What GRE Scores Do You Need for MIT? GRE Requirements


If you’re applying to MIT, it’s important to learn everything there is to know about MIT GRE scores. What’s a good GRE score for MIT? Is there a certain GRE score required for MIT you should be aiming for?

In this article, we’ll discuss what MIT is known for, explain how competitive it is for graduate students, and go over the MIT GRE requirements for major programs. We’ll then conclude with a few tips on how to calculate your chances of admission to MIT so that you can put forward your best application possible.


What Kind of School Is MIT?

Established in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a world-renowned, private research university with a primary focus on math, science, and technology.

MIT is highly prestigious: it is considered one of the world’s best engineering schools due to its academic rigor and quality of faculty and research. Many of its graduate programs in engineering and science are currently ranked #1 by US News.

In addition to STEM fields, MIT includes departments in architecture, business, and the arts and humanities.


MIT GRE Scores: How Competitive Is MIT?

MIT is an extremely competitive school for graduate applicants.

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In 2016, MIT’s acceptance rate for all grad programs was just 13 percent. We can therefore say that it’s usually quite difficult to get accepted to grad school at MIT. (Of course, some programs will be easier or harder to get into than others.)

MIT GRE scores are also very competitive. On average, the GRE scores of admitted applicants range from about 155 to 163 for Verbal and 155 to 167 for Quant, with many programs wanting scores in at least the 160s, or the top 10-15 percent. (Note that Quant expectations are typically higher than those for Verbal.)

As for Analytical Writing (AW)—generally considered the least important of the three GRE sectionsmost admitted applicants score in the range of 4.5-5.0.

Expectations for MIT GRE scores can vary widely by program. For example, you’d likely need a higher Quant score for an engineering program than you would for an anthropology program.

Now that we’ve looked at the GRE score needed for MIT in general, let’s go over how you can figure out the MIT GRE requirements for your program in particular.




What’s a Good GRE Score for MIT?

In this section, we give you an overview of the average MIT GRE scores for some of the university’s biggest programs. In addition, we tell you what each program’s US News ranking is, whether the program requires GRE scores, and what the average (undergrad) GPA of admitted applicants was.

Before we look at the chart, let’s go over how MIT GRE requirements will be laid out. GRE scores are usually presented in one of three ways:

  • Required scores: These are the minimum GRE scores you need to qualify for admission. Score lower than these thresholds and your application will most likely be rejected.
  • Recommended scores: These are the ideal GRE scores you should aim for in order to be a competitive applicant. While you don’t absolutely need to get these scores to be admitted, reaching (or exceeding) them will give you a much better chance of admission.
  • Average scores: These are the average GRE scores of previously admitted applicants. You’ll want to aim for at least these scores (ideally, a few points higher) if your goal is to be a competitive applicant.

All MIT programs below are arranged in alphabetical order and pertain to both master’s and doctoral degrees (unless otherwise stated). Most MIT GRE scores are averages, though some programs reported minimum and recommended scores instead.

Program US News Ranking GRE Required? Avg. GRE Scores Avg. GPA
Aeronautics and Astronautics 2 Yes V: 162
Q: 167
AW: 4.5
Architecture Generally no (depends on program) Unavailable
Biology PhD 1 Yes V: 163
Q: 164
AW: 4.7
Brain and Cognitive Sciences PhD Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Chemical Engineering 1 Yes V: 161
Q: 164
AW: 4.7
Chemistry PhD 1 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Civil and Environmental Engineering 10 Yes V: 90th percentile
Q: 90th percentile
AW: 4.5
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences 2 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science PhD 1 No Unavailable
History; Anthropology; and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) PhD Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Materials Science and Engineering 1 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
MBA 4 Must take either GRE or GMAT Unavailable Unavailable
Mechanical Engineering 1 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Media Arts and Sciences No Unavailable
Microbiology PhD Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Nuclear Science and Engineering 2 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Operations Research Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Physics PhD 1 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Political Science 9 Yes Unavailable Unavailable
Real Estate Development MS Yes V: 155-160
Q: 155-160
Social and Engineering Systems PhD 5 Yes Minimum
V: 157 (150 for nonnative English speakers)
Q: 159
AW: 4.0
Technology and Policy MS Yes Recommended
V: 90th percentile
Q: 90th percentile
AW: 90th percentile
Urban Studies and Planning Yes Minimum
MCP: None
PhD: 308 (V+Q), 5.0 AW

Sources: MIT.edu and US News




What Are Your Chances of Admission to MIT?

