Fun Facts About MIT

December 6, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Fun Facts about MIT

MIT at a glance

A quick look at MIT shows it has a rich history and culture for its faculty and students. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a non-public educational establishment that was established in 1861. Research in science and technology is the primary focus of MIT, which people can find in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Students can learn many fun facts about MIT from this fantastic school.

The institution consists of five schools and a college. Research spending at universities now exceeds 700 million dollars annually, with the majority of this money coming from the federal government and coming from departments like the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Aerial view of MIT campus

Alumni of this illustrious institution include the Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Ben Bernanke.

MIT in numbers

The statistics of MIT show how much of a powerhouse the school is. It is located in an urban environment, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,638 students (for the fall of 2021), and its campus spans 168 acres. The academic year is structured around a 4-1-4 calendar format. The total tuition and fees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are $57,986.

The fact that Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a retention rate of 98% for first-year students tells us that the vast majority of first-year, full-time students enjoy their experience there enough to return for a second year.

The average for the country is 68%, which is quite a bit higher than that. When it comes to graduation, students are considered to have completed their studies in a timely manner if they do so within four years. Students who enroll at MIT for the first time as full-time students have an on-time graduation rate of 85%. That is fantastic compared to the average of 33.3% found nationwide.

Since the acceptance rate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is only 7%, it is considered one of the most selective schools out of all the colleges and universities in the United States.

The ratio of students to teaching staff at MIT is an impressive three to one. That is a significant improvement over the national average of 15 to 1. This suggests that many classes will probably be smaller, and students will have plenty of opportunities to work closely with their instructors and classmates.

Some people like to look at the percentage of full-time faculty members when estimating how much access students will have to their teachers. This is because full-time faculty members can devote their full attention to teaching. This is because there is a possibility that part-time teachers will not be able to spend as much time on campus as their full-time counterparts.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the percentage of full-time faculty makes up 99% of the total. This is a much higher percentage than the average across the country, which is 47%.

Front view of an MIT building - one of the best computer science schools in the world

One of the fun facts about MIT is that there are many courses you can enter. At the end of the most recent academic year for which we have data, students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduated with degrees in 46 majors. 1,249 of these students graduated with their bachelor’s degrees, while 2,371 graduated with their master’s or doctoral degrees.

Facts about MIT

Pi Day

One of the more unusual fun facts about MIT is its fascination with Pi. Pi Day (March 14), an annual celebration of the mathematical constant, is traditionally the day the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announces its admission decisions. It is common practice for these admissions decisions to be made public at 6:28 p.m., colloquially referred to as “Tau time” (x2).

On March 14, 2015, also known as “Super Pi Day,” because the date reflects the whole first five digits of Pi (3.1415), an exception was made for the earlier release time of decisions, and admissions decisions were released at 9:26 a.m. to continue with the following three digits of Pi. This occurred because the date reflects the entire first five digits of Pi. MIT Admissions will produce an exciting video to accompany the announcements and commemorate the tradition. They will then post the video to the MIT Admissions Blog.

The Beaver’s Name Is Tim

Tim the Beaver as MIT’s mascot has been a fact about MIT since 1914, when he was adopted as the institution’s sports mascot at the suggestion of the Technology Club of New York during their annual dinner. President Richard Maclaurin was given two handsomely mounted real beavers at that dinner. Tim the Beaver has been MIT’s mascot ever since.

Other candidates included the kangaroo, which moves forward in bounds and leaps, and the elephant, which is intelligent, patient, powerful, hardworking, and has a good, tough hide. Both of these animals were considered. A member of the Class of 1898 named Lester Gardner described the beaver as “an industrious American animal noted for its mechanical skills who does its best work after dark.” The club named itself after the beaver, known as “nature’s engineer.”

The Colors of MIT

One of the fun facts about MIT is their pride in their color. In 1876, following the recommendation of the “School Color Committee,” assembled in February to define the institution’s official colors, MIT first chose cardinal red and silver gray to represent themselves.

The cardinal red was chosen for the school’s mascot because, as the committee chair Alfred T. Waite (Class of 1879) explained, it “has always stirred the heart and mind of man.” This was one of the reasons why MIT chose the color. Conversely, the committee selected Gray due to the “quiet virtues of modesty, perseverance, and gentleness” that it embodies. In May, the Alumni Association and the faculty both gave their stamp of approval to the recommendations made.

There are various ways that the colors of MIT are shown off in today’s world. Still, one of the most prominent is the Cardinal and Gray Society, an alumni group for MIT graduates who have reached the half-century mark since graduation. Newly inducted members of the society, who wear the society’s signature cardinal red jacket and gray slacks or skirt, head the processional and lead the graduates into Killian Court during Commencement. The organization plays an important role in the ceremony.

Brass Rat

One of the fun facts about MIT that undergraduate students at MIT look forward to is the annual gathering of a committee comprised of sophomores to design their class ring. This ring is then ceremoniously unveiled during the spring term. In 1929, a student committee at MIT came together to design what is now formally referred to as the “Standard Technology Ring.”

The ring has been worn by MIT graduates ever since. The Beaver, which serves as the Institute’s mascot, is positioned atop the ring, while the skylines of Boston and Cambridge are located on the ring’s sides, and the MIT seal and dome are located on the shank. Additionally, the ring incorporates one-of-a-kind design elements specific to each graduating class.

MIT building with lights during the night.

The ring is known as “the Brass Rat” due to its yellow hue and the fact that it prominently features the beaver mascot. The ring is made of gold. The distinctive Brass Rat is recognized worldwide and serves as an instant means of identifying MIT alumni with one another. It is a concrete symbol of an MIT education.


MIT is distinguished not only by its seriousness of purpose but also by its sense of humor. One of the popular fun facts about MIT is the practice known as “hacking.” Hacks at the Institute are elaborate but harmless practical jokes carried out anonymously on campus, in the surrounding area of Cambridge, or even further afield.

These hacks amaze everyone for their creativity, ingenuity, and difficulty with which they are carried out. Because of its notoriety, the 1958 prank in which the Harvard Bridge was measured in increments by fraternity pledge Oliver Smoot has led to the word “smoot” being included in the American Heritage Dictionary and used as a unit of measure in Google Earth. The peculiar unit of measurement is still painted on the bridge to this day.

Even though they are not officially sanctioned, students, teachers, and alumni can respect hackers for their technical expertise and the humorous jabs they take at other institutions. Examples include the astonishing appearance of a large black weather balloon with MIT written all over it in the middle of a football game between Harvard and Yale in 1982 and the cross-country theft of Caltech’s Fleming Cannon in 2006. Both of these events took place in the United States.

Pirate Certificate

One of the fun facts about MIT that most students don’t know as they enter this university is that some people can study to become pirates. The institute is not satisfied with producing exceptional graduates in traditional fields of study; instead, it also gives its students interested in swashbuckling the opportunity to become certified pirates. Students who complete four different types of physical education classes are eligible to receive a Pirate Certificate.

These classes include archery, fencing, pistol (or rifle), and sailing. The Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation officially awards the Pirate Certificate. In addition to being awarded a certificate on fake parchment, it is said that newly minted pirates also take an oath that is kept secret.

Now that you have an idea about MIT, your college admissions to that university should be next on your mind. To ensure that you get into MIT, you can get help with AdmissionSight. With ten years of experience with college admission experts, Admissionsight can help you get into MIT. You can talk to our experts today to get an initial consultation.

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