Skip to content ↓

About MIT

The MIT community is driven by a shared purpose: to make a better world through education, research, and innovation. We are fun and quirky, elite but not elitist, inventive and artistic, obsessed with numbers, and welcoming to talented people regardless of where they come from.

Founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution, MIT is profoundly American. With ingenuity and drive, our graduates have invented fundamental technologies, launched new industries, and created millions of American jobs. At the same time, and without the slightest sense of contradiction, MIT is profoundly global. Our community gains tremendous strength as a magnet for talent from around the world. Through teaching, research, and innovation, MIT’s exceptional community pursues its mission of service to the nation and the world.

Key Facts

History

  • Incorporated 1861
  • Motto “Mens et manus” (“Mind and hand”)

Campus

  • Location Cambridge, MA USA
  • Size 166 acres (0.67 km2)
  • Student residences 18
  • Playing fields 26 acres (0.11 km2)
  • Gardens + green spaces 20+
  • Publicly sited works of art 50+

Admissions (Class of 2021)

  • Applicants 20,247
  • Admits 1,438

Selected Honors

  • Nobel laureates 89
  • National Medal of Science
 winners 58
  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners 29
  • MacArthur Fellows 48
  • A. M. Turing Award winners 15
MIT’s first building was in Boston, before the move to Cambridge in 1916.
“Aesop’s Fables II,” by Mark di Suvero, is part of MIT’s public art collection.

Mission

The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

MIT’s motto is “mens et manus,” or “mind and hand,” signifying the fusion of academic knowledge with practical purpose.

Community

  • Employees (including faculty) 12,607
  • Professors (all ranks) 1,047
  • Other teaching staff 867
  • Student-faculty ratio (undergrad) 3:1
  • Students 11,466
  • Undergraduates 4,547
  • Women 2,092 (46%)
  • Minorities 2,130 (47%)
  • Graduate students 6,919
  • Women 2,391 (35%)
  • Minorities 1,262 (18%)
MIT’s low student-to-faculty ratio promotes intensive teaching.
In 2017-18, MIT students came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and 129 foreign countries.

Faculty

For MIT’s faculty — just over 1,000 in number — cutting-edge research and education are inseparable. Each feeds the other. When they’re not busy pioneering the frontiers of their fields, MIT faculty members play a vital role in shaping the Institute’s vibrant campus community — as advisors, coaches, heads of houses, mentors, committee members, and much more.

MIT faculty instruct undergraduate and graduate students, and engage in research.
An MIT professor works on an architectural model.

Leadership

President

L. Rafael Reif

MIT’s 17th president, July 2012 – present

The Institute’s board of trustees, known as “the Corporation,” includes 78 distinguished leaders in engineering, science, industry, education, and other professions.

President L. Rafael Reif

Cambridge & Boston

MIT is an integral part of its host city of Cambridge, a diverse and vibrant community noted for its intellectual life, history, and thriving innovation climate. With a campus nestled between Central and Kendall Squares, and across the Charles River from Boston’s Back Bay, the Institute is optimally positioned to collaborate with its neighbors and to contribute to its community.

Aerial view of the campus, with a glimpse of the Boston skyline