Stevens Institute of Technology (Stevens Tech) is a private research university in Hoboken, New Jersey, less than five miles from New York City. Founded in 1970, it was the first college in the U.S. dedicated solely to mechanical engineering.
The university is known for its groundbreaking research, green hilltop campus in an excellent location, stellar career placement, and the high earnings of its graduates. Only 7,000 students attend Stevens Tech, but the school receives over 10,000 applications per year.
Admissions are somewhat competitive, but we’re here to help. This guide is packed with information, data, and advice to help you increase your chances of getting into the Stevens Institute of Technology.
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Tech offers 35 majors across four schools, with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio. Professors build relationships with their students that often lead to hands-on, paid research positions and valuable professional connections. Courses are described as rigorous but fair, as well as collaborative and supportive. Students say it feels like they’re “receiving an Ivy League education at a more affordable price.”
The school’s 94% freshman retention rate shows that students enjoy their time at Stevens Tech. But the school is perhaps best known for student outcomes after graduation. According to Forbes, Stevens Tech is sixth in the nation for alumni earnings. Princeton Review ranks the school ninth for career placement. And despite the impact of COVID-19 on the job market, 97% of the undergraduate class of 2021 secured career outcomes within six months of graduation.
Stevens Tech is a vibrant campus community where students describe their peers as “ambitious and intelligent without being snobby and arrogant.” It’s home to over 100 student clubs and organizations —including anime club, student government, organizations for women in STEM, fraternities and sororities, and much more. There’s a movie theater and many restaurants within walking distance, and the PATH train provides quick transportation to New York City.
Is It Hard to Get Into Stevens Institute of Technology?
Most recently, Stevens Institute of Technology had an acceptance rate of 53%. For every 100 applicants, 53 are accepted. The other 47 receive a rejection.
Over the last 10 years, the average acceptance rate is 43.6%. In comparison to other universities, Stevens Tech is moderately selective. It’s not easy to get in, but it’s less competitive than many other technical institutes — and almost all schools with an equally impressive return on investment (ROI).
GPA and Test Scores
According to Stevens Tech, successful applicants in recent incoming classes had an average unweighted GPA of 3.8. To compete with other applicants, you’ll need to earn nearly straight A’s.
So, what if your GPA is lower? If you’re a freshman or sophomore, you still have time to bring your grades up. If you’re already a junior, focus on enhancing other areas of your application. And remember that with a 53% acceptance rate, you have a little more wiggle room than at more selective universities.
Stevens Tech is currently test optional, meaning you aren’t required to submit test scores with your application (unless you’re applying for the accelerated pre-law or pre-medicine programs). Not including test scores won’t count against you, but we still recommend taking the SAT/ACT and aiming for a score that you’re happy to include with your application.
Successful Stevens Tech applicants have SAT scores in the range of 1330 to 1480. Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of SAT scores:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Meanwhile, the average ACT score for students admitted to Stevens Tech is 32. The 25th percentile score is 30, and the 75th percentile score is 33.
Generally, your chances are best when you have scores in the 75th percentile. Although Stevens Tech is likely more flexible than the most selective schools, you should still aim to get as close to the 75th percentile as possible.
Based on the data we’ve shared, that means you should strive for a:
- GPA of at least 3.8
- SAT score of 1480
- ACT score of 33
Of course, the admissions committee considers more than just your numbers. There are several other qualities that Stevens Tech looks for in its applicants.
What Other Qualities Does Stevens Institute of Technology Look For?
Stevens Tech doesn’t share a lot of specific information about what they’re looking for in applicants. But they do share their vision of what a Stevens Tech student looks like. So, it makes sense that you should emphasize these same qualities in your application.
