The number of students enrolled in all campuses is approximately 40,000, which makes the Politecnico di Milano the largest institution in Italy for Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design.
Politecnico di Milano was established in 1863by a group of scholars and entrepreneurs belonging to prominent Milanese families. Its most eminent professors over the years have included the mathematician Francesco Brioschi (its first Director), Luigi Cremona, and Giulio Natta (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963).
In Italy the term "Politecnico" means a state university consisting only of study programmes in Engineering and Architecture. The Politecnico di Milano is nowadays organised in 16 departments and a network of 9 Schools of Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design spread over 7 campuses over the Lombardy region with a central administration and management. The 9 schools are devoted to education whereas the 16departments are devoted to research.
The educational policy of the Politecnico di Milano consists in offering different curricula tailored to the needs of its territory, which is considered one of most developed industrial areas in Europe.