Women's Technology Program


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

       







Frequently Asked Questions


Application & Admissions

Courses

Summer Details: If I'm admitted...

 

   

Answers
     

I am not in the 11th grade. Can students in other grades apply to WTP?

You must be in the 11th grade when you apply to WTP. We do not make any exceptions for students in earlier grades, even if they have taken advanced math and science classes. You cannot apply if you are already in the 12th grade or have graduated high school. The WTP experience is designed for girls who have completed 11th grade immediately before attending WTP, and who will be in 12th grade and presumably applying to college in the fall after attending WTP.



What is the cost of the program?

Our goal is for all admitted students to be able to attend WTP regardless of their family financial situation. Admissions decisions are made independent of fee waiver requests; we do not look at these requests until after admissions decisions have been made. There is no fee to apply to WTP.

If you are admitted, the standard fee to attend is $3,500, which covers all classes, room and board. Students are also responsible for their own transportation to and from WTP.

If you want to be considered for a fee waiver or discount, be sure to answer "Yes" to the question in the Student Application Part 1 and provide us with information about your family's income. This will only be looked at after we make admissions decisions, so that we can offer you assistance when we send you your admissions notice.

You may also want to investigate whether your local school system or organizations in your town provide grants for summer math or science activities.



How do I apply?

Go to the Application page and follow the directions there.



I don't know whether I'm more interested in EECS or ME. Can I attend both tracks?

WTP applicants will be accepted to attend only ONE of the two curriculum tracks. We do not expect applicants to know enough yet about engineering disciplines to have a preference for EECS or ME , so the admissions committee will choose the track we feel suits you best, or where you have the least prior experience. However, if you do have a preference, you may indicate it in the Curriculum Track Preference question in Part 1 of the WTP application.

The WTP-EECS computer science class is introductory. Students who have a background in computer programming (from classes or other summer programs) will not be considered for the EECS curriculum track, since the CS class is designed for students with no prior experience. (Students with CS experience can apply to attend the ME curriculum track.)



What if I'm not from the United States? Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident to apply to WTP?

All WTP applicants must either be:

1) currently attending a high school in the U.S. (you do not need to be a U.S. citizen if you live and go to school in the U.S.) -- or

2) a U.S. citizen who is currently going to a high school outside the U.S. (you must be a U.S. citizen if you attend a school outside the U.S.).



What are the selection criteria?

Check our Application web page for more information about who should apply and for our selection critera. Students should be able to handle learning a large amount of college-level math and science at a rapid pace, and be ready to work hard once they arrive at WTP, but should not have already completed prior coursework or summer programs in the WTP curriculum. Physics and calculus are not prerequisites for admission, but students should be taking the most advanced math and science classes available in their grade level at their high school.

WTP is not connected in any way to MIT undergraduate admissions; it is not a stepping stone to getting into MIT. WTP is an outreach summer program taught by graduate students in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. Our goal is to encourage high school junior girls who are talented in math and science to study engineering and computer science at whatever college they ultimately attend.



I'm also applying to the MITES program and/or RSI. Does WTP automatically get that information and count me as a WTP applicant?

No-- applying to other summer programs at MIT does not mean that WTP will learn about you. If you apply to WTP and want to apply to RSI and MITES, you must also complete their applications--your WTP application information is not sent to them. MITES occasionally does send us information about their applicants who agree to have their MITES application shared, but that is not automatic. You must fill out and submit the WTP Application to be sure you are considered for admission to the Women's Technology Program.

 



Does WTP exclude students who have already taken an engineering or computer course in high school or at other summer programs?


There is not a simple answer to this question. It depends on the nature and depth of the student's engineering or computer background. We don't outright "exclude" anyone, but will review the student's application materials in the context of the other applications we receive and our curriculum. Since there is no application fee for WTP, we encourage you to apply and see what happens.

However, if a student has taken an engineering course (or attended another summer engineering program) that covered much of our WTP curriculum, then she would not be a good candidate for WTP.

The WTP-EECS computer science class is introductory. Students who already have a background in computer programming (from classes or other summer programs) will not be considered for the EECS curriculum track, since the CS class is designed for students with no prior experience. (Students with CS experience can apply for the ME curriculum track.)

