Women's Technology Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Application & Admissions
Summer Details: If I'm admitted...
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.
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. 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" on the Fee Waiver Request Form in the WTP Application 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.
We typically grant a full waiver of the $3,500 fee (you attend for free) for family income less than $70,000 and a fee discount for income between $70,000 and $110,000. If your income is outside these ranges but you have special circumstances that would limit your ability to pay for WTP, please apply for financial assistance and describe your special circumstances.
Our goal is for all admitted students to be able to attend WTP regardless of their family financial situation.
There is no fee to apply to WTP.
You may also want to investigate whether your local school system or organizations in your town provide grants for summer math or science activities.
Go to the Application page and follow the directions there.
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 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.)
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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. See the next question for how to evaluate whether you may have too much CS experience.
Students with CS experience who are interested in Mechanical Engineering are encouraged to apply for the ME curriculum track.
We do not consider students with prior computer programming experience before WTP for 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 Java, C++, 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 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 creating webpages or solving problems with Matlab. 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. In all of these cases you can therefore apply to the WTP-EECS track since you probably have NOT covered all of the WTP CS class curriculum.
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 include any classes or experience you expect to have between January (after submitting your WTP application) and June (when you arrive at WTP).
Applicants who have too much CS experience for WTP-EECS should select "Only ME" (Mechanical Engineering) on the Curriculum Track Selection question of the WTP application.
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.
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 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. 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 tests. The PSAT math scores of accepted students accepted range from 60-80 with median of 72.
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.
No. We do not want resumes or long lists of awards or extracurricular activities. Please ONLY provide the information asked for in the application.
You will upload your own transcript (Grades 9-11) 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 this document and create a .pdf file. The document must be in English.
If your current transcript does not yet have your fall semester Grade 11 grades, upload your Grades 9-10 transcript to your application and submit it by January 15, 2016.
However your application will NOT BE COMPLETE until we have your fall Grade 11 course grades. You must email this report (as soon as it becomes available) to email@example.com so we can add it to your application.
You must designate your Guidance Counselor as one of your References in the WTP Application. Your test scores will then be entered into a Reference Form in your WTP application by your Guidance Counselor.
It is very important that you check with your Counselor to make sure s/he has ALL of your test scores, especially ones from your most recent tests. Do not assume every test you have taken is automatically in your school record! If your Counselor does not have certain scores in you school record, we will accept his/her verification of your scores if you have shown them your online scores or paper test score reports.
If you receive scores from tests after your Counselor submits your test score verifications, see the next question/answer for how to send us that information.
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.
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.
If you receive test scores AFTER your Counselor submits your scores in the Reference Form, we can still include those scores in your application (up to March 1) if you do the following:
1) Take a screen shot of your online score report and save as a .png or .jpg file. Be sure your full name is visible on this page containing your scores. ( If you have a paper score report scan it as a .pdf.)
2) Send an email to WTP with "New Scores for WTP" as the subject line. List your new scores in the body text of the email and attach the screen shot (or scan) of your scores to the email.
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 that your Teacher will complete inside the online WTP application. They will receive a link to your application when you designate them as one of your 3 References.
We will include only the two Teacher Evaluations (1 math, 1 science) in your WTP application. Although you will designate you Guidance Counselors as one of your References, that is only so s/he can enter and verify your test scores.
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.
Directions for how to designate your Teachers as References are inside the online WTP Application.
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.
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 2000 characters, 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 text block 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.
When you submit your online application you will receive an automatic confirmation email acknowledging that we have received your part of the application.
You will still be able to log into your online application account to view whether your 3 References (Math Teacher, Science Teacher, and Guidance Counselor score verifications) have been submitted.
However if the transcript you submitted did not yet have your fall Grade 11 course grades, you application IS STILL NOT COMPLETE. You must email this report (as soon as it becomes available) to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to your application.
Admissions decisions are sent by email, usually in in late-April (exact date will be posted on the WTP home page in March). 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, contact WTP by email for your status.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.