MIT PRIMES: How to Apply
This page provides instructions for applying to MIT PRIMES, a research program for students living within driving distance from Boston. To apply to PRIMES-USA, a nationwide research program, see How to Apply to PRIMES-USA page. To apply to PRIMES Circle, a math enrichment program for local students from urban public high schools, see How to Apply to PRIMES Circle page.
MIT PRIMES has started accepting applications for the 2014 cycle on September 16, 2013. The applications and letters of recommendation must be received by email by December 1, 2013. Admission decisions will be made by early January 2014. For more information about the program, see MIT PRIMES program details page.
Download MIT PRIMES flyer.
To participate in MIT PRIMES, you must be a high school student* (or a home schooled student of high school age) living within driving distance from Cambridge, so that you can come to MIT weekly (late afternoon or evening on a weekday or on weekend) in February-May.
Your application process includes four steps:
1. Choose your research section:
In 2014 MIT PRIMES will feature three sections:
- mathematics (Math)
- computer science (CS)
- computational and physical biology (Bio)
For a general description, see our research areas. You can apply to two or three sections at the same time, but you can be admitted only to one. The Math section includes a research track and a reading group track; you can apply to either track, or to both.
2. Solve the entrance problem set
If applying to the Math section, solve the PRIMES 2014 Math Problem Set. If applying to CS and/or Bio, solve the PRIMES 2014 Computing Problem Set. The "General Math problems" subset is the same for both Math and Computing problem sets. If you apply for both Math and CS/Bio, solve both problem sets. We encourage you to apply if you have solved at least 50% of the problems.
3. Ask for letter(s) of recommendation
One or two letters of recommendation must be emailed by the recommender(s) directly to email@example.com. Letters of recommendation must be from people who know you well, preferably from those familiar with advanced mathematics/computing, such as math/computing teachers, counselors or instructors in math/computing camps/programs, or college professors with whom you took classes. Letters must carry the subject line "Recommendation on behalf of [your name]." The letters must be received by December 1, 2013.
4. Submit your application
Submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org as a single message with the subject line "Application by [your name]." The application should include:
- a questionnaire with basic personal and background information and a personal statement. Attach the questionnaire to your application email as a separate file in the PDF format (use a free online converter to PDF, if needed). The name of the attached file must start with your last name, for example, "smith-questionnaire."
- solutions of the entrance problem set for the section(s) to which you apply. The name of the attached file must start with your last name, for example, "smith-solutions."
Current PRIMES students may reapply for a second or third year. If they reapply for the same section, they submit only an updated questionnaire and do not have to submit solutions of the entrance problem set. Their applications will be evaluated based on their mentor's recommendation.
A complete application must be received by December 1, 2013.
Admission decisions will be based on the consideration of all components of the application. Admission decisions will be made by early January 2014.
If you are admitted, you will be asked to provide a written permission from your parent/guardian to participate in PRIMES.
There is no application fee.
We suggest a list of recommended readings as a preparation for entering PRIMES and as a background for further research. You may also find it useful to consult
- PRIMES 2011 problem set and its solutions
- PRIMES 2012 problem set and its solutions
- PRIMES 2013 Math track problem set and its solutions
- PRIMES 2013 Computer Science track problem set (the auxiliary files test1.txt and test2.txt)
Female students, minorities, and students from underprivileged groups are strongly encouraged to apply. PRIMES makes a special effort to reach out to schools in disadvantaged areas. Sophomores and juniors from public high schools of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville are eligible for PRIMES Circle program. U.S. high school juniors living beyond Greater Boston are eligible for PRIMES-USA program.
*12th graders are allowed to apply. Even though Phase IV of the Program would overlap with their first semester in college, they would be encouraged to stay in touch with their mentor and to bring their work to publication.
With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch at email@example.com