MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. The Institute admitted its first students in 1865, four years after the approval of its founding charter, and admitted its first woman student shortly thereafter in 1871. MIT’s opening marked the culmination of an extended effort by William Barton Rogers, a distinguished natural scientist, to establish a new kind of independent educational institution relevant to an increasingly industrialized America. Rogers stressed the pragmatic and practicable. He believed that professional competence is best fostered by coupling teaching and research and by focusing attention on real-world problems. Toward this end, he pioneered the development of the teaching laboratory.
- Nearly 60% of MIT undergraduates participate each year in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
- In a typical year, more than half of graduating seniors report participating in an international experience while at MIT.
Today, MIT is a world-class educational institution. Teaching and research—with relevance to the practical world and transforming society for the better as guiding principles—continue to be its primary purpose.