Staff in the Office of Graduate Education provide advice and counsel on a variety of issues including faculty/student relationships, changing your advisor, conflict negotiation, funding, academic progress, interpersonal concerns, and a student’s rights and responsibilities. They can also help with excused absences and provide clarification about Graduate Policies and Procedures. As of Spring 2021, MIT is implementing Guaranteed Transitional Support for students who wish to change advisors or research groups. 

Challenges are easier to solve together.  Sometimes, the first step on the path to a solution is reaching out for help. Staff members are available to meet with students:

  • Associate Dean Suraiya Baluch
  • Assistant Dean Gaurav Jashnani
  • Senior Associate Dean Blanche Staton

To schedule appointments, please email or call (617) 253-4860.

Taking care of yourself and each other

Difficult conversations
As MIT plans for increasing research operations, many people will face difficult situations in relation to returning physically to campus. Here are some tips for those conversations. You may also find this video useful.

Self-care Tips

  1. Map it out Develop a new structured daily routine which includes time allotted to exercise, eating and sleeping as well as activities of daily living including showering and dressing.  Discuss and set with your advisor(s) weekly or biweekly work goals and milestones.
  2. Fight isolation
    • Create scheduled check in times with other students, advisor(s) via a virtual medium (Zoom, Webex)
    • Use instant messaging modalities such as Slack to maintain contact with friends and peers.
    • Play online board games with friends such as Monopoly or
  3. Maintain self-care practices
    • Keep teletherapy appointments
    • Exercise
    • Get fresh air (e.g., walking around block, bike ride)
    • Acknowledge your feelings. Start a written journal, and/or talk to loved ones
    • Laugh! Watch comedies, movies, shows that bring you joy.
    • Practice mindfulness – Sign up for Calm (sleep stories, meditations, etc.)
  4. Pump the brakes Set daily time limit for reading about COVID-19. Keep informed, not flooded with information.

This is a referral program for MIT students with the goal of enhancing the student life experience through fitness, exercise, wellness and recreational opportunities. Student Support Services, GradSupport, and MIT Recreation have identified and seek to eliminate barriers such as cost, time, location, and knowledge of services. Graduate students visiting GradSupport may be referred to MIT Recreation if both the student and the Dean feel that exercise, fitness, wellness and recreation may enhance the student’s experience and quality of life at MIT. Referred students will receive access for up to three nutrition Coaching Sessions, three Personal Training Sessions, or unlimited Group Exercise. This program is generously funded by the Office of Student Wellbeing in the Division of Student Life.

Maintaining Mental Health During Coronavirus Pandemic Tips from The Steve Fund

  • Create a sense of safety for yourself through a prevention approach.  Keep your hands clean using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  Choose a hands-free greeting instead of a handshake.
  • Engage in self-care such as getting plenty of sleep.  This will help you stay calm and grounded.
  • Reduce media exposure if you find yourself on information overload which can trigger anxiety.
  • Think of others.  Focus on sharing information or resources with your fellow students, neighbors and friends who might need assistance with obtaining food and housing.
  • Stay connected with people and keep in touch with your networks.  Let people in your support system know if you need help. To access a culturally trained Crisis Text Line counselor, Text STEVE to 741741.
  • Remain reality based on coronavirus using trusted sources of accurate, up-to-date information such as:

Additional Support during Covid-19

Pause your day for ten minutes of mindfulness with the MIT community. Offered every day during campus disruptions.

DAPER Virtual Fitness
Find free virtual fitness classes on DAPER’s website and on demand YouTube Videos or use your MIT email address to join the National Recreation Movement and take classes from campuses across the country.

Online Support Groups
MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling offers ongoing teletherapy groups for MIT students, including Coping with Microaggressions Toolkit, Managing Stress Around Covid-19, ADHD Information and Skill Group, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Self-Compassion Toolkit.

As always, dial (617) 253-CALM at any time for a short, guided meditation to de-stress.

For daily updates on resources, upcoming events, and interesting articles, connect with GradSupport through GradLink on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Both advisors and students may also find our brochure, Best Practices in Graduate Student Advising, a useful resource to build and maintain a healthy, rewarding and productive relationship. Community members may request the fold-out brochure from OGE.

Visit the site to find additional information on a range of resources that are here to help you. MIT Graduate Assistance & Information Network (GAIN) is also available 24/7, providing confidential support for personalized services and referrals on legal, work/career, parenting, financial, home/daily living, and wellness. Call 844-MIT-GAIN (844-648-4246).