Academics & Research
Academics @ MIT
MIT is one of the best places in the world to be a student.
We are a research university that places a great deal of emphasis on undergraduate education. There are 17 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellows, 9 Nobel Prize Laureates, and 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, among many other luminaries, currently on our faculty, and all of them teach undergraduate classes.
In fact, all classes at MIT are taught by distinguished professors, because we believe that you should learn from the very best from the moment you step foot on campus. That's why folks like Eric Lander, father of the Human Genome Project, teaches introductory biology. The student:faculty ratio is 8:1.
MIT also has a strong culture of student collaboration. Students are encouraged and expected to work with each other on homework - or psets, in MIT parlance. For any given pset, you likely won't be able to do everything on your own, so you'll find (or make) a few friends in the class and go work together to get it done.
We do this because it's how problems are solved in the real world - by small teams of smart people contributing their individual expertise and understanding. When you graduate from MIT and go to work at a Fortune 500 company, or a nonprofit, or as an entrepreneur delivering an elevator pitch, you're going to need to know how to work with others. So that's what you'll do here at MIT.
Research @ MIT
MIT students have unparalleled opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research as undergraduates.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
The flagship MIT student research program is UROP. When you do a UROP, you will find a professor who is working on something that you think is awesome. You and the professor will work on a proposal, and then you will join their team. 85% of MIT students will participate in the UROP program at MIT. Many of them will be credited as co-authors on peer-reviewed publications. Some even earn patents - our Technology Licensing Office has signed 50-75 option and license agreements every year for the past five years.
By the example of their own lives, a crucial part of what our faculty members teach is the "instinct" for first-class research: the disciplined curiosity, the irreverent creativity, the endless ability to persevere. At MIT, those skills and values are as much a part of the atmosphere as oxygen.
Research labs at which you could pursue a UROP include:
- The Center for Civic Media, which develops new technologies that support civic media and activism
- The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a $100 million dollar National Cancer Institute designate
- D-Lab, which develops sustainable technologies and solutions for problems in the developing world
- GAMBIT, an international video game design / development laboratory
- MIT's nuclear reactor, which conducts advanced, interdisciplinary research on materials science and radiation therapy