The professional MArch program is diverse and open-ended, with many views of appropriate research and practice of architecture available. Shared concerns include an interest in materials, fabrication, and technology; drawing and geometry; theory and criticism; sustainability and climate change; and culture in an age of rapid change and globalization. They also include a commitment to design as it engages related disciplines aligned with architectural production, a view of the environment as an ecologically structured phenomenon, a regard for the fabrication processes of building, a perspective on new technologies and their impact on practice, and a concern for the spatial, temporal, social, and urban contexts of buildings. Given the varied perspectives from which the curriculum is conceived, an important aspect of the student's development is to be able to establish links between different areas of focus and its many disciplines.
All applicants who speak English as a second language, including US citizens, must submit results from either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Since proficiency in English is a prerequisite for acceptance, applicants must attain an acceptable score on either test; RISD requires a minimum result of 93 on the TOEFL or on IELTS. The language test requirement may be waived for applicants who are enrolled in an institution where English is the language of instruction.
MIT was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs.   Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education ; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology , brain and cognitive sciences , genomics , biotechnology , and cancer research ; and a number of new "backlot" buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center .  Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School's eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest.   In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption .