The mission of MIT 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. The Institute admitted its first students in 1865, four years after the approval of its founding charter.
Today MIT is a world-class educational institution. Teaching and research-with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle-continue to be its primary purpose. MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools and one college encompass numerous academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries.