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The School of Science is an amazing enterprise. With approximately 300 faculty members, 1100 graduate students, 900 undergraduate majors and similarly large numbers of postdoctoral researchers and research staff, it is large enough to carry out research at the frontiers in every field of science. Our faculty members have won 16 Nobel Prizes and our alumni have won 16 Nobel prizes; most of these have come in the past 20 years. The six departments in the School are consistently rated among the best in the world.
Some members of our community study deep philosophical questions: What is the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, which make up 95% of the content of our universe? How does our brain—a complex system of interconnected neurons, give rise to our mind—our consciousness and ability to learn?
Other faculty members study problems that have obvious practical implications: How does global warming increase the intensity of hurricanes? Can we make adult stem cells capable of generating any cells in the body, so that we could replace cells damaged by disease without using embryos?
Thus, the School is a magnificent generator of new knowledge. However, among the great research universities, MIT is unique in having a School of Science that is deeply committed to education. MIT provides each of its undergraduates with an understanding of the basic elements of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics, and our Science faculty are devoted to doing this well. Some of our most famous faculty members, even a few with Nobel Prizes, are also some of the best teachers of our freshman subjects.
Our science majors are provided with the very best introduction to their chosen field, as well as the opportunity to participate in forefront research, so if they decide to pursue graduate studies, they are superbly prepared. On the other hand an education in science prepares one for many careers. Students with bachelor’s degrees in science often go on to medical school, law school, business school, and other professional schools including engineering.
Some of our graduate students have pursued distinguished careers in research and education. However, others enjoy equally satisfying careers in business, industry, and government. Many combine their PhD degrees in science with medical, law, or business degrees and are uniquely prepared to make creative contributions to the modern world.