Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Updated August 7, 2020

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was first established in 1860 after a proposal written by William Barton Rogers. MIT didn't officially open under after the Civil War in 1865 as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. Throughout World War II, MIT pioneered research work on computers, radars, and transistors for the battlefield. Now, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stands as a premier private polytechnic research institution with over 11,300 students. Classified for "very high research activity," MIT has annual expenditures surpassing $718 million. MIT is located on a 168-acre urban campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.

According to the U.S. News, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the seventh best college, fifth top value school, seventh best university for veterans, and third most innovative school in America. In particular, MIT has the country's #1 engineering school, #1 computer science degrees, and #3 artificial intelligence programs. Forbes crowned MIT the "Most Entrepreneurial University" in the United States. LinkedIn recognized MIT for having the third best mid-career salary potential. Money magazine also lauded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for being the nation's third best bang for the buck. Times Higher Education even named MIT the fifth best university worldwide.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2010, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is institutionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This accreditation is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Engineering programs meet the standards of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Computer science and artificial intelligence degrees have separate approval from the ABET's Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). Management programs align with the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Construction programs are also accredited via the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Application Requirements

Competing for admissions to Massachusetts Institute of Technology is extremely fierce with the very selective acceptance rate of 7.9 percent. First-year freshmen must be graduating high school seniors receiving a valid, state-approved diploma. Following a 16-credit college prep curriculum with four years of math and four years of science is required. Taking challenging AB or IB courses is highly recommended, especially in STEM disciplines. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 4.13. Applicants should rank within the upper 25th percentile of their senior class. Freshmen at MIT also score an average 2220 on the SAT and 34 on the ACT.

Transferring undergraduate students should have between 30 and 60 credit hours from a quality, accredited higher learning institution. Already passing introductory calculus, math-based physics, and biology is mandatory. For consideration at MIT, transfers should hold a minimum cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.5. At the graduate level, applicants must be finishing or have graduated with a four-year bachelor's degree or higher. High academic achievement with a GPA of 3.5 or better is encouraged, but won't guarantee acceptance. Computing programs require a strong background in math, engineering, computer science, and physics. Non-native English speakers must score at least 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 7 on the IELTS.

Before the November 1st Early Action (EA) or January 1st Regular Action (RA) deadline, students applying to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology must submit:

  • Completed application form through MyMIT
  • Official, sealed academic transcripts
  • College entrance exam scores
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Well-written autobiographical essay
  • $75 non-refundable application fee (unless waived)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Payscale has named MIT the #1 top college for ROI, but tuition is still expensive. Full-time undergraduates can expect to pay $46,704 for tuition and fees. Room and board is estimated to cost $13,730 annually. Books and personal supplies typically cost an additional $2,816. Total full-time cost of attendance is $63,250 for undergraduates. Master's and PhD students will be charged $23,200 each full-time semester. For summer sessions, graduate students must pay $15,460. PhD students approved for non-resident status are billed $1,160 each semester. Any graduate students engaging in off-campus internships must pay $8,120 per semester.

Around 89 percent of beginning full-time students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology earn financial aid. The average financial aid package is valued at $36,566 per year. Students coming from families with an income under $75,000 are guaranteed tuition-free MIT education. For further need, students can borrow Federal Perkins, Stafford, Grad PLUS, or alternative loans. Federal Work-Study (FWS) and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) are available. Some may qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, SMART Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Veterans benefits are offered via the Yellow Ribbon Program. In-state residents should apply for the MASS Grant or Massachusetts Gilbert Matching Student Grant. 56 percent of undergrads also receive an MIT scholarship.

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Located in the Ray and Maria Stata Center, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is the campus' single largest research institute. First founded in 1963 as Project MAC, the lab was built under the watchful eye of Marvin Minsky, the father of AI. Today, CSAIL is highly regarded as the world's most important center for cutting-edge information technology research. With more than 1,000 members, CSAIL has around 50 research groups organized into the focus areas of artificial intelligence, systems, and theory. MIT's lab has led the computer revolution with developments in big data, cybersecurity, wireless Internet, robotics, and more.

CSAIL has helped launch over 100 companies, including iRobot, Vertica, Meraki, Lotus Development, and 3Com. This MIT lab houses the World Web Consortium, which is directed by member Tim Berners-Lee. Currently, CSAIL is developing a joint Computer Science Research program with the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) abroad. The lab has partnered with Nokia, Northrop Grumman, Foxconn, and other industry giants. Students are encouraged to join the CSAIL Alliance Program for networking and co-op openings. This program also delivers professional online courses related to IT startup success.

MIT students wishing to engage in research with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory can join the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Students work with a CSAIL faculty supervisor and earn academic credit for their research. To apply, candidates must write a one to three-page research proposal explaining the nature of their desired computer science project. Majors are accepted from any MIT department, including biology, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, math, business, and nuclear science. At CSAIL, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has 37 NAE members, seven MacArthur Fellows, and seven Turing Award winners.

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