Primes Logo PRIMES-USA: How to Apply

This page provides instructions for applying to PRIMES-USA , a nationwide research program for high school juniors and sophomores living in the U.S. outside Greater Boston. To apply to MIT PRIMES , a research program for students living within driving distance from Boston, see How to Apply to MIT PRIMES . 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.

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Eligibility

High school juniors and sophomores (including home schooled) residing in the United States are eligible, if they live no closer than 50 miles from Boston. Students residing within driving distance from Boston should apply to the MIT section of PRIMES .

It is not required but preferable that the applicant meets one of these criteria:

Application

Application includes several components: an online questionnaire, solutions to a math problem set, and 2-3 letters of recommendation from people who know you well, preferably from those familiar with advanced mathematics, such as math teachers, counselors in math camps, or college professors.

Deadlines

The deadline for receiving applications and letters of recommendation for the 2023 cycle was November 30, 2022. The admissions are now closed.

Admission decisions are based on all components of your application. Admission decisions are made in mid-January.

For the 2024 cycle, a new problem set will be posted and admissions open on October 1, 2023 .

There is no application fee.

Preparation

We suggest a list of recommended readings as a preparation for entering PRIMES-USA and as a background for further research. You may find it useful to consult previous years' problem sets and solutions. You'd typically need to solve at least 70% of the problems.

Why It Makes No Sense to Cheat

PRIMES expects its participants to adhere to MIT rules and standards for honesty and integrity in academic studies. As a result, any cases of plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, cheating, or facilitating academic dishonesty during the application process or during the work at PRIMES may result in immediate disqualification from the program, at the sole discretion of PRIMES. In addition, PRIMES reserves the right to notify a participant's parents, schools, and/or recommenders in the event it determines that a participant did not adhere to these expectations. For explanation of these expectations, see What is Academic Integrity?

Moreover, even if someone gets into PRIMES by cheating, it would immediately become apparent that their background is weaker than expected, and they are not ready for research. This would prompt an additional investigation with serious consequences. By trying to get into PRIMES by cheating, students run very serious risks of exposing their weak background and damaging their college admissions prospects.