Students, Faculty, & Staff

Student Population

Over the course of the last 40 years, the undergraduate population at MIT has re­mained within the range of 4,000-4,600 students. To illustrate this stability, MIT’s undergraduate student population was 4,577 in 1981 while the reported figure for 2020 is 4,516 - a difference of only 61 student


Enrollment of graduate students and the number of post-doctoral employees fluctu­ates depending on the independent deci­sions of academic departments. These de­cisions are governed by a variety of factors including the availability of research fund­ing, the ability of international students to obtain visas, and more recently the impacts of a global pandemic. Over the last ten years, the average an­nual growth rate for graduate students was 1.3%. Over the last five years, the average annual growth rate has dropped to 0.7%.
With the opening of the Schwarzman Col­lege of Computing, MIT expects its student population to increase over the next decade, matching the augmented teaching and re­search facilities and faculty available to serve them.

Faculty & Staff 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2030
Cambridge-based Staff            
Head Count 10,234 10,596 10,801 10,813 10,805 10,000-11,000
FTEs 8,743‡ 9,009 9,148 9,217 9,198  
Post-Doctoral Staff** 1,486 1,488 1,442 1,434 1,452  
Cambridge-based Faculty            
Head Count 1,019 1,020 1,027 1,037 1,050 1,100
FTEs 1,010‡ 1,013 1,020 1,028 1,041  
Number of Cambridge Residents Employed at Cambridge Facilities 2,494 2,552 2,575 2,560 2,524 2,500-2,750
Students studying in the Stata Center
Student Body 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2030
Total Undergraduate Students 4,474 4,489 4,489 4,550 4,516 4,600
Day 4,474 4,489 4,489 4,550 4,516  
Evening N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  
Full Time 4,440 4,444 4,456 4,506 4,487  
Part Time 34 45 33 44 29  
Total Graduate Students 6,537 6,599 6,695 6,742 6,780* 6,500-6,800
Day 6,537 6,599 6,695 6,742 6,780  
Evening N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  
Full Time 6,523 6,592 6,571 6,740 6,774  
Part Time 14 7 124 2 6  
Non-Degree Students 226 191 197 195 159  
Day 226 191 197 195 159  
Evening N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  
Total Students Attending Classes in Cambridge 11,237 11,279 11,381 11,487 11,455 11,100-11,500
Non-resident students not included 94 97 85 87 65  
*International students account for 42% of the 2019 graduate student population.
Faculty and Staff

MIT’s faculty and staff employment is largely based on the needs and strategies developed at the department, laboratory, and center (DLC) unit level rather than through a central Insti­tute-wide planning process.


Approximately 105 DLCs manage their own staffing in support of their objectives with fund­ing that is assembled from a variety of sources. There was a reduction of more than 900 em­ployees in the recession more than a decade ago. The staff pop­ulation did not recover to pre-recession levels until 2015. Since then, staff population has grown at an annual rate of 1.5%, although employee growth has been flat in the past year. The proportion of employees who are Cambridge residents, around 20%,  has been stable for the last decade.


Postdoctoral employees are staff who have completed their formal education but continue to gain research experience by working in academic laboratories, similar  to how medical doctors complete a residency program to specialize in a field of medicine. The number of postdoctoral employees has dropped at an annual rate of -0.8% since 2015, remaining nearly flat at 1,452 for this year.


The number of faculty members has been growing at 0.5% annually since 2010. The Schwarzman Col­lege of Computing is expected to increase the fac­ulty headcount by 50 over the next several years.