Choosing a great college for undergrad studies can make a big difference when it comes to being a pre-med. But because there’s so much choice, and a lot of factors hanging in the balance, it’s difficult to know what schools are best.
MIT has an excellent college reputation, but does it stack up for pre-med? Here’s what we know about MIT’s pre-med offering (and if it’s right for you)…
Quick Answer: Is MIT Good For Pre-Med In 2022?
MIT is a super prestigious and top-rank school with great resources and opportunities for pre-med. It’s an excellent choice for students that want to excel in science and engineering and live among brilliant peers and professors. Still, its classes are challenging, especially in the sciences, and it doesn’t seem easy to maintain a high GPA.
Attending MIT is also by no means a guarantee of admission to any med school, but its prestige and resources might help put you on the right path. Of course, you’ll still have to have an excellent GPA and MCAT scores, and there’s where MIT (due to its competitive student body) could make things tricky.
Does MIT Offer Pre-Med?
Like most schools, MIT doesn’t offer a pre-med or a pre-health major. It means students may pursue whatever major they want and take classes in any department.
But to apply to any health-related professional school (such as medical, dental, etc.) is necessary to fulfill a few requirements. MIT students interested in a medical career are encouraged to make a registration meeting with their Prehealth Advising (led by Aleshia Carlsen-Bryan) in the spring of their sophomore year.
They will help you explore different paths and programs and prepare for and apply to top med schools. They try to demystify the application process by sharing experience and expertise in researching all the programs, understanding the prerequisites and requirements, writing critical essays, and preparing for interviews.
MIT Pre-Med Requirements
Each med school has its courses and competencies to gain admission. Prehealth Advising recommends you take all the required courses at MIT, but it is fine if you can’t since you can take classes at another university or post-baccalaureate and special master’s programs.
In general, med schools require their applicants to complete the following courses:
- General Biology w/ Lab (2 semesters)
- General Chemistry w/ Lab (2 semesters)
- Organic Chemistry I (1 semester)
- Biochemistry (1 semester)
- Math (2 semesters, statistics recommended)
- Physics (2 semesters)
- English/Writing & Humanities (2 semesters)
- General Biology with lab (2 semesters):
1) Introductory Biology (7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016)
and one of the following:
2) Fundamentals of Experimental Molecular Biology (7.002) or Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering (20.109) or Experimental Molecular Neurobiology (9.12) or Biological Circuit Engineering Laboratory (20.129[J])
- General and Organic Chemistry (3 semesters):
1) Principles of Chemical Science (5.111 or 5.112) or Intro to Solid State Chemistry (3.091), and
2) Organic Chemistry I (5.12).
- Biochemistry (1 semester):
1) General Biochemistry (7.05) or Biological Chemistry (5.07/20.507)
- Physics (2 semesters):
1) Physics I (8.01) and
2) Physics II (8.02) or equivalent
- Math (2 semesters):
1) Calculus (18.01) and
2) Calculus II (18.02) or equivalent
- English/Writing and Humanities (2 semesters):
1) Courses in writing and humanities that satisfy the CI-H requirement.
An advantage of being pre-med at MIT is that 9 of the 12 required courses for med school are also General Institute Requirements (GIR), which makes the path to your major shorter. Ironically, we can say that at MIT, almost everyone is pre-med by default because of the GIR. Besides this requirement, the lecture and lab portion of classes are separate at MIT, giving students more time to cover the same material.
What’s Good About MIT Pre-Med
- There are a ridiculous number of opportunities (UROPs, MISTI, Camp Kesem, the proximity of hospitals, etc.)
- Every med school advisor helps their advisees through the process, complementing the series of presentations/talks that the pre-health office organizes to guide and resource current applicants.
- MIT has a pre-health office that has streamlined the medical school process and made everything easy to follow and understand.
- Pre-med students at MIT offer a unique perspective on medicine: that of a joint scientist-engineer-philanthropist.
- It’s super prestigious and some of MIT’s pre-meds were explicitly told at their med school interview that being an applicant from MIT immediately set them apart from other applicants.
- MIT students excel in science and engineering and live among brilliant peers and professors, all in an environment that is unrivaled.
- The atmosphere at MIT is one of collaboration, not cut-throat competition.
- the research at MIT is not only ground-breaking but also plentiful and easily accessible to undergraduates.
- The nice thing about the rigor of the classes at MIT is that the subject matter and questions on the MCAT are relatively simple by comparison.
