Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River.
The Institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Bates Center, and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad and Whitehead Institutes.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.
It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength, making it one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.
The four-year, full-time undergraduate program maintains a balance between professional majors and those in the arts and sciences, and has been dubbed “most selective” by U.S. News, admitting few transfer students and 6.7% of its applicants in the 2017-2018 admissions cycle.
MIT offers 44 undergraduate degrees across its five schools. In the 2017–2018 academic year, 1,045 bachelor of science degrees (abbreviated “SB”) were granted, the only type of undergraduate degree MIT now awards. In the 2011 fall term, among students who had designated a major, the School of Engineering was the most popular division, enrolling 63% of students in its 19 degree programs, followed by the School of Science (29%), School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (3.7%), Sloan School of Management (3.3%), and School of Architecture and Planning (2%).
The largest undergraduate degree programs were in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6–2), Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6–3), Mechanical Engineering (Course 2), Physics (Course 8), and Mathematics (Course 18).
MIT was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934 and remains a research university with a very high level of research activity, research expenditures totaled $718.2 million in 2009.
The federal government was the largest source of sponsored research, with the Department of Health and Human Services granting $255.9 million, Department of Defense $97.5 million, Department of Energy $65.8 million, National Science Foundation $61.4 million, and NASA $27.4 million. MIT employs approximately 1300 researchers in addition to faculty.
In 2011, MIT faculty and researchers disclosed 632 inventions, were issued 153 patents, earned $85.4 million in cash income, and received $69.6 million in royalties. Through programs like the Deshpande Center, MIT faculty leverage their research and discoveries into multi-million-dollar commercial ventures.
In electronics, magnetic core memory, radar, single electron transistors, and inertial guidance controls were invented or substantially developed by MIT researchers. Harold Eugene Edgerton was a pioneer in high speed photography and sonar. Claude E. Shannon developed much of modern information theory and discovered the application of Boolean logic to digital circuit design theory.
In the domain of computer science, MIT faculty and researchers made fundamental contributions to cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer languages, machine learning, robotics, and cryptography. At least nine Turing Award laureates and seven recipients of the Draper Prize in engineering have been or are currently associated with MIT.