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?

There is no fee to apply to WTP.

If you are admitted, the standard fee to attend in summer 2017 is $3,500, which covers all classes, room and board. However, we DO grant fee waivers and discounts based on family income.

If you want to be considered for a fee waiver or discount, be sure to answer "Yes" to the question in the Fee Waiver Request Form of the WTP online application, and provide us with information about your family's income range.

Families with annual incomes less than $90,000 receive a FULL FEE WAIVER - YOU ATTEND WTP FOR FREE.

Families earning between $90,000 to $130,000 pay a $1,750 FEE.

Families earning more than $130,000 per year pay a $3,500 FEE. This "full fee" is actually less than half the real cost per student, thanks to the generous support of WTP sponsors.

If you have special circumstances that would make it difficult for you to pay the fee listed above for your income level, please apply for financial assistance in the Fee Waiver Request form of the online application and describe your special circumstances. We will work with families with special circumstances whose income is greater than these guidelines to ensure that you can attend WTP no matter what your financial situation.

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from WTP, but students with full fee waivers may request assistance with travel costs if needed.

Our goal is that all admitted students be able to attend WTP regardless of their family financial situation.

If you do not qualify for a WTP fee waiver or discount, you may also want to investigate whether your local school system or organizations (such as Mu Alpha Theta) can provide you with grants for summer math or science activities.

We do not look at financial assistance requests until after we have made WTP Admissions decisions (application reviewers do not have access to this information). If you are admitted in April, we will request a copy of your parent's 1040 Federal Tax Return to confirm that you qualify for a waiver or discount.

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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 Selection question the WTP application.

The WTP-EECS computer science class is introductory. Students who have a background in computer programming (from classes, online, or other summer programs or internships) will not be considered for the EECS curriculum track, since the CS class is designed for students with no prior experience. To assess your CS background see below. 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 or Permanent Resident if you attend a school in the U.S.)

—OR—

2) a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident attending high school outside the U.S. 

Students attending high school outside the U.S. who are not U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents are NOT eligible to apply to WTP.



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. 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.

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 probably not be a good candidate for WTP.

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.

The WTP-EECS computer science class is introductory. Students who already have some background in computer programming (from classes, self-study, internships 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. To assess your CS background see below.

Students with CS experience who are interested in Mechanical Engineering are encouraged to apply for the ME curriculum track.

 



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

We do not admit students with prior computer programming experience before WTP to the WTP-EECS curriculum track. Even though the WTP CS class pace is fast, it is designed for students who begin WTP with almost no prior CS background. Here is how you can determine if you have too much experience:

You have too much CS experience for the WTP-EECS track if before coming to WTP in June you will have learned any one of these: Java, C++, C sharp, Python or Visual Basic -- in high school classes, in online courses, in prior academic summer programs, or in internships or jobs. If you have done any one of these you will have already covered more than the WTP Computer Science class curriculum, so we will only consider you for the WTP-ME track and not for the WTP-EECS curriculum track. You should indicate "Only ME" as your curriculum track preference.

You probably DO NOT have too much CS experience if you have done a one-day or one-week CS hackathon or program, or if most of your coding experience is in HTML or JavaScript creating webpages, Robot Vex or other simple robot programming, or solving problems with Matlab. In all these cases you can apply to the WTP-EECS track since you probably have NOT covered the WTP CS class curriculum.

If your only CS experience is in using programs (such as Excel) rather than writing computer programs, then you certainly do not have too much CS experience.

Please give us as much detail as possible in your WTP application when we ask about your CS background, so we can determine whether or not the WTP CS class would offer you new opportunities or would just be a review. Remember to also include any classes or experience you expect to have between January (after submitting your WTP application) and June (when you arrive at WTP), if you are taking a spring semester CS course, for example.

Applicants who have too much CS experience for WTP-EECS should select "Only ME" (Mechanical Engineering) on the Curriculum Track Preference question of the WTP application.



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 over 500 completed 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 over 500 applications each year from highly qualified candidates.

We 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.

Successful applicants have strong academic records in science and math, high Math scores on the 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. PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II or AP math test scores of accepted students in past years have typically been in the 80%-99% percentile range.

 



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 high school transcript ?

You will upload your own transcripts (Grades 9-10, and fall Grade 11) to the WTP application. This can be an UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT or Report Card. It must contain your full name, your school name, and the school address. The size limit is 10MB. You may need to get assistance from your school registrar or guidance counselor to obtain these documents and create a .pdf file, but do not ask your Counselor to send WTP your transcripts - you must directly upload them yourself to your application. The documents must be in English.

