Student and Institute

A voice in governance

The Institute should provide direction and leadership on policies concerning graduate students, and graduate students should be able to provide input on Institute policies affecting them. Institute committees which set graduate student policy should either have graduate student representatives or provide a mechanism for graduate student participation in relevant decisions. Student involvement in Institute committees is coordinated by the Graduate Student Council.

Open access policy

As of April 2017, all MIT authors, including graduate students, have the ability to opt in to an open access license that grants the Institute nonexclusive permission to make the author’s scholarly articles available. Effectively, this allows the author to share scholarly work as needed for non-commercial purposes.

Raising concerns

Students who believe for any reason that they have been treated improperly are encouraged to raise their concerns. If resolution or discussion within the department is not possible, the student is encouraged to seek assistance from the Office of Graduate Education or other Institute resources responsible for conflict management. If a satisfactory solution is not forthcoming, the student should follow the complaint resolution procedures described in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 9.8, whereby a graduate student may request a formal inquiry concerning a complaint or grievance.  Individuals will not be reprimanded or discriminated against for initiating an inquiry or complaint.

Institute Policy guiding the graduate student experience

This content is also available in the PDF Best Practices in Graduate Student Advising.

  1. MIT does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other Institute administered programs and activities.

  2. Graduate students are protected from harassment, including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, gender-based harassment, stalking, and retaliation.

  3. Faculty, academic instructional staff, principal investigators, and staff supervisors are prohibited from having a sexual or romantic relationship with an MIT graduate student if they have or might reasonably be expected to have any type of authority over that student.

  4. Any graduate student who believes that they have been unfairly treated is encouraged to resolve the concern through the Institute’s complaint resolution procedures.

  5. Pending approval by the Office of Graduate Education, eligible graduate students may have access to childbirth accommodation and/or parental leave.

  6. As with all members of the MIT community, graduate students are to be treated with evenhanded respect for their dignity, individual qualities, and property.

  7. Graduate students have a right to and responsibility to maintain a safe and clean working environment.

  8. Graduate students have the right to conduct research in an environment free from conflicts of interest and the responsibility to maintain their research free of conflicts of interest.

  9. Graduate students have the right to conduct research in an environment free from academic misconduct and dishonesty and a responsibility to maintain standards of academic integrity and responsible conduct of research.

  10. Graduate students are protected from personal exploitation. In the case of full-time research assistants, services required of the graduate student must contribute to the student’s research or professional training.

  11. Graduate students in a paid assistantship have a right to paid vacation in accordance with Institute policy.

  12. Graduate students must be notified of the work requirements for each subject, including grading criteria and procedures, at the beginning of each term.

  13. Each academic unit should ensure that students have ready access to the following information:

    1. Degree requirements

    2. Academic deadlines

    3. Time limits for seeking advanced degrees

    4. Departmental procedures for general and/or qualifying exams

    5. Guidelines for resolving concerns or conflicts within the department

    6. Individuals available for consultation regarding student issues and problems

    7. Criteria for termination or withdrawal of a graduate student

    8. Rules governing teaching assistant and research assistant appointments and fellowships

  14. If a department or program is considering terminating a graduate student, that student should be made aware at an early stage of the reasons for such consideration, and should be notified in writing when formal consideration of termination is initiated [].