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A Brief History of MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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. MIT's current 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.

The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind." 

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 500 student groups on campus; you can join one or start your own
  • MIT's 33 varsity sports teams make it the largest Division III 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 100 colleges and 250,000 students in the greater Boston area

Our Students

  • 4,524 undergraduate students 
  • 46% women and 54% men
  • 34% underrepresented minority students
  • Students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three territories, and 120 foreign countries
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