As a renowned research institution with acceptance rates that rival those of the Ivy League, pretty much all MIT majors will set students up with an unparalleled academic experience. However, there are a few programs and fields of study that have an edge above the rest of MIT’s top-tier offerings.
From aerospace engineering to biology, MIT has a wide array of majors for students to choose from. Keep reading to learn more about the best programs the school has to offer and what students should consider when selecting their major.
What Should You Major in at MIT?
Getting admitted to MIT is a major accomplishment, in and of itself. However, the work isn’t done once students set foot on campus for the first time; in fact, it’s just beginning. Since the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is highly competitive and exceptionally rigorous, students must also make sure that they choose their majors wisely.
While its math and science offerings are arguably what MIT is known for, the school offers a wide array of majors including Writing, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Political Science. Each program has its own opportunities, exciting classes, and renowned faculty, so there’s no such thing as choosing the wrong major.
However, students should prioritize finding a course of study that aligns with their interests and professional goals, while ensuring they’re making the most of what MIT has to offer. Given the vast array of research opportunities that the school provides, it’s no surprise that many students chose to major in fields with a testing and analysis component.
What Degree Programs Is MIT Known For?
As the school’s name implies, MIT is best known for its STEM programs. Some of the most popular majors on campus include Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering, Econometrics and Quantitative Economics, and Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.
What Kind of Students Go to MIT?
Given MIT’s heavy focus on math and sciences, many prospective applicants may wonder what the student body is like. Although STEM is undoubtedly a major area of focus, students at MIT are far from homogenous. In fact, MIT is committed to ensuring each class year is diverse and well-rounded. During their undergraduate recruitment and selection, MIT looks at each application holistically, taking account of many different factors that have shaped a student’s experience, including their racial, ethnic, social, economic, and educational context. The school believes it is crucial for the successful future of our world to educate people from every walk of life.
Can You Triple Major at MIT?
Students who attend MIT today cannot pursue a triple major at the college. In the past, triple majoring was an option at MIT. However, the triple major was discontinued over a decade ago because very few students were able to complete it.
What Is the Most Difficult Major at MIT?
Every major at MIT is academically rigorous and will push students to expand their academic horizons so they can graduate with new knowledge and a deepened understanding of their field of study. With that being said, engineering majors are often thought to be amongst the most challenging at MIT. The institution acknowledges that Unified Engineering is one of the toughest classes at MIT, and it’s a required course for multiple types of engineering degrees.
Does MIT Allow Double Majors?
Students can double major at MIT, but undergraduates must have a cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher in order to apply, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. In order to graduate with two MIT majors, students must complete the General Institute Requirements and the requirements for both majors. Students must also have completed at least three terms, including at least one in a department with a declared major.
What High School Sends the Most Students to MIT?
MIT admits students from all types of high schools, and admissions officers strive to ensure that each class year has a diverse array of students with different educational backgrounds. However, given MIT’s exceptionally high academic standards, it’s no surprise that many students come from competitive high schools. This includes both private institutions like Phillips Academy Andover and Phillips Exeter Academy as well as public schools like Thomas Jefferson High School and Stuyvesant High School.
What Are the Best Majors for Pre-law Students?
There are a variety of MIT majors that can be beneficial for students who are interested in pursuing a law career. However, several courses of study such as Political Science, Philosophy, History, and American Studies may be particularly relevant.
Top 10 Majors Offered at MIT
While it’s challenging to pick just a few of the school’s programs to highlight, here are a handful of MIT majors that students should consider:
#1 Aerospace Engineering
US News and World Reports has named MIT’s aerospace engineering major as a top program for more than a decade. Students in the major will have ample opportunity to participate in research on diverse topics including vehicle design and engineering, transportation and exploration, and earth and space sciences.
#2 Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering students learn with an exciting landscape of research opportunities. Students may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field and the department also offers a range of joint degrees and programs with partners such as the Program in Polymers and Soft Matter, and the departments of Biology, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and Civil & Environmental Engineering.
With 3 Nobel laureates, 4 recipients of the National Medal of Science, and 15 Howard Hughes Institute investigators on their faculty, it’s easy to see why Biology is one of the best majors at MIT. The mission of the program is to train and mentor the next generation of scientists, with a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.
#4 Chemical Engineering
The mission of MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is to offer academic programs that prepare students to master physical, chemical, and biological processes, engineering design and synthesis skills. Students learn to creatively shape and solve complex problems and exercise leadership in industry, academic, and government settings in the face of technological, economic, and social issues.
#5 Computer Science
This popular field can be broken down into three areas of study: theory, systems, and human-computer interaction. The skills from all these can be combined and applied across science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences to combat issues faced by society. Students can jumpstart their involvement in research by applying for undergrad research opportunities in a variety of areas including AI for Healthcare and Life Sciences and Security and Cryptography.
#6 Electrical and Electronics Engineering
MIT’s electrical and electronics engineering program is interdisciplinary by nature as electrical engineers have a far-reaching impact on society. They offer an array of research opportunities, including Communications Systems, Robotics, Nanoscale Devices, Systems, and Materials, and Signal Processing.
#7 Materials Engineering
MIT’s Department of Material Science and Engineering is known as the worldwide leader of its field. Material Engineering majors undertake interdisciplinary materials projects that draw on fundamental sciences in pursuit of beneficial engineering solutions. From construction materials to virus-grown nanostructures, students seek to understand the creation, composition, structure, properties, and performance of materials—and to derive new, effective, and sustainable alternatives.
#8 Mechanical Engineering
MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a world-class education that combines thorough analytics with hands-on discovery. MIT’s Mechanical Engineering program was ranked the number one mechanical engineering program for both graduate and undergraduate studies in 2022 by the US News & World Report.
Since MIT is renowned for its STEM offerings, it’s no surprise that mathematics is a top-ranking MIT major. Undergraduates have multiple opportunities to work on mathematical research with faculty and the department also has a mentoring program that allows students to with graduate student mentors.
The MIT Department of Physics has about 75 faculty members, 250 undergraduate majors, and is often cited as the largest physics department in the United States. MIT Physics research falls into four primary areas: astrophysics and cosmology, theoretical nuclear and particle physics, experimental nuclear and particle physics, and atomic, biological, condensed matter, and plasma physics. Fourteen alumni of the department and nine current or former faculty members have won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
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Whether you’re passionate about mathematics or interested in mechanical engineering, the breadth of MIT majors are designed to set students of all interests up for success. If you’re looking to earn a degree from this top-tier institution, start by learning how to get into MIT. IvyWise’s admission experts are here to make it happen. Take the first step towards getting into your dream school and set an initial consultation.