The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific, engineering, and technological education and research.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the institute used a polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction. MIT's early emphasis on applied technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels led to close cooperation with industry. 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. Researchers worked on computers, radar, and inertial guidance 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 such as biology, economics, linguistics, and management.
MIT enrolled 4,384 undergraduates and 6,510 graduate students for the 2011–2012 school year. MIT received 18,109 undergraduate applicants for the class of 2016, with only 1,620 offered admittance, an acceptance rate of 8.9%. It employs around 1,000 faculty members. Seventy-eight Nobel laureates, 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 45 Rhodes Scholars, and 38 MacArthur Fellows are currently or have previously been affiliated with the university. MIT has a strong entrepreneurial culture. The aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT alumni would rank as the eleventh-largest economy in the world.
The "Engineers" sponsor 31 sports, most teams of which compete in the NCAA Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC.