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5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at MIT are exceptional because each and every student is willing to put forth the effort to achieve their own goals, that are motivated by intrinsic values.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: They expect you to learn a lot on your own.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: For my major, MIT is the best right now

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: I love studying biology at MIT. The workload is probably average for an MIT major, and there are so many amazing professors to learn from and do research with.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: The professors are amazing. You'll probably learn from Nobel laureates and future Nobel winners. A lot of professors will discuss a topic in class and casually mention, "I figured this out in my graduate research" or "my lab made this discovery." The curriculum is challenging but very interesting and doable. The workload is manageable and registration is easy.

4 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The academics at MIT are top notch. Classes are designed so you learn as much as possible, but learning at MIT doesn’t mean just memorizing a formula and plugging in numbers. Exams at MIT are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the formulas, how to derive them, and how to apply them in all sorts of ways. Classes teach you how to think. However, not all classes are taught well. Some professors are more interested in their research than teaching, and and some TAs aren’t good at teaching. Most introductory classes are taught as a combination of lectures by professors and recitations by TAs. In large classes, however, students are allowed to change their recitations. Take advantage of this! Some TAs explain things better, some are easier graders, some are more available outside of class, and some are regular, normal people. Try to go to as many different recitations as you can at the beginning of the term to find out which TA suits you best. The extra time you spend looking for a good recitation will save you hours of struggling later in the semester.

Classes are rigorous, but academic opportunities outside the classroom are endless. One of the best academic programs at MIT is the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). As an undergraduate, you have the chance to work for professors who are legendary in their fields. Get involved with a UROP by letting professors know you’re interested. Given the studious culture of MIT, expect to do a lot of work. Not all your time, however, will be devoted to classes. You will want to get involved in extracurricular activities and research opportunities. Despite the heavy workload, the things you can accomplish within and beyond the classroom at MIT are miles above anything you could do anywhere else. This is what sets MIT apart as one of the best academic institutions in the country.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 65%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 22%
  • 50 or More Students: 13%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • School of Architecture and Planning
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • School of Science
  • Sloan School of Management
  • Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Business/Commerce, General: 11%
  • Computer Science: 5%
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering: 3%
  • Mechanical Engineering: 5%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Barker Engineering Library
  • Floor lounges in dormitories
  • Hayden Humanities and Science Library
  • Lewis Music Library
  • Reading Room on fifth floor of the Stratton Student Center
Tips to Succeed
  • Do a Pre-Orientation Program. The people who do these always end up knowing the campus better, and having a built-in group of friends before orientation even starts. You're just a step ahead if you decide to do this. In fact, FLP (Freshman Leadership Program) is one of the largest, most popular programs at MIT.
  • Don't believe everything you hear. Sometimes a rumor about a class, professor, or friend is nothing more than that, a rumor.
  • Meet as many people as possible during orientation. The campus is really vibrant and friendly up until the first round of tests during the third and fourth weeks.
  • Realize that you might not be the best/smartest anymore. You're actually being compared to people who are just as smart-if not smarter-than you are. Don't be disappointed, be content that you are truly in a group of your peers.
  • Sometimes, you can't do all the work that you are assigned Learn to prioritize. Better yet, learn to deal.
  • Start your work as early as possible.There's nothing worse than having to pull a last minute all-nighter before something is due. By doing your work in little increments, you'll actually end up with more free time. And studying for tests will be easier because you've been working at it frequently.
  • Work in groups. Sure, you'll get more glory if you do everything by yourself, but you also might end up in a padded room.
Did You Know?
  • Eleven current faculty members have been awarded the Nobel Prize in subjects such as physics, physiology of medicine, economics, and chemistry.
  • Every January, MIT holds its Independent Activities Period (IAP) when students can stay on campus for four weeks to take part in activities that are not offered during the regular school year. IAP features workshops, independent research projects, field trips, and lecture series based on subjects ranging from figure skating and vegetarian cooking, to neuroanatomy and robot design.
  • Adjusting to MIT is a shock. Because of this, MIT gives you a cushion by not assigning first-semester freshmen grades on their transcripts. They simply get a "pass," or the transcript never shows that they took the class. Freshmen used to be on the Pass/No Record system both semesters, but MIT recently changed the system. Pass/No Record only applies to the first term of freshman year now. During this time, it's important that you realize right away that a C- in a class is going to look the same on your transcript as an A+. What's more, a percentage of first-semester students fail at least one class. It's not something to stress about. In other words, don't sweat your work too much first semester. Try to enjoy the city and its people because you won't have much time to when you actually start getting graded.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 45 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 28 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 27 responses

  • 70% This was my dream school.
  • 30% This was one of my top choices.
  • 0% This was a school I settled for (safety school).


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