MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Chris Peterson

Aug 29 2014

Credit for Reddit

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research

There's a story my mother likes to tell about the time, soon after I began first grade, she received a polite but concerned note from my teacher. Evidently, when my time to show-and-tell had arrived, I read aloud from a library book about reproductive biology, with a degree of anatomical specificity my teacher considered frankly inappropriate for my age and audience. My teacher clarified that I was not in trouble because none of my classmates understood what I was talking about or indeed had seemed to pay me any attention at all (this was a recurring theme of my childhood and also my adulthood). Some parents might have discouraged 'inappropriate' intellectual interests, but I have long been grateful that my mother, who helps children with special needs navigate elementary school, never let my education get in the way of my learning.

Love you, mom


One of the best ways to learn is to teach, both because in order to teach you have to know your stuff, and because through... read the post »


Aug 17 2014

What Are We Waiting For

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

Freshman orientation for the Class of 2018 officially begins in two weeks. Next week, however, some students will begin arriving on campus to participate in one of 22 Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs), which offer students an early introduction to in the social life of learning at MIT. As the FPOP website says: 

Build an underwater vehicle. Make friends. Work in the Cambridge community. Learn what it means to install public interactive art. Kayak. Play robotic soccer. Visit a nuclear reactor. Swing your way through a ropes course. Learn to paint. Roll your own sushi. Wear paper clothing. Travel to Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Spend a day feeding the homeless. Learn about yourself. Challenge yourself.

We've blogged a lot about FPOPs in the past. This year's FPOPs include: 


Aug 13 2014

The Blogs Turn 10: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cruftblogging 2014

Last week the blogs turned ten. We celebrated by asking a bunch of former bloggers to come back and blog for us. In case you missed it, here's an index of their entries:


Aug 3 2014

The Story Of @MITStudents

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Our office is not on Twitter (although our bot is), but 89 other offices at MIT are. Among them is @MITStudents, an account maintained by Kellen Manning, Communications Coordinator for MIT's Division of Student Life (he also oversees their Instagram and tumblr). 

Kellen and I are usually at the gym at the same time, and the other day we were talking about @MITStudents, which I myself follow and often interact with. He offered to send me an explanation of what DSL is trying to do with it (and, for that matter, what DSL is), which I wanted to post here. 

What do you know about the Division of Student Life (DSL) at MIT? Essentially DSL promotes the idea that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Learning happens through making connections, exploring opportunities, and discovering who you are.

That’s all well and good, but you are probably still wondering, “What is DSL?” Well, we are comprised of numerous departments and special programs meant to support and enhance... read the post »


Jul 27 2014

What Essay Questions Should We Ask?

Posted in: Freshman Applicants

I've got applications on the brain. Last week, we posted the blogger applications; this week, I'm modifying the Maker Portfolio for the next cycle. During Ceri's admissions excavation she found some old applications, which got me down to the Institute Archives, looking at old requirements for admission

Last year I posted our essay questions. This year they'll (almost certainly) be the same. But maybe next year, they won't; every year, we sort of reassess the questions, and think about whether we want to change them. 

Strategically, our essay questions are intended to prompt certain responses from applicants. The idea is that the answers tell us something about the applicant, not only through what they literally write (i.e. "For fun I like to dress up like a Viking and light things on fire") but also how they write about it, what they choose to write about, the salient categories and concepts around which they organize their lived experience, and so on. You can think of essay... read the post »