What Major is MIT Known For?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

The famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, USA at sunset

What Major is MIT Known For?

What is MIT?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has long been recognized as a world leader in technology and innovation, pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and producing trailblazing discoveries across various disciplines. Because of its prestige, some people want to learn what major is MIT known for.

With its unwavering commitment to excellence, MIT has consistently ranked among the top universities globally, attracting the brightest minds to engage in cutting-edge research and educational endeavors.

As a multidisciplinary institution, MIT comprises five academic divisions: the School of Engineering, the School of Science, the School of Architecture and Planning, the Sloan School of Management, and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Each of these divisions excels in its respective field, fostering a collaborative environment that allows students and faculty to work together to solve complex problems and create groundbreaking solutions.

MIT’s unique blend of rigorous academics, pioneering research, and an entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in a lasting impact on our world, shaping the future of technology and innovation across various sectors.

MIT School of Engineering

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), known as Course 6 at MIT, is one of the institution’s most prestigious and influential majors. The significance of EECS in today’s world cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in shaping the digital landscape and powering technological advancements in various industries.

As the world becomes more interconnected and reliant on technology, EECS graduates from MIT School of Engineering are at the forefront of innovation, contributing to developing cutting-edge software, hardware, and systems that improve our daily lives and drive economic growth.

MIT students walking towards the famous dome, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston

Some notable MIT alumni who have made remarkable contributions in this field include Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web; Ray Tomlinson, who sent the first email and developed the “@” symbol for email addresses; and Andrew Sutherland, the creator of the popular online learning platform, Quizlet.

Through their groundbreaking work, these MIT graduates have revolutionized how we communicate, access information, and learn, showcasing the far-reaching impact of electrical engineering and computer science on our modern world.

Mechanical Engineering

Another program that is part of the discussion about what major is MIT known for is the Mechanical Engineering Program. Mechanical Engineering, known as Course 2 at MIT, is another highly regarded major that significantly contributes to technological advancements and our understanding of the physical world.

With a strong focus on robotics and materials science innovations, mechanical engineering graduates from MIT have played a pivotal role in developing state-of-the-art robotic systems, advanced manufacturing techniques, and cutting-edge materials with applications across various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, and biomedical.

Notable MIT alumni who have made substantial contributions in this field include Hugh Herr, a pioneer in biomechatronics and prosthetics who has revolutionized the way amputees regain mobility through the development of sophisticated prosthetic limbs; Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation, known for its high-quality audio products and innovative acoustic technologies; and Ellen Kullman, the former CEO of DuPont, who led the company’s efforts in developing advanced materials and sustainable solutions.

The groundbreaking work of these MIT mechanical engineering graduates has profoundly impacted society, improving lives and pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology.

Other engineering majors

In addition to electrical and mechanical engineering, MIT offers a variety of other engineering majors that contribute to the institution’s reputation for excellence and innovation. These include Aeronautics and Astronautics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

Aeronautics and Astronautics, or Course 16, focuses on designing, developing, and analyzing aircraft and spacecraft, enabling breakthroughs in space exploration, satellite technology, and aviation.

Civil and Environmental Engineering, also known as Course 1, addresses the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects while simultaneously emphasizing sustainability and environmental stewardship. This major has played a critical role in shaping modern cities, improving transportation systems, and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Chemical Engineering, or Course 10, involves designing and optimizing chemical processes, which has a wide range of applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, energy production, and materials science. As one of the programs in the discussion of what major is MIT known for

Graduates from these engineering majors have made significant contributions to their respective fields, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a constantly evolving technological landscape.

MIT School of Science


Physics, known as Course 8 at MIT, is a major that delves into the fundamental principles governing the universe and plays a central role in advancing our understanding of the natural world. MIT’s Physics department is renowned for its groundbreaking research and discoveries across various subfields, including particle physics, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics.

As part of the MIT School of Science, these cutting-edge investigations have led to transformative insights and technological innovations, shaping our comprehension of the cosmos and driving the development of new technologies that rely on our understanding of physical phenomena.

an MIT standee

Notable alumni from MIT’s Physics program have made significant contributions to the field and have been recognized with prestigious accolades. Examples include Rainer Weiss, who shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for his role in detecting gravitational waves, and Richard P. Feynman, a theoretical physicist known for his pioneering work in quantum electrodynamics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

The profound impact of MIT’s Physics program and its distinguished alumni can be felt throughout the scientific community and beyond as their work continues to shape the course of scientific discovery and innovation.


