university admissions experts who have experience with the MIT application process, like us.

We offer specialised tutoring and admissions consulting services that can provide personalised support, including essay assistance, interview preparation, and strategic guidance throughout the application journey.