Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

About Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Founded in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a 4-year, private university that specializes in science and technology research and education. It's located on a 168-acre campus in the college town of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked MIT at number five in their list of national universities.


MIT has over 30 different academic departments and programs within five schools and one college: School of Architecture and Planning; School of Engineering; Sloan School of Management; School of Science; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences ; and Whitaker College of Health Science and Technology.

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences offers 22 fields of study, such as philosophy, history, anthropology and literature. Programs are available for bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees. MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences has produced four Nobel Prize winners and four Pulitzer Prize winners.

Within the School of Engineering, undergraduate and graduate students can major in a wide variety of emphases, including aeronautics and astronautics, biological engineering, and computer science. Among these majors is MIT's most popular bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Approximately 60% of MIT's undergraduate students and 45% of graduate students are enrolled in this school. The School of Engineering includes about one-third of MIT's faculty population, and faculty members have received awards from organizations like the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

There are a variety of learning formats at MIT, such as its Internet-based OpenCourseWare (OCW), which allows teaching materials used in undergraduate and graduate programs to be available for free online to anyone interested in independent learning.

MIT strives to make a positive impact on the world through research. Students and faculty engage in research opportunities through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, MIT Energy Initiative, David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.


MIT is a highly competitive university, admitting less than 10% of the students who applied for undergraduate admission in 2011. Prospective freshmen applications are evaluated by multiple admissions officers and an admissions committee before a final decision is made. In 2010, nine percent of students were from in-state, 78 percent were from out-of-state and 12 percent were internationals.

The majority of the application materials are due on January 1. The application contains two parts: part 1 is biographical information and part 2 is essay answers, extra curricula activities and academics. Also required for admissions is an evaluation from a math or science teacher, an evaluation from a humanities, social science or language teacher, SAT or ACT test scores, and a mid-year academic report.

Students who wish to apply to one of MIT's graduate programs must meet the specific admissions requirements for each degree program; however, most of their graduate degree programs require extensive coursework in mathematics and in the physical sciences.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As a private institution, MIT has one undergraduate tuition rate. In addition to $40,732 paid in tuition and fees during the 2011-2012 academic years, students paid $11,775 in room and board, $1,050 for books and supplies, and $1,713 in other expenses.

Scholarships awarded by MIT are based exclusively on financial need. Incoming students must first apply for financial aid before they are able to obtain a scholarship. Students who obtained financial aid in the form of a scholarship received an average of $32,917 each in 2011-2012.

Tuition within the Sloan School of Management varies depending on the master's degree program. The tuition rate for all other graduate degree programs is $20,885 per semester in 2012-2013.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semester*
School Setting Midsized city**
Student Body 4,384 undergraduates, 6,510 graduates
Student Housing More than 70% of undergraduates live in on campus housing*
Schools and Programs Five schools, one college and over 30 departments and programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 8 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (169)
Master's: Business, General (586)
PhDs: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering (70)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 93% in six years**
Admission Rate 10% in 2011**
Entering Class Size About 1,160 in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 98%**
Average SAT Score of Entering Students 1,002 (composite SAT) in 2011**
Undergraduate Application Due Date January 1*
Decision Notification Date mid-March*
Tuition 55,270 (for 2011-2012; includes all estimated student expenses)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) In 2010- 2011: Federal grants (29%), state and local grants (3%), institutional scholarship (61%), federal loans (27%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 88% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Massachusetts Institute of Technology; **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Admissions Office, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 10-100, Cambridge, MA 02139
  • Phone: (617) 253-3400
  • Website:

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