Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


78 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Lauren
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

There is definitely a "right" fit for everyone when it comes to what college one chooses. Although it is certainly beneficia...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

There is definitely a "right" fit for everyone when it comes to what college one chooses. Although it is certainly beneficial to listen to the advice and opinions of one's friends and family when deciding on a college, one should remember that it is his decision to make-- trust your gut instinct! Once at college, the best way to make the most of the college experience is to experience as many things as possible-- even activities that are totally unfamiliar. Not only might one discover a new passion, but the different types of people one will meet along the way is one of the best experiences one can have. Also, it's important to have fun! Especially at the top colleges, it's easy to get caught up in work and grade point averages; however, when it comes down to it, employers are more interested in someone that is well-rounded and interesting than someone with a perfect GPA (at the same time, however, don't totally slack off!). Finding the perfect balance between learning as much as one can in school, building friendships, and making memories is the key to happiness in college.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

Nothing. The journey is just as important as the destination!

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

There isn't a big football team to cheer for like at most state schools (I almost went to University of FL). I miss being able to go to big games like that.

Adam
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Science and Technology. Mostly in Engineering

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Science and Technology. Mostly in Engineering

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Talk with the students there. Try and spend the weekend. When I went, it was the people I met that tipped the scales. The school can be pretty and the classes reputable but many schools fit that desccription. If the people in you environment are making you miserable, there will be a noticable effect on every ohter aspec of your life

What's unique about your campus?

Everyone is very intelligent and are passionate about learning and science. It's something new and pleasant I've never had

Shawn
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The importance of bike racks and more MIT buildings.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

A look at the Career Office bulletin board.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

A cafe/food stop right off of the Infinite hallway.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Where most student groups table, advertise, etc.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A look at the Infinite, the school's most crowded hallway.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A glimpse of students outside the Student Center during a nice day.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

The dining options at the MIT Student Center.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A brief walkthrough of the Student Center.

Piper
What is your overall opinion of this school?

MIT just was the perfect school for me. It was a great size - a class size that offered a lot of activities and club but at ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

MIT just was the perfect school for me. It was a great size - a class size that offered a lot of activities and club but at the same time wasn't so large that I felt lost in the crowd. The people are amazing, the academics are awesome, and you can do pretty much whatever you want outside it - from saving the world to learning to juggle. The surrounding area is gorgeous, too. Boston's a great city. So much history, so much to see, so much diversity, and it's amazing to have it right in our back yard, a 10 minute walk from my dorm. I love how unusual we are, from our numbering system (buildings, classes, and majors are referred to by number) from our unique lingo (tool/punt/hack/IHTFP/etc). It's just a great place to be with plenty of opportunity to do whatever you want - and everyone can find their place here.

Describe the students at your school.

The students here are pretty unique. I have friends of different races, religions, orientations, etc, and it's awesome because I'm experiencing different cultures I've never met in my life. I don't see a lot of self-segregation along these lines. People are cool with each other and that's that. They come from everywhere - people on my hall come from near the Boston area to Kenya and Sweden, and that's a really neat experience. As far as political activism, some are, and some aren't. There's a place for you here if you are, but if that's not your thing you'll be fine too. I'd say people lean more liberal than conservative, but I've met some very conservative people too so that's not a sweeping statement.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

You can do anything here. That's what I love about this place. If you can handle 10 classes, you can do it (no increased tuition). You wanna be involved in clubs, you can do that. You don't see a club you're looking for? You can start your own. The tradition, the cultures of the east side and the west side, it's all something very special. ILTFP.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Well, we are MIT, so yes, there are plenty of nerds. There are people who play Magic every Sunday, Starcraft past midnight, participate in LARPs, etc. That said, you won't be completely lost if you don't like these things (or if you've never heard of these, you'll have fun learning). As for the social skills part, some do and some don't. I know many social butterflies here, but just like anywhere else, we have our shy people.

What are the academics like at your school?

Freshman classes tend to be largest since everyone's required to take certain intro classes, and from there classes shrink. The nice thing is that the professors are only an email away. They're all required to have office hours, so you can see them in person. They're usually willing to talk before or after class, too. If you put in a tiny bit of effort, you'll be fine communicating with profs. Students are always having intelligent conversations, though not necessarily about a class because people read stuff about all sorts of topics and have tons to share. The nice thing is that since we don't have any class rank or graduation honors, competitive people are only competing against themselves, seeing how much they can push themselves. I haven't experienced any backstabbing nature like at other schools - everyone collaborates because that's what you have to do to survive. It's tough here because any given class will make you go more in-depth than you ever thought, so you'll learn tons just for the sake of learning, more than you'd probably need in a job. But in turn, you end up prepared for anything in the future.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I'm not certain what groups are more popular than others - people are into absolutely everything. I know people into musical theater, part of our movie screening club, medical lecture groups, etc. And as for the stereotype that we can't do sports, our pistol team has beat the army consistently over the past years. We're not physically unskilled (you're even required to take PE's here - I've taken pistol, archery, fencing, and sailing). Dorms have a lot of tradition, each unique to the dorm's personality. Some dorms drop pianos or monitors off roofs every year, others drop thousands of bouncy balls. We have "Bad Taste" every year, too, which is a show that is everything... in bad taste. People party often enough for me - my dorm usually has a party on one hall or another every weekend, and we're not the only ones. Frats and sororities are important to many people on campus, but you're not going to feel left out if you're not part of one.

