Estimated living expenses for 12 months

MIT wants to give applicants a realistic assessment of the costs associated with a graduate education.

Living costs in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area are among the highest in the United States. The Institute cannot assume financial responsibility for its students beyond any funding offered at the time of admission.  

Students are encouraged to explore their housing options in MIT’s graduate residence halls as well as off-campus housing. To explore off-campus options in the Greater Boston area, please visit MIT’s Off-Campus Housing service or commercial apartment search services. 

Below are a few examples of estimated expenses that graduate students can expect when attending MIT. More detailed information on the cost of living in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area can be explored on websites such as the MIT Living Wage calculator or the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator.

When estimating your budget, please remember to include the impact of taxes. Federal and state taxes will differ for each individual, but can total as much as 14–30% of a student’s stipend.


Examples of estimated living expenses

Note: These estimates were last updated in summer 2022.

Single doctoral student living on campus with a roommate in a 2-bedroom apartment

TOTAL: $31,395 plus taxes

  • Housing for 12 months: $17,940*
  • Utilities: Cost included in on-campus housing rates
  • Care at MIT Medical: Cost included with tuition
  • MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): Cost generally covered by department
  • MIT Dental plan (optional): $545
  • Student Life fee: $396
  • Books and supplies: $600
  • Food: $6,000
  • Transportation and travel: $2,064
  • Other/personal: $3,850
  • Taxes: As much as an additional 14-30% of income

*Based on costs for Ashdown and Edgerton Houses.

Single doctoral student living in an efficiency on campus

TOTAL: $41,499 plus taxes

  • Housing for 12 months: $28,044*
  • Utilities: Cost included in on-campus housing rates
  • Care at MIT Medical: Cost included with tuition
  • MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): Cost generally covered by department
  • MIT Dental plan (optional): $545
  • Student Life fee: $396
  • Books and supplies: $600
  • Food: $6,000
  • Transportation and travel: $2,064
  • Other/personal: $3,850
  • Taxes: As much as an additional 14-30% of income

*Based on housing costs for Site 4 efficiency units.

Student living in a 1-bedroom apartment in Somerville with their partner or spouse, who is not working

TOTAL: $51,400 plus taxes

  • Housing for 12 months: $27,120*
  • Utilities: $1,800
  • MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): $6,734
  • MIT Dental plan (optional): Elected to not enroll
  • Student Life fee: $396
  • Books and supplies: $830 
  • Food: $7,200
  • Transportation and travel: $3,600
  • Other/personal: $3,720 
  • Taxes: If married and filing jointly, as much as an additional 8-16% of income; if filing separately, as much as an additional 14-30% of income

*Based on housing costs in Somerville, MA.

Student living on campus in a 2-bedroom apartment with their partner/spouse, who is not working, and their infant child

TOTAL: $59,157 plus taxes

  • Housing for 12 months: $25,728*
  • Utilities: Cost included in on-campus housing rates
  • Care at MIT Medical: Cost included with tuition
  • MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): $7,875
  • MIT Dental plan (optional): $1,378
  • Student Life fee: $396
  • Books and supplies: $830 
  • Food: $12,000
  • Transportation and travel: $5,436
  • Other/personal: $5,514 
  • Childcare: $0, as partner/spouse is the primary childcare provider
  • Taxes: As much as an additional 4-16% of income

*Based on housing costs for Westgate Apartments.

Student living in a 2-bedroom apartment in Cambridge with their employed partner/spouse and their toddler child

TOTAL: $94,588 plus taxes

  • Housing for 12 months: $38,120*
  • Utilities: $2,400
  • Care at MIT Medical: Cost included with tuition
  • MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): Covered by partner/spouse’s employer health insurance
  • MIT Dental plan (optional): Covered by partner/spouse’s employer dental insurance
  • Student Life fee: $396
  • Books and supplies: $830
  • Food: $12,000
  • Transportation and travel: $5,436
  • Other/personal: $5,514
  • Childcare at MIT-TCC: $29,892
  • Taxes: As much as an additional 14-30% of income

*Based on housing costs in Cambridge, MA.


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