Graduate School Application Materials

Academic Transcript

To request MIT transcripts, current students can complete the form available through the MIT Registrar's Office or visit the Student Services Center in room 11-120. Former students should follow the detailed instructions provided by the Registrar.

Letters of Recomendation

Recommendations from full professors and tenured faculty who are familiar with your academic work have the most impact, vs. letters from TAs or employers. Three recommendations are commonly requested, but check with the individual program for details.

How and when do you ask for recommendation letters? You’ll want to prepare in advance for this, building relationships with potential recommenders over the course of your academic career. Read How to Ask for A Recommendation Letter (pdf) for tips and a timeline. You can also provide your recommenders with some tips on how to write strong recommendation letters.

To organize your letters, you may want to use a dossier service, such as Interfolio, or ask the recommender to send them in the manner required by that particular application. Law schools require the use of Credential Assembly Services for this purpose. If you are a prehealth student, you can use the MIT Prehealth Advising Credential Service.

Standardized Admissions Exams

Most graduate programs require completion of a standardized exam such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT. Ask the programs you are interested in what exam scores are accepted, and what the typical range of scores is for admitted students.

Be sure to study for these tests, which can involve elements that you may not have learned earlier in your academic career. You can take preparatory courses or study on your own with books or online materials including practice tests. Because the scores are valid for a couple of years, you can take these exams when you are feeling most prepared. Many students, even if postponing graduate studies, will elect to take the exams while still undergraduates.

Essays

You will be required to submit a personal statement or essay when applying to graduate school. Graduate programs want students with clear commitment to the field. Graduate school application essays typically ask applicants to discuss their previous experience, future professional goals, and how the program can help them in achieving those objectives. The personal statement gives the applicant the chance to articulate these goals and display strong writing skills. Remember to tailor your essay to each school and the faculty committee that reviews your application.

Your essay should be thoughtful, concise, compelling, and interesting. Remember, admissions officers read hundreds of personal essays.