Admissions at MIT Sloan
What MIT Sloan Is Looking For
Not just quants. Some applicants mistakenly assume that the MIT admissions committee screens the applicant pool with an eye for “quant jocks” and math whizzes. The ability to manage the academic rigors of Sloan is one important factor, but the admissions committee is interested in learning much more about potential students than simply test scores and undergraduate grades. Senior Director of Admissions Rod Garcia and the other members of the admissions committee are looking for principled and motivated individuals who will contribute to a dynamic, engaged, and vibrant community.
Admissions criteria. To identify these people, the committee looks for demonstrated success in past performance (work experience, GMAT or GRE score, and undergraduate grades) and then digs deeper. Specifically, they seek candidates who demonstrate:
- A natural sense of leadership, ambition, and an ability to inspire others,
- A collaborative spirit, focus on community, and enhancement of others,
- Intellectual curiosity, analytical strength, and academic achievement,
- Creativity to generate new solutions to existing challenges,
- Interpersonal and communication skills,
- Growth in both professional and personal endeavors, and
- Pursuit of meaningful goals.
Evaluation process. More than any other MBA program, MIT Sloan believes that past performance is the best indicator of future success. You’ll find that MIT Sloan asks almost nothing about your future goals throughout the application process. Other schools may ask questions about your short- and long-term goals, why you want an MBA, or other questions to determine whether you have a clear plan for how to get the most out of your MBA experience. Instead, MIT Sloan wants to see examples—ideally, recent examples—of how you’ve succeeded in the past.
Work experience. While Sloan does accept applications from those fresh out of school, and work experience is not technically required for an application, professional experience is seen as vitally important to the MIT Sloan MBA experience. Its average for each new incoming class is usually around five years of full-time, post-undergraduate experience. We estimate that about 80% of admitted students have between three and seven years of experience, although the student body includes admits with zero to 13 years. Those without work experience need to show incredible initiative during college such as starting their own business, running major campus operations, or otherwise providing evidence that they bring personal and professional maturity beyond their years.
College seniors. MIT Sloan does not have an official application program for college seniors such as Harvard’s 2+2 program, but it does encourage college seniors to apply for deferrals. This means that if you’re a college senior, you could apply by the standard Round 1 or Round 2 deadline, note in your optional essay that you would seek a deferral to gain work experience, and then attend Sloan in a future class. Most MBA candidates believe Harvard and Stanford are the only options to receive deferred admission, but MIT Sloan is an excellent option.
Student involvement. Unlike many of its peer schools, Sloan handles its admissions process entirely within the Sloan admissions committee. Students and alumni are very actively involved with admissions initiatives and activities with prospective students but do not participate in the evaluation of applicants for admissions purposes. Some off-campus interviews are conducted by outside professionals. These interviews tend to be extremely formal, with little rapport building or insight into the school. If you have the misfortune of experiencing one of these interviews, don’t get a bad impression! These “hired hands” do not exemplify the warm and friendly culture on campus.