The Arts

  • 60+ music, theater, visual arts, writing, and dance groups
  • 12 museums and galleries on campus
  • 70% incoming freshmen with training in the arts
  • >50% undergraduates enrolled in art courses each year

The arts at MIT are rooted in experimentation, risk taking, and imaginative problem solving. The Institute offers highly regarded degree programs in architectural design; art, culture, and technology; comparative media studies; history, theory, and criticism of architecture and art; music; theater arts; and writing; and minors in several of these fields. Many MIT faculty have received awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and MacArthur Fellowship, in recognition of their work in the arts. MIT students are also strong contributors to the vibrant arts culture that permeates campus life.

The MIT Museum draws nearly 125,000 visitors each year to programs and exhibitions that explore the foundations and frontiers of science and technology.

The MIT List Visual Arts Center is the contemporary art museum. In addition to presenting six to eight exhibitions annually, the center maintains and adds to MIT’s permanent collection of over 3,500 artworks that includes dozens of publicly sited sculptures and hundreds of paintings, prints, photographs, and drawings located throughout MIT’s campus.

The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology facilitates and creates opportunities for artists at MIT and beyond to exchange ideas with and collaborate with engineers and scientists in a culture of exploration, knowledge, and discovery.

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT celebrates innovative talents in all arts disciplines and is one of the most generous cultural honors in the United States. Recent recipients of the award include architect David Adjaye (2016), artist Olafur Eliasson (2014), and director, filmmaker, playwright, and actor Robert Lepage (2012).