MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Freshman Applicants

Part 2: Essays, Activities, & Academics

Essays

Rather than asking you to write one long essay, the MIT application consists of several short response questions and essays designed to help us get to know you. Remember that this is not a writing test. These are the places in the application where we look for your voice - who you are, what drives you, what's important to you, what makes you tick. Be honest, be open, be authentic - this is your opportunity to connect with us. 

You should certainly be thoughtful about your essays, but if you're thinking too much - spending a lot of time stressing or strategizing about what makes you "look best", as opposed to the answers that are honest and easy - you're doing it wrong. 
 

Activities

Please use our form, not a resume, to list your activities. There is only enough space to list four things - please choose the four that mean the most to you and tell us a bit about them. This will tell us more about you than any "laundry list" of everything you've ever done in high school.
 
You are welcome to submit a supplemental resume, but submitting a resume instead of filling out our activity list can hurt you (so don't).
 

Self-reported Coursework Form

How you fill out this form will not make or break your application, so don't stress about it. Use your best judgment - we're simply trying to get a clear picture of your academic preparation by subject area. We see thousands of different transcripts, so it really helps us to view your coursework and grades in a consistent format.
 
Here are five quick tips to help you complete this section:
 
  • The self-reported coursework should be completed by students in U.S. school systems only. If you attend an international school, we'll just use your transcript. 
  • The information you provide does not replace your official high school transcript, which must be sent to us from your school to verify your self-reported information (in order to avoid accidental misrepresentation, it might help to have a copy of your high school transcript in front of you while completing this form). 
  • Avoid abbreviations, if at all possible, and enter the names of your school courses by subject area. Please include all classes you have taken and are currently taking. If your courses were taken outside of your high school (at a local junior college or university, for example), tell us where they were taken in the "Course Title" field.
  • If there aren't enough spaces for all the courses you have taken, start with your most recent (current) class and work backward. You can also use the "Additional courses" section as an overflow section for any of the subject areas.
  • In the "Term and/or Final Grade(s)" field, list term and/or final grades for each class, as found on your school transcript (semester, trimester, quarter, final, etc.). Use one line only per class - for example, it's not necessary to use a separate line for each semester of the same class. Place all grades for a class in the same field, separating grades with commas.
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