Gina
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Telling people I go to MIT carries a lot of weight. I seem to get instant respect and people then think I can solve any sort ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Telling people I go to MIT carries a lot of weight. I seem to get instant respect and people then think I can solve any sort of math problem. Overall, I really enjoy being here. There are so many opportunities for me to get involved in and so many new experiences for me to discover. I love being in Boston because there are endless things to do. I love walking along the Charles River and going out to eat with my friends. I absolutely love my major here. I'm a civil engineering major and I feel like my classmates have all become really close. We can talk freely to our professors and grow closer while working away on endless problem sets. Although it's hard, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. One of the experiences I have had here is being a member of the gymnastics team. My teammates are my closest friends. I'm also extremely grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a sport I love with coaches that understand when I need to leave practice early to take a test. There is a great balance here between athletics and academics.

Describe the students at your school.

MIT is incredibly heterogeneous. There are people from every state, just about every country, every race, religion and financial background. What's more is that different types of students interact while studying, working on a project or playing on a sports team. You get close to the people you spend lots of time with and here, that can be absolutely anyone.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

MIT is the most amazing experience I've had in my entire life!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Although there are people here who fit that stereotype, the majority of students are very much the opposite. We love going out and having fun. These are some of the most interesting people I have ever met in my life.

What are the academics like at your school?

There is no better place than MIT for math and science. I love most all of my engineering classes. Most of the professors are friendly and accessible. Everyone here wants to see you succeed so you can always find someone to help you out if you're having some trouble in a class (which is bound to happen more than once). What I really like is that most students here foster an environment of collaboration rather than competition. Classes are insanely hard, so most students work together to get through them. We have group study sessions and our teaching assistants will bring juice and donuts for long office hours. I also feel comfortable talking about classes outside of class. People here are genuinely interested in what other classes are studying. It's normal to overhear conversations about a student's lab project building a robot or extracting an important biological molecule. You can talk about things here that your friends back home would never understand.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Contrary to what most people think, MIT has a thriving social and activities scene. We have about 40 varsity sports team, which gives athletes of abilities and levels to participate. We also have numerous theater groups, dance groups, just about a group for any activity you can think of. In addition, MIT has a strong Greek system, although it's very different from the typical Greek system at any other college. We have 27 fraternities and 5 sororities. Fraternities hold events every weekend, including dry events. About 25% of the female student body belongs to a sorority. I've found that there is never a shortage of things to do. People are always around in the dorms, always ready to go out and have some fun.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People seem to think MIT students are reclusive, boring, nerdy and have no fun because they study all the time.

Nico
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about MIT is the people I've had the opportunity to get to know. MIT has a unique culture full of students th...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about MIT is the people I've had the opportunity to get to know. MIT has a unique culture full of students that make everything seem possible. I did wish the school was a bit smaller, but probably because I come from a small high school of less than 400 students. The reaction to a student wearing an MIT sweater is usually a positive one, and when it's not, it may just be a reaction from a student or alum of a school that was ranked lower than MIT, if you follow that ranking business. I do spend most of my time on campus in the Reading Room and other study areas, but when I go home to my living group, I find it quite invigorating. MIT is in Cambridge, and there are many colleges within a few miles of MIT -- within a radius of, let's say, 5 miles. I don't consider MIT's immediate surrounding environment much of a college town, though, and that may be because we are islanded by the Charles from the bigger college town of Boston. I know little about MIT's administration, except that I happen to be good friends with many people who reliably comment on one or two racist and prejudiced administrators. MIT bureaucracy can be somewhat stagnating, but it seems that once students get things together for a proposal, for example, then MIT is usually cooperative and helpful. I complain much about the lack of good food, since our Student Center offers few options with menus that only vary from day to day in that suddenly one day, the eatery may be out of ketchup. I don't have much school pride, and although so many people wear their MIT sweaters, I suspect it is either just because of the cold, or because of the weight that three-lettered insignia carries. People hardly go to sporting events, and don't seem to show much interest in improving the school. Many just seem to be here to take care of business, not take care of the school, and move on; although there are a handful of groups dedicated to the betterment of MIT.

Describe the students at your school.

