Officially called "The Standard Technology Ring", the gold MIT class ring is known more familiarly as the "Brass Rat." The original ring was the product of a committee formed In the spring of 1929, consisting of one member of each of the classes of 1930, 1931, and 1932. There was debate as to whether the dome or the beaver should be featured on the front of the ring, and the beaver won out as the more unique symbol of the Institute. The Dome is used on the shanks. Now, classes appoint a Ring Committee to design their own MIT ring.  This tradition has produced one of the most cherished symbols of an MIT education, recognized worldwide. The graduate version of the ring, the "Grad Rat," is redesigned once every 5 years.

A student from the class of 2011 adds, "It is both technologically advanced and keeps picking up speed just like MIT."

Another student from the class of 2011 writes, "The Brass Rat serves as a reminder of the bond all MIT students share. Filled with symbolism, it carries reminders of what makes each class unique. At the same time, traditional symbols are found on each ring that unite every class that graduates. It's something you can take pride in- the symbol of a bona fide MIT student."
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  • There used to be a tradition that after receipt of your Brass Rat, but before graduation, the ring was worn with the beaver’s tail and feet toward the owner, but that after graduation, you reversed the ring so that the feet and tail faced outward. I believe that all MIT graduates know why.

    Allen Krieger

    9 Oct 09 at 3:47 pm

  • Due to its distinctiveness, the Brass Rat also serves as a recongnition symbol to find other MIT folk in the field. People spot it and know, and the one’s who spot it and don’t know find the details facinating.

    Justin Stamen

    10 Nov 09 at 8:56 pm

  • My brass rat has been recognized as far afield from 77 Mass Ave as Tokyo (on the subway!), Johannesburg (down a gold mine) and Sydney. It is the one true indicator of an MIT grad.

    Charles Finn

    24 Nov 09 at 4:08 pm

  • Any advice on what to do if a student takes more than 4 years to graduate? Can he choose which ring he prefers? Should he choose the ring for the 4th year or the actual year he graduated? I hear the average student takes 5 years to complete MIT so other students must havae this question.

    Lily Winston

    9 Mar 10 at 12:54 am