The School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was established in 1932 as part of the reorganization of the Institute recommended by President Karl Taylor Compton. The departments that became part of the School of Science were: Biology and Public Health (which in 1942 became the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, and in 1945 the Department of Biology); Chemistry; Geology (which in 1952 became the Department of Geology and Geophysics, in 1969 the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and in 1983 the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences); Mathematics; Physics; and Military Science and Tactics (which in 1933 became part of the Division of Humanities). The Department of General Science and Engineering was part of the School of Science from 1933 until it was discontinued in 1959.

In 1945 the Program in Food Technology was separated from the Department of Biology and Biomedical Engineering and became the Department of Food Technology (in 1960 the name changed to the Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Technology, in 1963 to the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, and in 1985 to the Department of Applied Biological Sciences). In 1988 the department was disbanded. In 1957 the Department of Meteorology moved from the School of Engineering to the School of Science (in 1981 it became the Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, and in 1983, part of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences). In 1994 the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences was moved from the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology to the School of Science.

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries; November 1995




Deans of the School of Science

Samuel C. Prescott

George Russell Harrison
Jerome Wiesner
Robert A. Alberty
John M. Deutch
Gene M. Brown
Robert J. Birgeneau
Robert J. Silbey
Marc Kastner
Michael Sipser


Nobel laureates to Professors 16

Nobel laureates to Alumni 14

MacVicar Faculty Fellows 22

MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows 8

Kavli Prizes 3

National Academy of Sciences Members 106

National Medal of Science 15

American Academy for Advancement of Science Fellows 21

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Members 130

David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellows 11