The school describes Stevens Tech students as people who:
- Have new views, big ideas, and contagious energy
- Discover, solve, lead, and innovate for the greater good
- Are creative, driven, and passionate
- Feel excited to contribute to a thriving campus community
- Are leaders and thinkers, dreamers and doers
- Want to make an impact on the world
- Have superior academic records
- Are innovative and collaborative
And as the name suggests, Stevens Tech is ideal for applicants with an interest in STEM. While the university has some arts and humanities programs, their strongest offerings are in engineering, science, computer science, and business.
If you’re passionate about STEM and its potential to innovate, solve problems, and make a positive impact on the world, you’re on the right track for getting into Stevens Tech.
What Should You Do in High School?
Now that we’ve shared information and data, let’s talk strategy. What can you do in high school to help you get into Stevens Institute of Technology?
Excel in Challenging Classes
To get into Stevens Tech, where the average admitted student has an unweighted GPA of 3.8, you’ll need to earn nearly straight A’s in your classes. You’ll also need to take challenging courses to show that you’re capable of handling the rigor of college coursework.
So, excel in the most challenging classes available at your school, such as AP and IB. Take notes in your classes and review them each week. Turn in assignments on time and prepare thoroughly for classes. Be proactive if you start to fall behind or struggle with your classwork. Ask for help from your teacher, a tutor, or a classmate who’s doing well in the class.
Stevens Tech especially emphasizes showing mastery in classes related to your desired major. If you want to be an engineering major, for example, you should be an exemplary math and science student. You can find more information about recommended courses for specific majors on the Stevens Tech website.
Earn Excellent Test Scores
Although Stevens Tech is currently test-optional, the SAT and ACT give you another opportunity to demonstrate your academic ability. For that reason, we encourage you to take test prep seriously and aim for the highest score possible.
Begin your test prep process a few months in advance by following these steps:
- Take the ACT and the SAT to see which exam best showcases your strengths. If possible, take the official tests so you can get a feel for test conditions. Otherwise, you can take timed practice tests.
- After you’ve picked your exam, use information from your score report or practice test to build a personalized study plan. Pay attention to your strengths, weaknesses, and the question types or skills you struggle with.
- Consider buying a test prep guide — they include full-length practice tests, sample questions, and helpful tips.
- Set aside time each week to drill practice questions, brush up on the skills you struggle with, and read high-level texts.
- Regularly take practice tests to work on your pacing and track your progress, adjusting your study plan as needed.
- When you have one month remaining until your exam, focus exclusively on your areas of weakness.
- If your score isn’t what you hoped for, use the score report to create a plan for improvement. Use the updated study plan to repeat these steps, then take the test again.
Remember that if you don’t get a score you’re proud of, you don’t have to include it with your application to Stevens Tech. But we recommend doing your best to earn a score you’re happy to share with Stevens Tech. Exceptional test scores can give your application a boost, balancing out a slightly lower GPA or setting you apart from other applicants with similarly strong grades.
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Pursue Your Passions
The ideal Stevens Tech student is passionate and “feels excited to contribute to a thriving campus community.” So, how do you show that you are that student?
Commit to a few activities that you enjoy and strive to take on leadership roles, make significant contributions, and earn related awards and achievements when possible. Rather than collecting extracurricular activities you believe will be impressive, pursue activities that truly appeal to you. Stevens Tech wants to know the real you and get a feel for what you’ll bring to campus.
Because Stevens Tech emphasizes the importance of talent in your desired field, it’s also helpful to choose activities related to your desired major. This shows that you’re both talented in and passionate about your chosen field. It shows you’re driven to learn more, develop your skills, and wholeheartedly follow your interests and goals.
Along the way, keep a record of your extracurricular involvement so you can thoroughly, accurately report it on your application. Note when your participation began, leadership roles you held or contributions you made, and any related accomplishments.
Serve Your Community
Another quality that Stevens Tech values in their students is a desire to change the world. They look for people who want to “innovate for the greater good.”
In high school, it’s important to make positive contributions to your community. Think about problems in your school or community that matter to you. What social justice issues are closest to your heart? And what can you do to make a difference?
Then, join an existing service organization or initiative in your community — or even start one of your own. Whatever you do, make a positive difference for others in a way that’s meaningful to you.
Just as we recommend keeping a record of your extracurricular participation, track your community service involvement throughout high school. Note what you did and why, how it made an impact, and how many hours you devoted to the project.
Stevens Institute of Technology Application Process and Checklist
You can apply to Stevens Institute of Technology through the Common Application.
The application includes:
- Official high school transcript
- Self-reported test scores (optional)
- List of activities and achievements
- Two letters of recommendation (preferably one from a teacher and one from a guidance counselor)
- Personal essay
Stevens Tech also offers optional admissions interviews. Interviews are available Monday-Friday with a member of the Undergraduate Admissions staff or an alumnus. If you opt to do an interview, it must be completed by the application deadline.
Stevens Institute of Technology Supplement
Stevens Institute of Technology does not require a supplemental essay, but you will have to write the personal essay on the Common App.
The Common App provides seven prompts for you to choose from, and your essay must be between 250 to 650 words.
Your options are:
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Common App Essay Tips
As you write your Common App essay, keep the following tips in mind:
- Start with an engaging “hook.”
- Use specific details. Show, don’t tell.
- Reflect on why the topic is important to you, what you learned from the experience, or how it contributed to your personal growth.
- Be yourself. Write in your authentic voice and share something that’s important to you and who you are as a person.
- Make sure the information in your essay isn’t something that can be found elsewhere in your application. Share new insight into your personality, interests, values, or goals with the admissions committee.
- Proofread carefully. Have a teacher, parent, or trusted friend proofread your essay too. Ask them if it’s engaging and sounds like you.
Check out our guide on How to Answer the Common App Essay Prompts for an in-depth breakdown of each prompt, how to choose your topic, and more.
Should I Apply Early to Stevens Institute of Technology?
Stevens Tech offers Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. Here’s a quick breakdown of key deadlines for each plan:
|Application Plan||Application Deadline||Decision Notification|
|Early Decision I||November 15||December 15|
|Early Decision II||January 15||February 15|
|Regular Decision||January 15||April 1|
As you can see, Early Decision II and Regular Decision have the same deadline, but Early Decision II applicants hear back from Stevens Tech much sooner.
Both Early Decision plans at Stevens Tech are binding. That means if you’re accepted Early Decision and receive a financial aid offer that enables you to enroll, then you must attend Stevens Tech.
But will applying early give you a boost in the admissions process? Typically, about 56%-58% of Early Decision applicants are admitted to Stevens Tech. This is only slightly higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate, so it doesn’t give you a significant advantage (aside from receiving a decision sooner).
If Stevens Tech is your clear first choice, it certainly won’t hurt to apply early. But it won’t give you much of an advantage, so only apply early if you’re committed to enrolling and excited about attending.
Final Thoughts: How to Get Into Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology accepts about half of its applicants, so it’s only moderately selective. Still, you’ll need strong grades and test scores alongside personal qualities like leadership, drive, creativity, passion, and the desire to make a positive difference.
Here’s how to get into Stevens Institute of Technology, or at least increase your chances:
- Take challenging classes and earn a GPA of at least 3.8. Strong academic performance in classes related to your desired major are especially important.
- Score a 33 on the ACT, or a 1480, with a 770 in Math and a 710 in Reading (optional).
- Join extracurricular activities you’re passionate about. Aim to make significant contributes, take on leadership roles, and/or earn related recognition and awards.
- Make a positive difference in your school or community in ways that are meaningful to you.
- When you write your Common App essay, use specific details, write in your authentic voice, share new information, and proofread carefully.
- If Stevens Tech is your first choice, it doesn’t hurt to apply early, but it won’t give you a significant advantage.
Follow these helpful tips, and you’ll be a stronger applicant for Stevens Institute of Technology.