If you do not yet have your course grades for fall Grade 11 when you submit your application, upload a note instead telling us this (in place of the Grade 11 transcript attachment). When your fall Grade 11 report does become available email it to wtp-app@mit.edu and we will add it to your submitted application.

Your application will NOT BE COMPLETE until we have your fall Grade 11 course grades.

 

 

How do I send you my test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT, or AP)? How do I include new scores I receive after submitting my WTP application?

First, fill out the "Test Scores Form" in the WTP application, listing your PSAT, SAT, ACT, and any math or science AP or SAT 2 subject tests. Please read and follow the directions carefully.

We can only consider test scores that you also confirm with score reports in the Attachments section of the WTP application under " Score Reports - Test Score Confirming Documents." To create this .pdf document, first scan your paper score reports or capture online screen shots of your test scores. NOTE: your FULL NAME MUST BE VISIBLE on the page/report with your scores. Combine all of your score reports into one .pdf document and upload it . Size limit: 10MB.

There are free online sites where you can merge .pdf files into one document and also convert other file formats (.png, .tif, .jpg) to .pdf documents. If you are unable to merge all of your scores into one document we have provided two additional score report attachment sites in the application.

Here are some examples of score reports for PSAT, SAT, ACT (we are not able to show you examples of online score report screen shots).

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 be able to access them at WTP.

If you receive additional test scores after you submit your WTP application, email your score reports to wtp-app@mit.edu and we will add them to your application until March 1st (but not later).

 



What do I do if my References do not receive an email from SlideRooom with the link to my application? What if they need to make changes to the form after sumitting it?

If your References do not receive the email with the link to your application and the Teacher Evaluation Form, have them check their spam file. You should also make sure the email you listed for them in your application is correct (no typos).

If they are still not receiving the email, contact SlideRoom directly for technical support.

If your References need to make any changes after submitting the Form, have them send an email to wtp-app@mit.edu and we can unsubmit the form, allowing them to change or add new information and then resubmit the Form.

 



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, standardized tests are not a requirement for acceptance to WTP and 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.

If you have taken a test but do not yet have the scores when submitting your WTP application, enter the date you took the test and put "Pending" in the score column of the "Test Scores Form" in the WTP application . When you receive the score report, email it to wtp-app@mit.edu and we will add them to your application until March 1st (but not later).

 

 



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, robotics, or science team, may know you better. We will include only the two Teacher Evaluations (1 Math, 1 Science) in your WTP application. Directions for how to designate your Teachers as References are inside the online WTP Application.

Please DO NOT ask your teachers for a generic recommendation letter -- WTP has its own Teacher Evaluation Form with specific questions. Your Teachers will receive a link to complete this form online when you designate them as your References.

Please DO NOT ask a Computer Science teacher to be one of your References. We find information from a science teacher who teaches classes in physics, biology, or chemistry (or is a science or robotics 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.



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.

What advice can you give me about writing the four essay questions in the application?

We ask you to write long answers to four questions to help us better understand your interests and personality.

Each essay answer should be at least 275 words and less than 2000 characters (approximately 334 words). There is a count below each text box, and you will not be allowed to enter additional text beyond 2000 characters.

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 text block with lists of your extracurricular activities or your resume.

The essays are 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.

How will I know that my entire application is complete?

When you submit your online application you will receive an automatic confirmation email acknowledging that we have received your part of the application.

However, your application may not yet be complete!

Even after submitting your part of the application you can log into your online account to view whether your 2 References (Math Teacher, Science Teacher) have been submitted. You may want to remind your teachers we would like them to complete the online Forms by January 23. Although we will take late References, it delays our evaluation of your application.

If you did not yet have your fall Grade 11 course grades when you submitted your application you must email this report (as soon as it becomes available) to wtp-app@mit.edu so we can add it to complete your application.

 

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

Admissions decisions are sent by email, usually in lthe last week of April (exact date will be posted on the WTP home page in mid-April). Students will be admitted to either the EECS or ME curriculum track, or put onto a waitlist, or denied. We do not add additional people from the denied group to the waitlist after decisions are made.

If you have already commited to attend another summer program before you hear from WTP, please notify us by mid-April so we can remove you from the applicant pool.

If the email address you provided in your WTP application 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 within 24 hours of our decisions date, 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. You also cannot receive internship credit for WTP (it is not an internship).

 

 

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 campus. 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 (and often on weekends too). Your WTP work is not done when daytime 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 unfortunately 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.