Experiences range, and MIT offers so many groups -- which, at times, come off as factions -- that try to make their presence and function on campus known. I would think that few students would feel out of place due to academic standing, since students at MIT are admitted here because they have shown they can prosper academically, but I get the impression that students of lower socioeconomic backgrounds must feel like they've been ripped off their whole lives after arriving at MIT and seeing the many other students who have had the privilege of belonging to affluent communities, going to top-flight schools, and flying to MIT and back home regularly, perhaps in first class. The higher rungs of the socioeconomic ladder are certainly better represented here at MIT, with only a small percentage (14%, according to MIT Financial Aid statistics) of students qualifying for the federal Pell Grant. Many students I know have parents who are doctors, nurses, professors, or other professionals and have been fortunate enough to come from nourishing backgrounds. Then there are a few students who can tell stories of struggle, that percent -- I wish I could be more quantitative -- must also be quite small.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This survey can turn out to be kinda long.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

While it is true that many students do spends a greater part of their MIT lives locked in their rooms or claiming sanctuary in some underground Athena cluster, I find most MIT students are more than toned-down supercomputers. The people I daily come across and the friends I regularly spend time with are generally people I am glad to know. Incidentally, I've only seen 1 student -- compute that to 3 significant figures, if you wish -- with a pocket protector here at MIT. As for TI-89s, people talk about them like they're auditioning for a Texas Instruments commercial: "Oh... my... God... I love my 89." Personally, I find no time to click on a link about the China-Tibet conflict, or even one about the star athletes anticipated for the Olympics, or on another link that claims those topics are connected -- what? I am disconnected from much of the world, and it seems to take very conscious effort and calculated steps -- because we like calculating here at MIT -- to inform ourself about our immediate and more distant surroundings. MIT is work, work, and more work, but I do know many students who somehow find time to play water polo offense, organize a student group meeting, and work at MIT Admissions. Here, P-sets are only a part of the equation that equals work.

What are the academics like at your school?

Students study more than anything. It is competitive. Classes are interesting. I know of no professor who knows my name as I sit in a big lecture hall. The professors that do know my name know me because of other encounters not related to a class. MIT academics seems to balance the goals of learning for the sake of learning and learning for the sake of expanding one's career toolbox.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Greek life is popular on campus, with so many students belonging to sororities and fraternities. Sports aren't big on campus, except maybe for notorious rowing, or Crew. Guest speakers are pretty common, although I find little time to go to events I feel I would thoroughly enjoy. Awake at 2am on a Tuesday can only be a sign of me working to complete a Problem Set or studying for an exam.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

MIT students don't step outside of their rooms/caves to do anything more than remind themselves that the sun does exists and that, therefore, the equations they are working on are accurate. Students are stereotyped as antisocial, hermetic creatures with weird laughs and far-fetched ideas who all have pocket protectors and carry around TI-89s. They have not time to step outside of the MIT bubble and know whether Bush is still president or if Osama has been caught. Extracurriculars may often be just that, extra, because all MIT students do is work, work, work, on p-sets.

Chris
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Would like more school pride, but it's rather difficult here at MIT. Instead, there's more pride for the Red Sox and the Patr...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Would like more school pride, but it's rather difficult here at MIT. Instead, there's more pride for the Red Sox and the Patriots, which is good, I guess.

Describe the students at your school.

Wish students were more aware of what's going on in the world, in general. Life here at MIT can be so fast-moving that people don't even follow the news.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No. MIT is actually the center of Boston college party life, and a lot of the people are very chill.

What are the academics like at your school?

One thing to change about MIT is to loosen up the requirements for classes, because that would allow for students to actually take classes that they enjoy and are interested about.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Fraternities are very important; things to go on a Saturday night (without drinking) include hanging out with friends, going into Boston, watching a movie at a theater, going to Boston Commons, eating at a number of restaurants close to MIT. People are commonly awake in the early morning, either working or hanging out after working on homework.

Carrie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are a lot of unusual things about MIT that few people know. One of the best, in my opinion, is the amount of freedom th...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are a lot of unusual things about MIT that few people know. One of the best, in my opinion, is the amount of freedom the students are allowed to have. It seems like the higher-ups trust us to take care of ourselves. There are many dorms where you are allowed to paint the walls however you want, have cats, and generally you're allowed much more privacy than in many of the other college dorms I've visited. Another unusual aspect of the social scene is that there's a pretty pronounced split between "east campus" and "west campus". The personalities of the living communities are very different, allowing you to make a choice about the type of college experience you want to have - its almost as if they're two different colleges. The east campus culture is very well-developed; it's a great community, and a lot of fun. I don't know much about west campus. MIT is very challenging. While I loved the experience, you're definitely going to learn to manage your time, and you're going to have to learn to relax to some extent. MIT will teach you, above all, that you can't do everything perfect, and you're not the most clever person in the universe. Cambridge is a great place to spend time, and there are so many other college students in the area - Boston is almost like one huge college itself. If you manage to get out much, you can meet so meet a lot of great people; more than you could expect of most college towns.