Your chances of admission to an MIT grad program depend on several factors. Before we discuss those, though, let’s go over some estimates.

For most MIT programs, the following GRE scores and GPA should give you an excellent shot at getting accepted:

  • 165 on Quant, 162 on Verbal, and 5.0 on AW: Not all MIT programs expect the same GRE scores, but getting these should make you a fairly competitive applicant. If your program doesn’t require GRE scores, submit yours only if they’re about this high.
  • 3.8 (out of 4.0) GPA or higher: Essentially, an A or A- average is best. You’ll have an even better shot at standing out if you have a 4.0 (or higher, if your undergrad college calculated GPA on a weighted scale). Remember that the rigor and relevance of your coursework is important as well, so even if your GPA isn’t as high as these, the difficulty of your undergrad courses could work in your favor!

Getting these GRE scores and GPA should make you a very competitive applicant for MIT. However, it’s important to note that because MIT is an especially selective school, in the end even high GRE scores or a perfect GPA can’t guarantee you’ll be admitted.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most important factors that can affect your chances of admission to MIT.


#1: Is There a Minimum Required GRE Score or GPA?

One major factor to consider is whether your grad program requires all applicants to meet a particular GPA or GRE score minimum when applying.

According to the chart, most MIT programs don’t maintain minimum GRE score cutoffs. But if yours does have a strict cutoff, you must get at least this score to qualify for admission. Not reaching this threshold will (most likely) immediately disqualify your application.

If your program recommends a certain GRE score (but doesn’t require it), you should still aim for at least this score. A lower score doesn’t necessarily mean your application will be disqualified, but it will give you a worse chance of getting accepted since it won’t be as high as the program wants.

As for GPA, most MIT programs don’t have minimum required GPAs. That said, you’ll still need a high GPA for admission—as I mentioned above, an A or A- average is ideal. Unfortunately, you can’t do much to change your GPA like you can your GRE scores. If you don’t have a high undergrad GPA, here are some tips on what you can do to make up for it.


#2: How Does Your GRE Score Compare to the Average?

What’s the GRE score required for MIT admission to your grad program? The easiest way to figure this out is to find the average GRE scores of previously admitted applicants.

Typically, you’ll want to aim as high as, or even slightly higher than, your program’s average GRE scores. Doing this should give you a solid shot at admission and make you on par with other applicants.

For example, if I were applying to MIT’s PhD program in biology, my goal scores should be at least 163 on Verbal, 164 on Quant, and 4.5-5.0 on AW. Getting these scores ensures I’ll be as competitive as other applicants to my program. But if I score higher—say, 165 on Verbal and 166 on Quant—I’ll have an even better chance of admission!

Unfortunately, many MIT programs don’t offer GRE averages or any GRE information at all. If your program doesn’t offer GRE averages, follow the tips in our guide to a good GRE score to estimate what scores you’ll need for a great chance of getting accepted.




#3: How Strong Is the Rest of Your Application?

In addition to GRE scores and GPA, other application factors can influence MIT’s decision to either admit or reject you to a grad program.

Some of the most important admission factors include the following:

  • How well written and compelling your statement of purpose is
  • How cogent and complimentary your letters of recommendation are
  • How much research or extracurricular experience you have in your field
  • Whether your particular research interests match the faculty’s areas of expertise

Essentially, you’ll want to make sure that each part of your application is as strong as it can be. Don’t rely solely on great GRE scores and a high GPA to get you admitted to MIT; work diligently to put together an all-around impressive application.

Ultimately, even just one problem with your application, such as a clichéd statement of purpose or sloppy CV, can make MIT decide to reject you. So spend time making each element of your application shine!

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What’s Next?

Want more info on average GRE scores? Learn how to find average GRE scores by program and by major to see what types of scores you’ll need to stay ahead of the pack.

Applying to other highly selective grad schools? Check out our GRE score pages for Caltech (coming soon), Harvard (coming soon), and Stanford (coming soon)!

Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?

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Author: Hannah Muniz

Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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