Most Passionate Nerds You’ll Ever Meet
What it Feels Like to Go Here
Ah, MIT, where the world’s brightest young minds come together to go to school. The girl in your bio class could spend her free time working on creating synthetic muscles made of nylon, and your physics professor might be making a new machine that detects gravitational waves during his office hours–and that’s totally normal. Despite the ridiculous innovation, MIT-ers insist they’re typical college students complete with the sweats and bags under their eyes to prove it. Don’t let all the brilliant minds fool you, though. Students insist that the school pushes its diverse population to embody a spirit of collaboration even if competition for internships is stiff.
MIT really takes the term ‘space cadet’ to a whole new level with its graduates logging more than 15,000 hours in space. Take MIT alum Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two humans to land on the moon as the pilot of the famous Apollo 11, or Ed Mitchell, captain of the Apollo 14 and a famous ufologist. And don’t forget the Nobel prize winners, because there’s plenty of them too–78 to be exact. Alumni Laureates include diplomat Kofi Annan (yeah, the one who also served as the UN Secretary General) and Robert Woodward, the guy who you can blame for coming up with all the material for your 8 a.m. orgo class. It’s fine, we’re fine. *sobs*
Where We Hang
Being a student at MIT doesn’t mean you always study. After all, Boston becomes MIT students’ personal playground, with hip places like Paradise Rock Club hosting big names in the music scene and providing a chill place for students to let loose. For those who’d rather stay closer to campus, there’s also tunnel hacking, where thrill-seeking students explore the school’s large system of underground tunnels for fun. Students enjoy walking along the Charles River when the weather is warm, citing a view that can’t be beat. But when you need a little pick me up, or just want some alone time, check out Darwin’s. “It’s a small cafe a 10-minute walk away from campus that has a homey atmosphere,” sophomore Caroline Liu said. “It’s great for individual or group work.” Students also recommend heading to the Bars of Colors Exhibit between classes to unwind after a stressful day in lab or lecture.
Answer the following five questions with a quote from a student about his/her experience at the school. Make sure that you ask a different student per question.
1. How much are students partying?
“I have seen people at the end of the night puking their guts up in a toilet, but we are no means as crazy as [the] movies,” sophomore Lexi Jones said. “All parties end by 1 [a.m.] because of laws.” These laws were put into place following a 2013 incident where a student fell four stories from a Phi Sigma Kappa skylight during a freshman orientation party. After being cited for having an illegal rooftop deck, Boston banned students from throwing parties on their side of the river. How’s that for a buzzkill?
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“I had to go to a hearing recently for letting fireworks off on a roof,” sophomore Lochie Ferrier said. “It may have woken up some neighbors next door.” While that sounds pretty lit (pun intended), MIT buckles down on academic integrity, sexual harassment and discrimination.
3. How much sex are students having?
“I think MIT has more virgins than average state schools,” sophomore Michael Castillo said. “But certain living groups like Senior house are very sex positive. They made a porno and have orgies.”
4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“I would suggest actively cultivating your interests, whatever they may be,” freshman Srimayi Telani said. “Seek the unknown, question the world and pursue your passions.”
5. How competitive are MIT students?
“The way that our classes are designed, you must be collaborative to survive,” Liu said. “Psets and projects are written such that they cannot be done alone.”
5 Student Reviews
“The vibe of the school depends on the week. Some weeks it is very inspiring, and I am very grateful that I attend MIT. Some weeks it can be very depressing, and I question why I attend the school.”–Michael Castillo, Class of 2019
“I am given opportunities unlike those I would find anywhere else in the world.”–Caroline Liu- Class of 2019
“The work can be a bit of a pain in the ass, but I think it gets overblown from what you read on the internet.”–Lochie Ferrier, Class of 2019
“MIT is exciting–people are passionate, driven and busy, and there’s always something going on.”-Srimayi Tenali, Class of 2020
“MIT can be pretty stressful at times, but the school usually tries to do what it can in order to ease the pressure.” –Mae Dotan, Class of 2018
Top 3 Majors
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Mechanical Engineering
Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations
Students in MIT Design for America are all about giving back. This group is dedicated to creating social impacts through engineering and design. Current projects include “Boo Boo Buddy,” where students created a toy/phone app (Boo Boo Buddy) that allows pediatric patients the ability to visually communicate pain. There’s also rUlder, an online reader designed to help people with Dyslexia read more easily. Members are encouraged to find their passions and run with them, creating real world solutions to real world problems.
The MIT Robotics teams is made up of the kids you’ll probably read about in Popular Science in a few years. Made up of undergrads, graduate students and sometimes even non-MIT students, this self-funded team won second place overall finish in the NASA RoboOps Challenge and a chance to demo at the Givex Convention, where they debuted a fleet that would help first responders in disaster relief situations. “I feel I have gained much more valuable skills and experience from the MIT Robotics Team than I have in classes over my three years studying mechanical engineering and computer science at MIT,” Team President Drew Beller said. “The MIT Robotics Team has truly been an invaluable learning experience.” By joining the team, students can explore everything from the technical to the business-related side of the robotics field.
From glass working to circuitry, the MIT MakerLodge is a haven for anyone who wants to create. With 12 different “lodges,” students can gain access to machines, facilities and staff that makes creating the next big thing possible. And creating is easy with when students can use cutting edge technology in the Hobby Shop to innovative whatever they imagine. “[Students] seek out the Hobby Shop because they love making and building things, and we provide a diverse array of shop tools and machinery,” Club Director Hayami Arakawa. “Some just like using the OMAX water jet because it can cut through just about any material you can think of.” We can’t say we blame them.
MIT notoriously has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the nation, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. MIT looks for students who have passion and the drive to apply that passion to create something epic. While test scores hold their weight, the admissions committee stresses a strong academic foundation filled with stimulating courses that challenge not only the mind, but your comfort zone as well. “To be honest, I did not have outstanding test scores,” Castillo said. “I focused on my character and what I had accomplished in my life given my background.” Admissions officers hope to find students who are involved. They encourage students to find a few activities that are really important to them, run with them and make them better. “If you show who you really are, the school will accept you.” Liu said. There’s not one right way to get into MIT. By being yourself and pursuing what you love, you can definitely try.
Location: Cambridge, MA
Tuition & Fees: $48,452
Total Cost on Campus: $62,662
Undergrads Enrolled: 4,285
Grads Enrolled: 6,627
Total Enrolled: 10,912
Acceptance percentage: 8%
Percent Admitted who Enroll: 64.6%
Percentage of Male Students: 54%
Percentage of Female Students: 46%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 91%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 56%
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 17%