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Thread: Want to waste two minutes of your life? (another application question)

  1. #1
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    Want to waste two minutes of your life? (another application question)

    I know Cyburbia gets hit with tons of these "what are my chances of getting into school A?", "where should I go to school?". But wanted to fish for some quick feedback....

    I am looking into applying to mit (environmental route), and perhaps another school or two, if I can find a program that really resonates with me (not based on reputation!). My stats are not mit worthy, but from those of you that might be familiar with the process, curious if it is worth me even applying as a longshot, and if so, anything that could be done in the next 3-4 months to make my application more competitive?

    (I know the process also depends on things like letters of rec, and personal statement)
    Thanks for your time...

    gpa: 3.38 (cum laude, environmental science)
    gre: 1330, 4.5

    experience:
    roughly 2 years involved with an urban design laboratory (one project was showcased in the 2010 venice biennale of arch.)
    1 year working with small start up designing greywater and rainwater systems in large properties
    (current) working on economical and sustainable development (americorps position)
    also a variety of other non-profit environmental related volunteer work

  2. #2
    There are some things you can do, depending on how far along you are in the application process. I don't know off-hand the average scores for accepted students, but your GRE score is probably close. Your GPA might be a little low, but I think they will take into account your science background when evaluating your application. I know that MIT values experience, whether it be professional or volunteer, and I think that your experience is going to definitely stand out and help you a lot. Last year MIT accepted 92 students into its MCP program out of 460 applicants. Its very competitive, but not impossible.

    Have you started writing a personal statement? This is going to be key in balancing out your application. A well-crafted SOP, explaining why you are interested in planning and how a degree from MIT is going to help you achieve your goals, is crucial. Start now if you haven't already, and be sure to edit and re-edit, and have others read over it as much as possible. Also, focus on getting good letters of recommendation, both academic and professional, from people who know you and your work well. Don't wait until the last minute, sometimes it can take awhile. If you have the time/money, visit campus and talk with professors and current students. I'm sure the DUSP has a fall open house planned. If you can't make it, take the time to email a couple professors whose work is of interest. But do it because you are actually interested, not because you think it will help your chances.

    Where else are you looking to apply?

  3. #3
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    rdt425,

    Thank you for the reply, I appreciate your thorough response.
    I am currently in the process of editing and re-editing my SOP. Luckily, I started it over the summer, and have realized (as you also say) that they can take a long time. I just signed up for the open house, and intend on getting out there to chat with students & professors and have an opportunity to get a feel for the school, that the website can't provide....

    In terms of other schools, I have been looking and exploring aggressively for the last year or so. I have found a couple I will probably apply to as well, but for the amount of time and money, feel better about spending those resources on a program that I am really passionate about (even if my chances of getting in are a longshot). I still have some more investigating to do though....

    Thanks again for the great advice.

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