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Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Admission, Courses, Financial Aid and more
An overview of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, its admission procedure, scholarships, latest news, programs, campus culture and enrollment.

Overview and Rank
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private university known for its emphasis on physical sciences and engineering, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is currently the 6th highest ranked university in the United States according to the US News university ranking system. MIT is also rated 1st in the US for scientific impact in all sciences according to the CWTS Leiden ranking system.
[Image: 800px-MIT_Main_Campus_Aerial.jpg]
View of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's main campus from a helicopter flying over the Charles River.

Prospective MIT undergraduates can apply using MIT’s online MyMIT system found here: (MIT does not use the common application). Part of the application requires biographical information, a list of activities and coursework you have taken in addition to several short response essays so the admissions office can get to know you as an applicant. In addition, students will need to submit 3 letters of recommendation. One letter must come from one of the student’s past math or sciences teacher, another letter from a past humanities, arts, language or social sciences teacher, and the third must come from a guidance counselor. In addition, applying students must submit SAT or ACT plus Writing scores along with scores from the Math SAT II subject test and Science SAT II subject test (in Physics, Chemistry or Biology). The middle 50% score range for these tests are as follows:

SAT Reasoning Test - Math [740, 800]
SAT Reasoning Test - Critical Reading [680, 780]
SAT Reasoning Test - Writing [690, 790]
ACT Math [34, 36]
ACT English [32, 35]
ACT Composite [32, 35]
SAT Subject Test - Math [760, 800]
SAT Subject Test - Science [740, 800]

For prospective graduate students, specific admissions requirements vary by department but many (including Biology as well as Computational and Systems Biology) require transcripts from an undergraduate institution, 3 letters of recommendation and general GRE scores (subject tests not required but can be submitted).

Enrollment (Fall 2012):
Enrolled Undergraduate Students: 4,503
Enrolled Graduate Students: 6,686
Male: 55%
Female: 45%
Accepted: 8.9%

Tuition: $42,050
Room & Board: $12,188
Books/Personal Expenses: $2,772
Total*: $57,010

*83% of MIT undergraduates receive financial aid and have an average cost of $24,410

Financial Aid
MIT only offers need based aid and gives no merit based aid. However, MIT tries to make every accepted student able to afford their studies at MIT, so 83%+ of students are given financial aid. In addition to a FAFSA, every student should also complete and send in a CSS Financial Aid Profile. Considerations for aid rely on family income, assets, and the number of other children in college. The awarded financial aid packages are a combination of grants, loans, scholarships, and student jobs. MIT provides a financial aid calculator which can help prospective students approximate the amount of aid they may receive, located on their website: .

Academics and Biotechnology Related Study
MIT has 5 schools which cover 30 programs and departments including undergraduate and graduate studies. Of particular interest to those seeking degrees in biotechnology, MIT has a Department of Biological Engineering which offers undergraduate, master, and PhD degrees. This department fuses molecular life sciences with engineering, with emphasis on advances in bioscience and applied biotechnology. This department is particularly prestigious and one third of the faculty hold membership in one of the major US academies including 6 in the National Academy of Engineering, 5 in the National Academy of Science, 7 in the Institute of Medicine, and 6 in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The department is also ranked #1 for number of citations per publication among bioengineering departments.

Completion of the undergraduate program yields a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. The program prepares students for careers in industries ranging from pharmaceutical and biotechnology to materials synthesis, microelectronics, biomedical devices, and ecology. This program centers on biological and biochemical sciences integrated with engineering practices. The first two years of study center around biological, chemical and mathematical foundations with more advanced topics covered in electives. These electives are often taught in conjunction with other departments and include:
- Biomechanics & Biophysics
- Biological Instrumentation
- Synthetic Biology & Macromolecular Design
- Computational & Systems Biology
- Human Pathophysiology
- Neurobiology
- Pharmacology & Toxicology
- Cell & Tissue Engineering
- Microbial & Ecological Systems

If a student wishes to major in a different field, such as Biology, Physics, or Mathematics yet still wishes to prepare for work in a biotechnology field, they could also complete one of the two minors offered by the Department of Biological Engineering: Minor Program in Biomedical Engineering and Minor Program in Toxicology and Environmental Health.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering also offers a Master of Engineering in Biological Engineering (a 4 year undergraduate and 1 year graduate program) and several PhD tracks. PhD students in this department can follow the Bioengineering or Applied Biosciences tracks. In addition, this department is a leader in the Computational and Systems Biology PhD, which is a collaboration between Biological Engineering, Biology, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. These PhD tracks have three major research areas with a number of sub-fields in each:

Bioengineering Research
- Molecular, Cell & Tissue Biomechanics
- Cell & Tissue Engineering
- Biomolecular Engineering
- Biomaterials
- Biological Imaging & Functional Measurement
- Biological & Physiological Transport Phenomena
- Biophysics
Applied Biosciences Research
- Genetic Toxicology
- Metabolism of Drugs & Toxins
- Microbial Pathogenesis
- Carcinogenesis
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Molecular Pharmacology & Toxicology
Bioengineering & Applied Biosciences Research
- Genomics, Proteomics and Glycomics
- Discovery & Delivery of Molecular Therapeutics
- Macromolecular Biochemistry & Biophysics
- Computational Modeling of Biological Systems
- Nanoscale Engineering of Biological Systems

Students at all levels in the Department of Biological Engineering have access to research opportunities across many laboratories and research centers including the Center for Biomedical Engineering, the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, the Center for Emergent Behavior of Integrative Cellular Systems, the Center for Gynepathology Research, the Synthetic Biology Center, and the Division of Comparative Medicine. PhD students also have access to several training programs that provide more cross disciplinary and rigorous educations than normal track programs.

Culture and Campus
MIT is located on 168 acres in Cambridge, Massachusetts (just north of Boston) which is also home to Harvard University. While dormitory housing is guaranteed for 4 years for all undergraduate students, there are 36 fraternities, sororities and independent living groups. MIT has over 380 student activity groups including an annual entrepreneurship competition, which is popular due to a very prominent entrepreneurial culture at MIT. Transportation around Cambridge can be achieved through the extensive public buses, subway, commuter rail and ferries of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Walking is also a popular mode of transportation in Cambridge, as it is ranked first in the US for percentage of people who walk to work. There is some intercity transportation to the nearby city of Boston, the largest in Massachusetts and location of the closest major airport, Logan International. In addition to the normal dining, music, theater and other cultural attractions of a major city, Boston also has a number of historical sites due to it being one of the oldest cities in the United States. Boston and Cambridge both have a large number of historical houses, some of which date to the 1700s.

Image Source: - by DrKenneth - Creative Commons-licensed content
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Admission, Courses, Financial Aid and more00