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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. 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, and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
 
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 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 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.
 
Academics
 
MIT is a large, highly residential, research university with a majority of enrollments in graduate and professional programs. The university has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1929. MIT operates on a 4–1–4 academic calendar with the fall semester beginning after Labor Day and ending in mid-December, a 4-week "Independent Activities Period" in the month of January, and the spring semester beginning in early February and ending in late May.
 
MIT students refer to both their majors and classes using numbers or acronyms alone. Departments and their corresponding majors are numbered in the approximate order of their foundation; for example, Civil and Environmental Engineering is Course 1, while Linguistics and Philosophy is Course 24. Students majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), the most popular department, collectively identify themselves as "Course 6". MIT students use a combination of the department's course number and the number assigned to the class to identify their subjects; the introductory calculus-based classical mechanics course is simply "8.01" at MIT.

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