School of Science

MIT School of Science Electricity

Photo: MIT School of Science

The Theory Behind the Engineering

MIT Green Building

The Green Building at MIT, home to the Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Science. Photo: Michael Hicks

Although it was not declared a separate school until 1932, the sciences have been a vital component to MIT’s identity since the beginning; after all, no one can design machines without applying some form of physics, chemistry, or math.  Today, the School of Sciences ranks as the second largest department at MIT, with over 2,200 students and 300 faculty members dedicated to studying it.

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The School of Science offers plenty of specialized subjects for undergraduate majors, including biology, physics, life sciences, mathematics, chemistry, brain and cognitive science, and earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences.  Graduate student can add biophysics, microbiology, molecular and cellular neuroscience, and computational and systems biology to that list.  Since science and engineering are so closely intertwined, MIT offers dozens of ways to branch one’s studies between the two schools.

News Worthy Work

Innovations and discoveries made in MIT’s School of Sciences are publicized more often than any other department.  Some of the latest articles describe how MIT researchers are manipulating light on neurons to encourage natural sleep, or how an MIT professor is studying yeast colonies to help predict ecological risks for cancer.

MIT School of Science Physics Lecture

Photo: MIT School of Science

Even classroom studies catch the public’s attention.  Faculty from the department of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences have theorized that a planet with a horizontal axis could sustain life, as long as its surface is entirely covered by water.  Since Earth has a nearly vertical axis, most astronomers have concluded that planets must twirl like a top in order to sustain life, not roll like a wheel.  This classroom-sparked theory may dramatically raise the chances of finding extraterrestrial life.

Honors and V.I.P.s

MIT’s School of Science has been home to 32 Nobel Prize winners, 6 winners of the National Medal of Science, and 109 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Graduates from the School of Science have gone on to become some of the most important (albeit less famous) scientists in recent history.  Buzz Aldrin, an astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission and the second man to walk on the moon, graduated MIT with a doctorate in Astronautics.  Bradford Parkinson, the co-inventor of the Global Positioning System (GPS), went to the School of Science for a bachelor’s degree in physics.

MIT may be known for its engineering research, but few can argue that its science department is less outstanding.

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Map Location of MIT’s School of Sciences

[pw_map address = “Green Bldg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02142”]