Describe the students at your school.

My experience with the students at MIT has been mostly positive. I don't think there are many students that would feel out of place here, as it is an amazingly accepting community. Pretty much any eccentricity you could have, no one would mind. We're used to it. Or, you can choose to be pretty normal (a normie, even) and you can have friends, too! Another great thing about the MIT student body is that you won't find as many "rich kids" here. Its definitely a bit more diverse as far as financial backgrounds go than many other prestigious schools. I should add that MIT is much less politically aware than a lot of other colleges - I'm not sure why that is, but its quite pronounced. People don't know much about current events. However, they tend to be pretty liberal, and talk reasonably intelligently about political issues, when they happen to come up.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Most of them aren't. The people you will meet at MIT probably are some of the smartest people you'll ever meet, but they're also amazingly creative, and many of them are talented artists - something many people are surprised to discover. There are plenty of parties on campus, and plenty of laid back people who attend them.

What are the academics like at your school?

Your academic experience at MIT depends a lot on your major. I started out as a Course 1 (Civil and Environmental Engineering) major, and the classes were extremely small, though they were sometimes frustratingly disorganized. When I switched to Course 5 (Chemistry), the classes became much larger, but the lesson plans were well thought out, and I knew more of my classmates. MIT is too large, in general, for your professors to know you if you're not going to make an effort. You can definitely slip by unnoticed, or you can choose to be extremely involved in your department - organizing events, doing undergraduate research, and spending a lot of time asking questions and becoming familiar with your professors. Like many other aspects of MIT, its mostly left up to you; there is a lot of independence and responsibility - no one is going to look after you, which is usually a good thing.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Last weekend I played a show in the Senior House basement with four other bands, all from MIT! Concerts like this are reasonably well attended and awesome. One thing that will amaze you here is how much talent your friends have, and what they can manage to create, even when they're so busy all the time.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

There are too many to count. We're also supposed to be ridiculously smart. We're also supposed to be total nerds. People like to say that MIT students aren't attractive, don't get out much, don't dress well, and are constantly stressed. Also we're "eccentric".

KC
Describe the students at your school.

I have not had any anti-Semitic experiences on campus, and I am pretty obviously religious. I am Jewish, and in fact some of...

Describe the students at your school.

I have not had any anti-Semitic experiences on campus, and I am pretty obviously religious. I am Jewish, and in fact some of my best friends on campus are Muslim - we cooperate on events sometimes, and I just attended a lecture on Islamic calligraphy.

What are the academics like at your school?

I spend a lot of time on homework, and I'm not beneath copying my friend's problem set if I'm still not done at 3 in the morning, so I spend less time than most people. Maybe I spend 18 hours a week? I think MIT's core required classes are good - then everyone gets a feel for all the sciences - if I hadn't been required to, I wouldn't have taken chemistry, but it's good that I know it now. Also, it's good to require so many humanities, because then there are more choices - then I can take a variety of classes that are not math/science but still not have to take English - I took anthropology last semester and now I'm in linguistics. I have not gotten to know any of my professors, but I've still pretty much only been taking introductory courses, so I don't think that's representative of classes that are smaller, in my department. I'm majoring in civil engineering, which has a pretty small department, so I'm confident that I will get to know my professors. But I do learn most of my interesting math/science tidbits outside of class, in conversations with my friends!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That we are nerdy, we make math/science jokes, we work all night, we don't have any fun.

Lisa
Describe the students at your school.

We are pretty awesome. Any group of people you can imagine you can probably find to hang out with. And MIT is almost exactl...

Describe the students at your school.

We are pretty awesome. Any group of people you can imagine you can probably find to hang out with. And MIT is almost exactly 50/50 women/men.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

It's true to an extent, because we all did choose MIT after all, but there's a lot more to the culture here than how many kills we had last night in Halo or angsting over the missing points from an exam.

What are the academics like at your school?

It's hard. Really bloody hard. You'll be studying 24/7 here. Within your major you'll be well known to your professors and TAs in and out of the classroom. It's a great education and definitely prepares you for either a job or continuing higher education.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There's a lot of them every day all day (from midnight to midnight). Each dorm has it's own culture so what happens and when depends on the dorm your in, but there's always something going on. MIT students are very social and will usually have their doors open while their studying so friends can pop their heads in and chat. We have student run group (LSC - Lecture Series Committee) that brings recent movies (two per weekend usually) and sneak peeks of up coming movies to MIT plus a lot of guest lectures. I assume athletic events are somewhat popular since I think we have sports teams, but I'm not really into that scene so I wouldn't know. This weekend me and my best friend are tsking the bus up to New York to see Wicked on Broadway. So yeah. Lots to do here.

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