Undergraduate Education

Selected Facts

MIT’s strength—as represented by its official seal and motto, mens et manus, mind and hand—is the fusion of academic knowledge with practical purpose.

MIT believes the best education occurs when students are self-motivated and engaged participants in a dynamic community of learners. Thus, an MIT undergraduate education combines rigorous academics with a “learning-by-doing” approach.

One avenue for student engagement is the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), pioneered at MIT in 1969 and now emulated in academic institutions around the globe. UROP offers students the opportunity to join a faculty-led research team or to initiate their own research project.

Students may also choose to participate in the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP), which provides them with real-world skills, coaching, experiential workshops, company field trips, one-on-one counseling, networking events, exclusive panel discussions with major companies, and access to internships with more than 2,000 employers.

Another unique feature of an MIT education is the Independent Activities Period, a special four-week term in January that encourages students to set their own agenda within a creative and flexible environment.

As part of a complete MIT experience, undergraduates are encouraged to add an international dimension to their education. Students may choose from Institute-wide or departmental study-abroad programs. They may also decide to conduct research abroad, assist with building sustainable communities overseas, or venture out on fieldwork or internships arranged through MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives or the International Development Initiative.

MIT undergraduates can also take advantage of cross-registration at several Boston-area universities and art schools. Leadership training opportunities include the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program and ROTC programs in the United States Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force.