On February 20, 1865, four years after approval of its founding charter, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened its doors to admit the first class of 15 students. The event marked the culmination of an effort by William Barton Rogers, MIT's founder and first president, to create a new kind of educational institution relevant to the times and to the nation's need, where students would be educated in a way that emphasizes the application of knowledge.
Teaching and research with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle continues to be MIT's primary purpose. The Institute is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools namely architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, and social sciences, management, and science encompass numerous academic departments, institutes, and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary research centers, laboratories, and programs whose work extends beyond traditional departmental boundaries.
The purpose of the academic program at MIT is to give students a solid command of basic principles, a versatility of insight and perspective concerning natural and social phenomena, the habit of continued learning, and the power that comes from a thorough and systematic approach to learning. From these attributes comes the best assurance for continued professional and personal growth, especially in today's rapidly changing world. MIT offers a vast range of undergraduate and graduate programs in wide subject areas.
In 1916, MIT moved from its Boston location to Cambridge, and the current campus now encompasses 166 acres that extend more than a mile along the Cambridge side of the Charles River Basin. The heart of campus is anchored by an historic group of interconnecting buildings, designed by architect W. Welles Bosworth (Class of 1889), which facilitate interaction and communication among MIT?s schools and departments.
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