Grades & Coursework
If you are an international student, you may not be familiar with the application process for American colleges, including MIT. This is a quick overview to help you understand how applying to an American school like MIT works. Some of the information in here is also true for American colleges other than MIT, but you should make sure to check with other schools before applying since we can't speak for them!
For more detailed information, click through the links on the left-hand side.
Am I International?
MIT considers any student who does not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency to be an international applicant, regardless of where you live or attend school. U.S. Permanent Residents are those students who have an official copy of their Green Card in hand. If you are in the process of obtaining a Green Card, then you are considered by MIT to be an international student. If you are an American citizen or permanent resident, then you are considered a domestic applicant; however, if you have lived for long periods of time outside the United States, some of this information may still be helpful to orient you in the process.
When To Apply
Most U.S. students apply to MIT at the beginning of their final year of high school, and international applicants should do the same. Only accepted students are required to send final grades, and we understand that they will not be available until the summer months. Most applicants are 17–19 years of age. Some may be younger, especially if they have studied ahead; some may be older, especially if their countries have mandatory military service after secondary school.
Students who have already enrolled at another university—either in America or abroad—must apply to MIT as a transfer student.
How MIT Considers International Applicants
MIT receives many applications from very smart and talented international citizens. From this great pool of candidates, we may only take a small cupful. Every year more than 4,000 international students apply to MIT, and we can admit fewer than 150.
We limit the number of international students we can accept because of our generous financial aid. MIT is one of the few schools in the US that offers need-blind admissions and meets their full financial need. "Need-blind" means you will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process because of your financial need. "Meeting your full financial need" means MIT will give you enough financial aid so that you can afford to attend, no matter how much or how little your family can pay.
Even though the international application process is very competitive, we still admit wonderful students from all over the world every year. There are students from 116 countries at MIT. Approximately 9% of our undergraduates are international, and 40% of graduate students are citizens of other countries. There is a strong international community here at MIT, so no matter how far you are from home, you can still feel at home here.
What You Need To Do
To apply to MIT, you must take some standardized tests and complete our application. Due to capacity issues only a limited number of interviews are available in some regions outside the US. If you live outside the US and your interview is initially waived, you will be notified if an interviewer becomes available. Requesting an interview will not ensure that you will receive an interview. If it is not possible to provide an interview for you, we will not hold it against you.