- The best part about being a pre-med at MIT is the support you get from staff, the prehealth office, and my classmates. The pre-med culture at MIT is decidedly uncompetitive.
- MIT is exceptional because it allows you to be unconventional and still succeed.
MIT is in Cambridge, just a few minutes walking from Boston, and its outstanding infrastructure and opportunities. You can find exceptional volunteering opportunities at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, among many others.
And to help you connect with professionals, MIT Prehealth Advising runs a half-day or full-day physician shadowing program at local hospitals.
Another great source of information and opportunities at MIT is clubs and organizations, and the MIT Pre-Medical Society is an excellent place to start.
MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) ensures that everyone who wants to conduct high-level research can do so. As a result, it’s usual for undergraduates to be published as the first authors on scientific papers and present their research at conferences.
Participating in independent research shows responsibility and creativity valuable to any employer or graduate school.
Service is a large part of healthcare, and medical schools want to know that you genuinely care about serving people. And MIT’s Summers/IAPs are great for doing service!
During the school year, you can also find great opportunities for volunteering at local organizations and in student clubs, like:
- Global Poverty Initiative
- Leadership Training Institute
- Community Work-Study
- Amphibious Achievement
- Alternative Spring Break
What’s Bad About MIT Pre-Med
Here are the more concerning opposing sides of being pre-med at MIT:
- Classes have the reputation of being incredibly difficult, especially in the sciences.
- It doesn’t seem very easy to maintain a high GPA at MIT.
- There are a few complaints about grade deflation.
- It’s an understatement to say that As are not as easy to come by as they might be elsewhere.
- Many pre-meds can’t manage to get into med school.
Are You At An Advantage Getting Into Harvard Medicine?
MIT doesn’t have a medical school, but it runs a popular joint MD-PhD program with Harvard Medical School (HMS) and offers a Harvard-MIT program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST). After in-depth research, we couldn’t find any evidence of advantages for MIT students to get into Harvard medicine, however.
MIT’s Pre-Med Acceptance Rate
For 2021, the BCPM GPA for accepted MIT applicants was 4.71/5.0, and the Cumulative GPA was 4.74/5.0. The range of accepted GPAs was ~3.9 – 5.0. The acceptance rate for MIT’s 2021 cohort was 74% for MD applicants and 90% for MD-PhD applicants.
What MIT Majors Are Best For Pre-Meds?
The most common pre-med majors at MIT are:
- Brain and Cognitive Sciences
- Biological Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Science and Molecular Biology
We believe these majors are the most popular because they are more directly related to medicine, and some pre-med requirements can be satisfied by the major’s requirements.
Is MIT Good For Biology?
MIT ranks at #2 in College Factual’s most recent rankings. It is in the top 1% of the country for biology, and it is also ranked #1 in Massachusetts.
Is MIT Good For Pre-Med? Internet’s Opinion
The rest of the web is a great place to go to find unbiased information about a college, and it’s no different with MIT. Here are a few comments on Quora that seem helpful…
I would claim that it is unnecessarily difficult to get into medical school coming from MIT. Because the grades are much more challenging to get than at state schools (schools like Berkeley and UCLA are exceptions), and very little credence is given to students from elite schools.
All that being said, once you get into Medical School, your MIT is actually more impressive than your medical school diploma, even if you come from Harvard or Johns Hopkins medical school.
I’m on faculty at a medical school. Everyone I work with is a doctor. None of them are impressed by my medical degree. All of them are impressed that I went to MIT.– Mitul Mehta, SB Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003)
I went to UCSF med school. At my interview, I was explicitly told that being an applicant from MIT immediately set me apart from other applicants. UCSF, for price, quality/value, location was my top choice med school, and I got in. I had a (very hard earned) 4.7/5.0 at MIT, so far from perfect but something I was very proud of.– Sheri Marquez, studied Bachelor of Science in Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Conclusion: Is MIT Good For Pre-Med?
MIT has an excellent reputation for pre-med. You;ll undoubtedly be well prepared on the track for med school, but classes here might make it tough to get a stellar GPA. Definitely, something to consider!
For more info on what pre-med life could be like for you here, check out this video from a pre-med student who became a published researcher…
Writer | Lawyer | PhD Student at @DerechoUCA and @UFPel
I spend most of my time washing dishes, changing diapers, playing doll/ball/house/doctor/cooking with my daughter, and making my son sleep. I write and read about education, philosophy, law, religion, finance, and real estate when there is some time left. And I usually don’t sleep!