Mathematics, or Course 18 at MIT, is a major that fosters a deep understanding of the abstract and complex structures that underlie our world, emphasizing both pure and applied mathematics. The department’s pioneering work in diverse areas such as number theory, topology, combinatorics, and mathematical modeling has contributed to advances in science, engineering, and technology while also providing invaluable theoretical frameworks for understanding the intricacies of our universe.

MIT’s Mathematics program graduates have made significant strides in their respective fields and have been recognized for their outstanding contributions. Some notable alumni include John Nash, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1994 for his groundbreaking work in game theory, a field with far-reaching implications in economics, social sciences, and decision-making. There there is Daniel Quillen, a prominent mathematician known for his work in algebraic topology, who was awarded the Fields Medal in 1978 for his revolutionary contributions to the field.

These illustrious MIT mathematicians have expanded our understanding of the mathematical universe and provided critical insights and tools that have shaped the course of scientific and technological progress across various disciplines.

Other science majors

Apart from physics and mathematics, other majors in this department are also discussed when discussing what major is MIT known for. MIT is also renowned for its excellence in other science majors such as Biology, Chemistry, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

In Biology, or Course 7, researchers and students work to unravel life’s complexities at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels, contributing to advances in fields like genomics, biotechnology, and personalized medicine.

Chemistry, known as Course 5, encompasses the study of matter and its transformations, leading to innovations in materials science, drug discovery, and renewable energy.

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, or Course 12, explores the dynamic processes that shape our planet and the surrounding celestial bodies, contributing to our understanding of climate change, natural resources, and planetary evolution.

Lastly, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, known as Course 9, delves into the mysteries of the mind, investigating topics such as neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and human cognition, which have far-reaching implications for mental health, learning, and the development of intelligent machines.

Graduates from these diverse science majors at MIT have made groundbreaking contributions to their respective fields, pushing the frontiers of human knowledge and enabling innovations that shape our world and improve the human condition.

MIT School of Architecture and Planning


Architecture, known as Course 4 at MIT, has profoundly influenced the modern design and sustainable building practices. With a strong emphasis on integrating cutting-edge technology, innovative materials, and environmentally responsible approaches, MIT’s Architecture program has played a pivotal role in redefining the field and shaping the built environment. With its prestige, this course has been a frequent answer when talking about what major is MIT known for.

As part of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, graduates from this program have made significant contributions to the architectural landscape, both locally and internationally, by designing iconic structures, pushing the boundaries of aesthetic expression, and emphasizing the importance of sustainability in contemporary architecture.

Notable alumni who have left their mark on the discipline include I.M. Pei, a world-renowned architect responsible for designing some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and Gordon Bunshaft, a prominent modernist architect who designed the landmark Lever House in New York City and was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988.

Through their exceptional work and visionary approach, MIT’s architecture graduates continue to shape the future of the built environment, demonstrating the far-reaching impact of their education and training.

MIT Sloan School of Management

Management Science

Management Science, or Course 15, is a major offered by MIT’s renowned Sloan School of Management, focusing on developing cutting-edge business strategies and innovative management practices. This program equips its graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of today’s global business landscape, fostering leadership, entrepreneurship, and critical thinking.

a unique looking building inside MIT

MIT’s Management Science program has produced several notable alumni who have significantly contributed to various industries, leading successful businesses, driving organizational change, and implementing groundbreaking strategies. This is why more people mention this degree when discussing what major is MIT known for.

Some distinguished examples include Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a trailblazer for women in the technology industry; Robert M. Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and co-founder of 3Com, who has played a crucial role in the development of computer networking technology; and Robin Chase, the co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, a pioneering car-sharing company that has transformed urban transportation.

These accomplished MIT graduates have made their mark on the business world and demonstrated the importance of innovation, adaptability, and strategic thinking in shaping the future of global commerce and industry.

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.

College Admissions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.