MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XIX No. 2
November / December 2006
Student-Driven Activities at MIT
Financial Foundation for MIT's Future
Undergraduate Education Reconsidered
Stephen J. Madden, Jr.
MIT and Singapore
Teaching and Challenging Engineers . . .
to Engineer
Adèle Naudé Santos
Written in Pencil; February Lunch
First Response Education:
New Orleans Comes to MIT
Do MIT Students Ever Sleep?
The Implication of Mega-Partnerships
for MIT Faculty
Helping Students Become Better Writers
A Century of MIT at a Glance
MIT Faculty and Students (1900-2007)
Printable Version

A Century of MIT at a Glance

There are 998 faculty members at MIT, a 20-year high, according to the official tally taken on October 31st of each year. There were 1003 faculty members in the fall of 1983 (AY1984) the all-time high. [Faculty members are defined as Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors.] (See M.I.T. Numbers.) The total number of students (10,253) is slightly below the all-time high of 10,340, which was reached in the fall of 2003 (AY2004).

incremental cost over budget
Number of Women Students at MIT
(1900-2007) (click on image to enlarge)

There is currently an all-time high number of women students at the Institute (3,638) split almost evenly between undergraduates (1817) and graduate students (1821). These numbers have risen virtually every year since the early ’60s.




International Students
Number of International Students at MIT (1900-2007) (click on image to enlarge)

The number of international students (not including permanent residents) at MIT is 2,480, as of October 31 (AY2006), down from the all-time high figure of 2,629 in 2002 (AY2003). Asian students comprise the largest population of international students, with 1208 members.

Since 1900, the ratio of students to faculty has fallen from 49 to 1, to about 10 to 1 in the current academic year. This ratio was the lowest during World War II, when it fell to less than 4 to 1 in AY1944. Since World War II this ratio has hovered around 10 to 1, although it increased to 11 to 1 in the fall of 1996, as a result of the early retirement program. The number of faculty dropped that year to 896, from the previous year total of 960.

The number of undergraduate students reached its peek at MIT in the early 1980s. The current number of 4,127 is approximately 10% lower than it was in the fall of 1982.

The number of graduate students reached its current high in the fall of 2003, with 6,228 registered students. In the fall of 1979 (AY1980) the number of students studying for advanced degrees surpassed the number of undergraduate students for the first time. This fall (AY2007), the ratio of graduate students to undergraduate students was 6 to 4.
Prior to 1960, MIT had a number of “other” students in its official counts. These individuals were not officially studying for undergraduate or advanced degrees. However, as the category of graduate students grew, the number of individuals in the classification “other” declined and finally disappeared in the late 1950s.

The current MIT counts of students does not include those cross-registered from other universities, including Harvard, Wellesley, and Tufts.

This article was a collaboration between the Faculty Newsletter and the Office of the Provost, Institutional Research, who provided all the charts and data. Particular thanks is given to Lydia Snover and Nancy Wong.

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