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First-year applicants: Letters of recommendation

We require letters of recommendation from two teachers. We recommend one evaluation from a math/science teacher, and one from a humanities, social science, or language teacher. We also require materials from your school counselor (typically including your official transcript and—when available—a School Profile and letter of recommendation).

You will be able to request recommendations in your MIT application portal. You can request these letters at any point before submitting your application, but we recommend sending the request as soon as you have determined who you would like to ask so that they have as much time as possible to write about you!

(If you’re a teacher looking for guides on how to write good letters of recommendation, visit this page).

Please note: You will only be able to submit your application with two teacher evaluations and one school counselor/Secondary School Report. You may also include up to one optional supplemental evaluation. Please refer to the instructions on how to submit recommendations below.

Recommendations: Whom to ask

MIT requires two letters of recommendation from teachers. One recommendation should be from a math or science teacher, and one should be from a humanities, social science, or language teacher, although this is not a hard requirement.

You should ask a teacher who has taught you in an academic class in high school. Ideally, this will also be a teacher who knows you as more than just a student who does well on all the tests. We find that the best recommendations are written by teachers who know an applicant well as both a student and a person.

Math/science evaluation potential subjects
  • Math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Earth science
  • Environmental science
  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Science research (as a class)
Humanities/social science/language potential subjects
  • English
  • History
  • Foreign language
  • Classics
  • Economics
  • Government
  • Psychology
  • Social studies
  • Geography

How to submit

Your school counselor (or equivalent) should submit the Secondary School Report, along with your transcript. Most counselors also attach a School Profile, describing your school’s curriculum and community. Some school counselors do not or cannot write letters on your behalf. We don’t hold this against you at all! We understand that there are different types of schools out there, and you will not be penalized in this case.

We are also able to accept a supplemental evaluation—we simply ask that it provides different or additional context beyond the two we’ve already requested. Most applicants and most admitted students do not submit any supplemental recommendations.

Applicants should enter their recommender information into the Recommendations section of the application regardless of how the recommender intends to submit their materials. Our preference is for recommenders to use our application portal to submit documents. However, they do have the option to submit their additional documents via Naviance, SCOIR, or other methods. Applications will not be disadvantaged if recommenders submit their recommendations through a third-party service other than the MIT application portal.