We do not want students to be bored by attending classes at WTP that simply repeat material they have already seen, and the seat would better serve someone for whom the curriculum would be new. Please review the information on our website about the EECS curriculum and the ME curriculum to determine whether you have already covered our course material.



I'd prefer the EECS track, but I already have some background in Computer Science. Can I still apply?

We do not consider students with prior computer programming experience for the WTP-EECS curriculum track. Even though the WTP CS class pace is fast, it is designed for students with no prior CS background; you would only be reviewing material you have already seen.

If you have taken AP Computer Science (or will be taking it in the spring semester before WTP) or have learned Java or Python or Visual Basic in high school classes or in prior summer programs or online, you will already have covered more than the WTP Computer Science class, and we will not consider you for the WTP-EECS curriculum track.

If you have had minimal prior CS experience, please give us as much detail as possible in your WTP application so we can determine whether or not the WTP CS class would offer you new opportunities or would just be a review.

Applicants with prior CS backgrounds should select "Only ME" on the Curriculum Track Selection question in Part 1 of the WTP application, to be considered for the Mechanical Engineering (ME) curriculum track.



How many students will be admitted?

We expect to admit 60 students--40 for the WTP-EECS track and 20 for the WTP-ME track. We also select a waiting list of about 25 students, in case any of the original 60 cannot accept admission. We do not add any denied students to the waiting list after admissions decisions are sent. Each summer we receive close to 400 complete applications.



How difficult is it to get into the program?

Admissions is very competitive, because we have space to admit only 60 students. We receive close to 400 applications each year from highly qualified candidates. Successful applicants have strong academic records in science and math, high Math scores onthe PSAT, SAT, or ACT (or in AP or SAT math and science subject tests), excellent teacher evaluations, work well in teams, and have demonstrated maturity, initiative, and a love of learning. We also choose students whose interests are a good fit for the WTP curriculum: they have not already covered our curriculum in their high school classes or other summer programs. The purpose of WTP is to reach bright girls who are not yet committed to pursuing engineering and computer science, but who want to spend the summer learning about these fields.



Can I include a copy of my resume with my application?

No. We do not want resumes or long lists of awards or extracurricular activities. Please ONLY provide the information asked for in the application.



How do I send you my transcript and test scores?

DO NOT request that the College Board send official test scores to MIT for the WTP application. Those scores will go to MIT Admissions; we will not receive them at WTP.

For details about how to submit transcripts and scores visit the WTP Application page.



What if I haven't taken the standardized tests listed on the application? What if I've taken a test but don't have my scores yet?

We understand that some 11th grade students have not yet taken any standardized tests--and we certainly do not expect you to have taken all of them! Although scores are a useful element in our application selection process, we will still consider your application carefully if you do not have any standardized test scores. However, given the number of applicants, standardized math and science test scores give us important information to help us evaluate students from different school systems around the country.

Admitted students in past years had 90 percentile or higher Math scores on one or more of the following tests : PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II, or AP. The PSAT math scores of accepted students accepted range from 60-80 with median of 72.

For more details about how to submit your scores visit the WTP Application page.

 



Should my 11th or 10th grade math and science teachers write my evaluations? Can my computer science teacher write a recommendation?

It is best to choose a Math and Science Teacher who know you well. They do not have to be 11th grade teachers. In some cases, your 10th grade teachers, or teachers who coach your math or science team, may know you better.

Please DO NOT ask your teachers for a generic recommendation letter -- WTP has its own Teacher Evaluation Form with specific questions.

We will include only the two Teacher Evaluations (1 math, 1 science) in your WTP application. Do not send recommendations from Guidance Counselors, Principals, or any additional Teachers.

Please DO NOT ask a computer science teacher to send one of your WTP Teacher Evaluations. We find information from a science teacher who teaches classes in physics, biology, or chemistry (or is a science team coach) or from a math teacher who teaches algebra, pre-calculus, geometry, calculus, or statistics (or is a math team coach) much more useful for admissions decisions.

More details about how to submit Teacher Evaluations visit the WTP Application page.



Can I send in extra letters of recommendation that I feel will make my application stronger?

No. If we receive letters of support or emails from your Guidance Counselor, Principal, MIT Alumni, or others recommending you for WTP admission, these materials will not be included in your application file. We only want the two Teacher Evaluations (one Math, one Science) for your WTP application.

