Ideally, a graduate student will complete all degree requirements without interruption. In the event that a student wishes to suspend work on a degree to accept an offer of employment, or wishes to hold an employment position while pursuing a graduate degree, please note the following.
A graduate student may interrupt an academic program to accept employment on academic, administrative, or research staff, or as an hourly employee at MIT, Lincoln Laboratory, or the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, either during the academic year or during the summer, or take on such work while a regular enrolled student, only if the following conditions are met:
- Approval of the department head and of the appropriate academic dean has been obtained.
- The student’s department has transmitted written approval to the appropriate MIT Human Resources Officer.
- The work as an employee is not related to the student’s thesis research.
- The student’s thesis may not include any material based upon work done while holding an academic or research staff appointment.
A graduate student who wishes to suspend work on a degree to accept an offer of employment or hold an employment position while pursuing a graduate degree with an employer other than MIT, Lincoln Laboratory, or the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, should consult their department or program administration regarding the correct approval procedures.
Although there is no declared policy against working outside of MIT while a registered student, there are issues of conflict of interest and conflict of commitment.
Graduate students who hold full time research or teaching assistantships or who receive full support on a fellowship or traineeship are not usually eligible for such employment.
Some external fellowships limit the amount of time spent on external work and/or compensation a student can receive for external work. A fellowship student who holds a full-time paid internship over the summer may be asked to forfeit their summer fellowship stipend. The student should check with their department and with the Graduate Fellowships Manager to ensure compliance with the terms of their particular fellowship.
Research and teaching assistantships
A 100% research assistantship requires no more than 20 hours of work per week. MIT recognizes that graduate students may spend additional time conducting research in support of their academic studies. A student who is a US citizen or permanent resident who applies to work, in addition to his or her RA or TA appointment, may be permitted additional compensated employment at MIT for no more than 10 hours per week during the academic year, especially to support student life and learning activities (e.g., staffing the front desk of a residence hall).
International Students considering an RA or TA appointment should review information regarding on-campus work.
Regulations for international students’ on and off-campus work
Where to find jobs on and off-campus
Conflict of interest, commitment
Expectations for students working outside of MIT while a registered student