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Learn more about how MIT Admissions is responding to COVID-19 in this blog post from our Dean and new dedicated FAQs.

First-year applicants: Letters of recommendation

We require letters of recommendation from two teachers (one math/science, one humanities), plus materials from your school counselor (typically including your transcript, a school profile, and a 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).

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.

You should certainly 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 letter of recommendation and a School Profile, describing your school’s curriculum and community.

Supplemental evaluations are also welcome—we simply ask that they provide different or additional context beyond the two we’ve already requested. Most applicants and most admitted students do not submit any supplemental recommendations. Forms for Supplemental Recommendations are available through your MIT application portal.

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, SOCIR, or other methods. Regardless of where documents are submitted, recommenders must fill out the MIT-specific recommendation form. On the form, recommenders can indicate if they would like to submit their additional documents (prepared letters, school profiles, transcripts, etc.) using a third-party service, or upload them directly into the application portal.