Pro-democracy stand-off in Tienanmen Square. (AP/Wide World Photos.)
The Political Science Department was formally established in 1955, within what was then the Department of Economics and Social Science, as part of a broad effort to develop research and training at MIT in the social sciences. The nucleus of a Political Science faculty had already been formed within the Center for International Studies, a pioneering, interdisciplinary research center working on American foreign policy and security issues, economic and political development in the Third World, Communist societies, and international communication. By 1958, a Ph.D. in political science had been authorized. Political Science became an independent department in 1965, offering an undergraduate major and a Master's degree, as well as the Ph.D.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/polisci/.