How Hard is it to Get Into MIT?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is renowned for its programs in engineering and the physical sciences, attracting thousands of ambitious students each year. However, with an acceptance rate that ranks among the lowest in the world, the path to becoming an MIT student is notoriously competitive [1].

In this blog, we will explore MIT’s admissions process, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the standards and expectations set by the admissions committee. 

Whether you’re a student dreaming of walking the halls of MIT, or a parent guiding your child through their academic journey, this blog aims to provide valuable insights into one of the most challenging admissions processes in higher education.

Is MIT a good university?

MIT is universally recognised as one of the premier institutions of higher learning, especially renowned for its strength in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

MIT’s commitment to academic excellence is reflected in its consistent ranking among the top universities worldwide. According to QS World University Rankings MIT occupies the number one spot as the top university globally in 2024 [2]

The global influence of MIT is enhanced further by an extensive partner network with other leading institutions and organisations worldwide [3].The university’s alumni are among the most distinguished in the world, featuring numerous Nobel laureates. The alumni network, known for its strength and activity, plays a crucial role in providing mentorship and career opportunities to students [4].

The entry requirements for MIT

The MIT admission journey requires an understanding of its multifaceted application process. 

This section breaks down the entry requirements MIT employs to evaluate its applicants:

Academic Achievements & GPA

MIT places a significant emphasis on academic excellence. The university looks for students who have demonstrated outstanding abilities in their studies, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. 

Applicants are expected to have high GPAs and excel in advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses if available. According to the MIT website, applicants generally have a GPA of 3.5 or above [5].

Below is the GPA breakdown of MIT students that have applied for the MIT class of 2025:

GPA percentage of MIT class of 2025

GPAPercentage of MIT Class of 2025
Below 1.000%

Standardised Test Scores (SAT/ACT)

Most colleges stopped requiring the examinations during the pandemic when test centres closed, however MIT was the first college to reverse this decision [6].

MIT requires standardised test scores (SAT/ACT) for both prospective first year and transfer students. The university does not require the ACT writing section or the SAT optional essay [7].

In previous years, admitted students typically scored in the top percentiles. MIT also reviews subject-specific tests and Advanced Placement (AP) scores to gauge applicants’ readiness and depth of knowledge in key subject areas.

Extracurricular Activities

Although it is not a requirement, MIT values well-rounded students who bring more than just academic prowess to their community. This includes extracurricular activities that include leadership roles, ongoing commitments to community service, significant contributions to arts or sports, or any entrepreneurial endeavours [8]

The quality of these activities often matters more than quantity, reflecting a candidate’s passion, commitment, and impact.

Letters of Recommendations and Personal Essays

Letters of recommendation are a critical component of the application. MIT requires letters from teachers in different subjects, preferably STEM, who can speak to the applicant’s intellectual curiosity, collaborative mindset, and character.

These insights help the admissions committee gauge how the applicant might contribute to and thrive in MIT’s challenging academic environment [9].Personal essays provide applicants with a platform to highlight unique aspects of their personality, experiences, and motivations. MIT seeks students who can articulate their goals and demonstrate a potential for growth and innovation[10].

Why is it difficult to get into MIT?

Gaining admission to MIT is a challenge due to several factors that contribute to its notably low acceptance rate, with a 4.8% acceptance rate for the class of 2027. This reflects the intense competition among applicants, as thousands of highly qualified students vie for a limited number of spots each year [11].

MIT’s admissions criteria extends well beyond academic excellence. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a high calibre of performance in rigorous academic environments. 

The admissions process at MIT is holistic, considering not only academic achievements but also extracurricular activities, leadership roles, personal essays, and recommendations. Such a comprehensive review process demands that candidates showcase not just intellectual ability but also creativity, innovation, and a strong commitment to community [12].

Moreover, MIT seeks individuals who can contribute uniquely to its vibrant community, looking for qualities that suggest future potential as leaders and innovators. This includes evaluating applicants’ ability to thrive in a collaborative and innovative environment. 

With a global applicant pool, the competition is further intensified by the highest calibre of students from around the world, making the process highly selective.

What subjects are hardest to get accepted into MIT for?

Gaining admission to any program at MIT is exceptionally competitive, given its reputation as a global leader. However, certain programs are particularly challenging to enter due to high demand, renowned faculty, and the university’s prestigious standing in specific fields.

One of the most sought-after areas is Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, which is part of the largest and most popular department at MIT. This program’s appeal is driven by its innovative curriculum and the booming job prospects in tech industries, making it extremely competitive among applicants [13]

Similarly, Mechanical Engineering stands out due to its rigorous training and broad industrial applications, from automotive to aerospace, attracting a high volume of prospective students [14].

Biological Engineering is another highly competitive field, as it leads the world in its biology research. MIT’s approach to integrating biology with engineering principles offers unique problem-solving perspectives, increasing its popularity [15]. The Physics program is also among the most challenging to get into. MIT states that the physics department is one of the best places in the world for research and education in physics, meaning they attract the top academics in this field [16].

How can Dukes Plus help your MIT application succeed?

At Dukes, we provide support for applications to various universities across the world, including MIT. Our programs offer personalised guidance, and strategic advice to strengthen your Harvard application. 

We can support you to identify and showcase your unique strengths, align your application with MIT’s values, and effectively communicate your accomplishments and potential contributions to the admissions committee. For more information on how Dukes can assist with your MIT application, please visit our private US admissions consulting page. Alternatively, you can contact us here, and we can help you submit a winning application.


[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]