I asked my Teachers and Guidance Counselor to send their materials, but I have not yet submitted Part 1 or Part 2 of the WTP Application. Will it cause problems if WTP receives the Teacher Evaluations or my transcript and test scores before you receive Parts 1 and 2?

It is not a problem if other parts of your application arrive before we receive Part 1 and Part 2. We will create a file with your name when the first item comes in (Part 1 or a Teacher Evaluation or Transcript and Scores) and add the other parts as they arrive.

I submitted Part 1 of the WTP Application, but I did not receive the promised email confirmation. What should I do?

First, check your spam file to see if our message was filtered out as spam. Also set your spam filter to allow all messages from @mit.edu so our future emails to you do not end up in your spam file. If you still cannot find our message, contact the WTP office by email. We will look at the application database and get back to you as soon as possible to confirm receiving Part 1. Note that inquiries sent to us between December 29 and January 5 may not be answered immediately, due to the volume of applicants.

What advice can you give me about writing the long answers to the four Questions in the application?

We ask you to write long answers (275-300 words) to four questions to help us better understand your interests and personality. It is important that you not exceed 300 words, and that your essay be at least 275 words. These answers should be personal responses, not abstract, impersonal essay writing you might do for a class assignment. Please write about different activities for each question, so we gain broader insights into your interests. Do not fill the page with lists of your extracurricular activities or your resume. This is your opportunity to help us get to know you in ways not represented by your test scores and grades, to "put a face" on your application.

I submitted Part 2 of the WTP Application, but I did not get a confirmation email. What should I do?

You will NOT receive an automatic reply generated by a robot, as you did when you submitted Part 1. Please DO NOT send us Part 2 multiple times.

When you submit Part 2, a human being must first review your document to make sure it is complete; then that individual will send you a personal email confirming that we have received all pages of Part 2 of your application (or tell you what is missing).

Please be patient. We receive hundreds of Part 2 applications around the deadline date, and it could take us a week or more to respond confirming your submission. Do not worry: we will know from the date on your email that you submited Part 2 by the deadline.

How and when will I know that my entire WTP application is complete: you have received my two Teacher Evaluations and my transcripts and test score verifications in addition to Parts 1 and 2?

We will send you an email confirmation message when your application is complete -- when we have all of the elements, including 2 Teacher Evaluation forms and your test score verifications and transcripts (for all high school grade years, including your grade 11 fall semester transcript) from your Guidance Counselor.

However, our confirmation message is NOT an automated process - it involves human beings - it may take us several days after all parts of your application are submitted to WTP before we can confirm receipt and send you an email message.

We appreciate your patience. We will send you an email message by mid-February if we are still missing any parts of your application from your Teachers or Counselor (we do not penalize applicants if these materials are late).

If you have not received an email from WTP by mid-February, please contact our office by email and we will tell you which elements we are still missing from your Teachers or Guidance Counselor.

When and how will I find out if I am admitted?

Admissions decisions will sent by email in mid April (exact date will be posted in March). If the email address you provided in your WTP application Part 1 changes, please send us the update so you can continue to receive our messages. Set your spam filter to allow messages from @mit.edu so our communications with you do not end up in your spam file. If you do not see our message in your inbox or spam file , contact WTP by email for your status.



Is it possible to receive high school credit for these courses?

No. WTP is not a certified academic program. It is taught by MIT students, not MIT professors, and the classes are not regular MIT classes.

 

 

Who will teach the classes?

The WTP class Instructors are all female MIT engineering graduate students or post-docs. These Instructors are assisted by MIT undergraduate students who also live in the dorm as Residential Tutors. Each spring we post information about the upcoming summer WTP staff's academic and personal interests on the WTP-EECS and WTP-ME staff pages. There is a new staff of Instructors and Residential Tutors every summer.

 

 

What is the size of the classes?

Classes will have 20 students (the WTP-EECS track of 40 students is divided into two class groups, and the WTP-ME track has one class of 20 students). Daily and final class projects are done in teams of 2 to 4 students.



How can I get to MIT from the airport?

