The National Polytechnic Institute (in Spanish: Instituto Politécnico Nacional, IPN) colloquially known as the Polytechnic (el Politécnico) is one of the largest public universities in Mexico with 153.027 students at the high school, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It was founded on 1 January 1936 during the administration of President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río as a response to provide professional education to the most disadvantaged social classes in that historical period.
The institute consists of 81 academic units offering 271 courses of study. It includes 65 technical careers, 78 different undergraduate and 128 postgraduate programs. Its main campus, called Unidad Profesional Adolfo López Mateos, is situated on approximately 530 acres (2.1 km) north Mexico City.
The IPN is based primarily in Mexico City and its suburbs, but with several research institutes and facilities distributed over 17 different states.