Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research institute located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. MIT’s early emphasis on applied technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels lead to close cooperation with industry but curricular reforms under Karl Compton and Vannevar Bush in the 1930s re-emphasized basic scientific research. MIT was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934 and researchers were involved in efforts to develop computers, radar, and inertial guidance in connection with defense research during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian.
The current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin. In the past 60 years, MIT’s educational disciplines have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into fields like biology, economics, linguistics, political science, and management.
MIT is “a university polarized around science, engineering, and the arts.” It has five schools (Science, Engineering, Architecture and Planning, Management, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) and one college (Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology), but no schools of law or medicine. The chair of each of MIT’s 32 academic departments reports to the dean of that department’s school, who in turn reports to the Provost under the President. However, faculty committees assert substantial control over many areas of MIT’s curriculum, research, student life, and administrative affairs.