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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

BSc Anthropology

Catalog id : 21A
 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

0 Months
 Start month

 Tuition fee

24070 USD
24070 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)90
TOEFL-PBT (min)577
SAT (avg)1450

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About this course

The undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Anthropology (Course 21A) provides a thorough grounding in cultural anthropology.

Majors learn about the concept of culture and the processes by which humans make meaningful transactions, the nature of ethnographic fieldwork, and the connections between anthropology and the other social sciences. Majors study the theories explaining human behavior as well as the range of methods anthropologists use to analyze empirical data. Students can focus on particular geographical areas, such as Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa, or Asia, and on issues like neocolonialism, ethnic conflict, human rights, environmental movements, globalization, or expressive, medical, or scientific cultures.

The anthropology student comes to understand that the hallmark of the discipline is the comparative study of human societies. Emphasis is on understanding diversity and the importance of the concept of culture in explaining that variety, as well as on learning about the universals of behavior that may underlie diversity.

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Eligibility Criteria



All applicants must complete one test from each category SAT/ACT/TOEFL; Math Level 1 or Math Level 2 in Math SAT II Subject Test and Biology or Chemistry or Physics in Science SAT II Subject Test


International students - or domestic students who do not speak English natively - have two options for testing. The University have no preference between these options. It is your choice, and you should take the set of tests with which you feel the most comfortable (All November testing is allowed for EA consideration and January testing is allowed for RA consideration.):


Option 1: The SAT or the ACT, as well as two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2), and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).

Option 2: The TOEFL (IELTS is not accepted) as well as two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2) and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m). This option is especially recommended for students who do not speak English at home or in school, or who have been speaking English for fewer than five years.

Native English speakers must take either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT; and two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2), and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).


All students must meet the testing requirements. You may not substitute other exams (such as IB, A-Levels, etc.) for the above testing requirements. Students from countries where the SAT and ACT are not offered for all students (such as Iran and the People's Republic of China) will be considered without a full set of required test scores on a case-by-case basis.


The University have no minimum or recommended scores for the SAT Reasoning Test, the ACT, or the SAT Subject Tests. However, minimum and recommended scores for the TOEFL are required. These minimums are in place to ensure your level of English proficiency. Because MIT offers no English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, and English is the language of MIT, all students must show that they will thrive in MIT community. The minimum TOEFL scores are Paper Based Test (PBT) - 577, recommended 600+ and Internet Based Test (iBT) - 90, recommended 100+.


Your scores must be reported to MIT officially from the testing agency; scores you list on your application and scores appearing on your school transcript will not be considered official. It is recommended to list MIT as a school to receive your scores when you take the test. If you take the January test, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores or the University will not receive your scores in time for our review. MIT SAT and TOEFL code is 3514, and ACT code is 1858.


It is important for all students - and very important for international students - to register for tests with the same name as you have indicated on your application and MyMIT account. Your record and test scores will not be linked to the system if the names do not match.


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Course Modules

Required Subjects - Units
21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures 12
21A.01 How Culture Works 12
21A.802 Seminar in Ethnography and Fieldwork (CI-M) 12
21A.852 Seminar in Anthropological Theory (CI-M) 12
Restricted Electives
A coherent program of eight anthropology subjects, which may include a pre-thesis tutorial (21A.THT) and a thesis (21A.THU). The decision to write a thesis is made in consultation between the student and advisor. 90-96
Unrestricted Electives
Select 72-114 units 1 72-114
Total Units 216
Departmental Program Units That Also Satisfy the GIRs (36-72)
Total Units Beyond the GIRs Required for SB Degree 180

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How to Apply

Letters Of Recommendation

At MIT, we require letters of recommendation from two teachers (one math/science, one humanities), plus materials from your guidance counselor (typically including your transcript, a school profile, and a letter of recommendation). 

MIT's recommendations process is online; you will need to create a separate recommendations account in addition to your MyMIT account.

Recommendations: Whom to Ask
MIT requires two letters of recommendation from teachers. One recommendation ("Evaluation A") should be from a math or science teacher, and one ("Evaluation B") should be from a humanities, social science or language teacher.

You should certainly ask a teacher who has taught you in an academic class in high school (i.e. no middle school, and no basket weaving class). Ideally, this will also be a teacher who knows you as more than just a student who does well on all the tests. We find that the best recommendations are written by teachers who know an applicant well as both a student and a person.

Evaluation A potential subjects
Earth Science
Environmental Science
Computer Science
Science Research (as a class)
Evaluation B potential subjects
Foreign Language
Social Studies

Check further details on University website

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