More details about these logistics will be provided in the information packets sent to admitted students--check it carefully before making your travel arrangements! WTP will provide transportation (a chartered bus during specific hours) from Boston's Logan Airport to the MIT campus on the Saturday when students arrive.  WTP staff will meet you at the luggage claim area and escort you to the bus and to MIT. Students traveling to Boston by bus or train should arrive at South Station, and WTP staff will meet you at the Information desk and escort you to our chartered bus to MIT. There will also be a chartered bus that will take students (without WTP staff) to their return flights, buses, and trains in July on the last day of WTP.



What should I pack?

When you are admitted to WTP, you will receive an Information Booklet by email as a .pdf attachment with many details about attending the program, including a packing list and answers to residential and curriculum questions. It is very important that you and your parents read these materials carefully and contact us with any questions before you decide to attend WTP.

 

 

Will I be able to practice for my sports teams and work out at MIT athletics facilities?

Unfortunately, WTP students DO NOT have access to MIT athletic facilities; you will not be able to use gyms, fitness centers, pools, tennis courts, dance studios, soccer fields, or rowing sculls. This is MIT's policy for anyone under age 18 who is not enrolled as an MIT student, and WTP is unable to request exceptions. WTP students do find other ways to get exercise: they often go running in groups around campus in the early morning, or play pickup games of frisbee or soccer on the lawns around the dorm. It is important that you understand that if you need to swim every day or lift weights in the fitness center you will not be able to do this during the 4 weeks at WTP, and factor this into your decision whether or not to apply to the program. If you have questions about this please contact us BEFORE you accept WTP admission.

 

Will I have any free time during WTP?

WTP has a very full schedule of activities. Students must attend all WTP classes, labs, guest speaker lunches, and field trips Monday through Friday between 9am to 5pm. But your WTP work is not done when classes end -- there are also many required weekday evening activities, including extra lab time, homework, and team projects that require work outside of class. Most weeknights students are still working on homework until after midnight! On weekends there is some time for relaxing and social activities, but there are also some mandatory WTP field trips and special events (and homework).

Full attention must be given to WTP during the 4 weeks of the program. You cannot participate in any non-WTP programs or activities such as online study courses, summer reading or other work for fall classes, or exam preparation-- you must focus on your work for WTP.

 



Can I visit home?  Can my parents visit?

We ask that friends and family limit socializing with you during the 4 weeks you are here. We try to pack those 4 weeks with as many opportunities to learn as possible, so we expect you to be 100% focused on WTP. If you have friends or relatives in the area, we suggest you visit with them either before or after the 4-week WTP session, when you have more time. MIT Housing policy does not allow students under age 18 to have visitors in the dorm at any time.

WTP is a full-time residential and academic experience, and WTP students must attend for the full four weeks. Students who live locally do not go home during the 4 week program. You are required to sleep in the dorm every night during the 4 weeks, even on weekends. For safety reasons, WTP students must be accompanied by another WTP student or by WTP staff whenever they leave the MIT campus. You will receive more information about this if you are admitted to the program.

On the very rare occasion that a student wants to leave campus with family or friends from outside of WTP, permission from parents must be arranged by phoning the WTP office at least 48 hours in advance. More details about this will be in the information you receive if you are accepted.

Please do not make any plans to meet with family or friends from outside of WTP on the first weekend you arrive at the program. On the first Saturday night you arrive there is a mandatory dinner for all WTP students. We ask family members who bring you to campus to depart before the dinner --it is part of WTP orientation, and just for students and staff. The first Sunday there are also mandatory orientation activities and introductions to WTP curriculum materials all day and evening.

 


I have special diet requirements- can you accomodate?

If you are admitted to the program, we will ask you for additional personal information about your medical conditions, allergies, and any other special needs you have.  If you let us know about your dietary requirements ahead of time, we will do our best to help you find solutions. However, It is up to the student to take primary responsibility for her own food choices and select from what is available on the MIT campus (there is no kosher meal provider on campus during the summer). We also have many group guest speaker events where we order from caterers for all 60 students, and it is not always possible to customize this order for each student's special dietary needs. The student may need to plan ahead and bring her own separate lunch to such events.

Some Housing and Dining and details are on the Residential page. If you have special dietary requirements it is very important to contact us BEFORE you accept WTP admission so you understand what food choices will be available to you on campus in the summer. Dormitory dining facilities are closed in the summer, and hours for other MIT dining options (primarily in food courts around campus) are more limited than during the academic year.