Political science was launched as a discipline at MIT under the Department of Economics and Social Science in 1955, and as an independent department in 1965. This move was part of a broader attempt by MIT to integrate social sciences into a curriculum dominated by science and engineering, acknowledging the crucial role of the field in an unpredictable and interdependent world.

Today, we uphold the mission set forth in 1955: educating well-rounded students while bringing MIT's rigorous inquiry to bear on the social sciences. We excel in the fields of international politics and security studies, American, methods, and comparative politics. We embrace public policy debates and work with engineers and scientists on issues involving politics and technology. And we support interdisciplinary, international, and inter-industry collaborations with problem solvers around the world.