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A Brief History of MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 by William Barton Rogers. MIT's charter (Massachusetts Acts of 1861, Chapter 183, for the bibliographically-minded) foresaw "a school of industrial science [aiding] the advancement, development and practical application of science in connection with arts, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce."

More than 150 years have passed since its incorporation but the purpose of MIT has remained much the same: the modern MIT Mission 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" by "generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, [and] working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges."

Sound like something you want to be a part of? Then MIT may be the place for you! 

Here are a few quick facts about MIT. If you want to learn more about any of the sections below, just read more of our site!

The Basics

  • There are over 478 student groups on campus; you can join one or start your own
  • MIT's 33 varsity sports teams make it the largest DIII athletics program in the nation
  • MIT's motto is "Mens et Manus" which means "Mind and Hand"
  • MIT's mascot is the beaver, "nature's engineer" 
  • The MIT campus consists of 168 acres along and across the Charles River from Boston
  • There are over 50 colleges and 250,000 students in the greater Boston area

Our Students

  • 4,528 undergraduate students 
  • 45% women and 55% men
  • 24% underrepresented minority students
  • Students from 48 states and 115 countries
  • 69% attended public secondary schools, and 14% are among the first generation in their family to attend college
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