The mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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. We are also driven to bring knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.
The Institute is an independent, coeducational, privately endowed university, organized into five Schools (architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts, and social sciences; management; and science). It has some 1,000 faculty members, more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and more than 130,000 living alumni.
At its founding in 1861, MIT was an educational innovation, a community of hands-on problem solvers in love with fundamental science and eager to make the world a better place. Today, that spirit still guides how we educate students on campus and how we shape new digital learning technologies to make MIT teaching accessible to millions of learners around the world.
MIT’s spirit of interdisciplinary exploration has fueled many scientific breakthroughs and technological advances. A few examples: the first chemical synthesis of penicillin and vitamin A. The development of radar and creation of inertial guidance systems. The invention of magnetic core memory, which enabled the development of digital computers. Major contributions to the Human Genome Project. The discovery of quarks. The invention of the electronic spreadsheet and of encryption systems that enable e-commerce. The creation of GPS. Pioneering 3D printing. The concept of the expanding universe.
Current research and education areas include digital learning; nanotechnology; sustainable energy, the environment, climate adaptation, and global water and food security; Big Data, cybersecurity, robotics, and artificial intelligence; human health, including cancer, HIV, autism, Alzheimer’s, and dyslexia; biological engineering and CRISPR technology; poverty alleviation; advanced manufacturing; and innovation and entrepreneurship.
MIT’s impact also includes the work of our alumni. One way MIT graduates drive progress is by starting companies that deliver new ideas to the world. A recent study estimates that as of 2014, living MIT alumni have launched more than 30,000 active companies, creating 4.6 million jobs and generating roughly $1.9 trillion in annual revenue. Taken together, this "MIT Nation" is equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world!