Getting Started at MIT

MIT and the Department of Chemistry offer a number of resources designed to help new graduate students acclimate to life at MIT and the Boston/Cambridge area.


Many graduate students at MIT elect to live in on-campus housing during their first year.  On-campus graduate housing is available through MIT's Graduate & Family Housing office.  Students interested in on-campus graduate or family housing must apply in the spring, generally in early May, and are notified of housing placements over the summer months.  MIT also offers support for students living off-campus through their Off-Campus Housing office.  The Off-Campus Housing office offers an online Survival Guide to Renting Off-Campus.

Health Insurance & Medical Care

The department will cover the cost of the MIT Student Extended Health Insurance Plan for all enrolled graduate students.  Students who wish to decline coverage must complete the online waiver form each year.  The Extended Health Insurance Plan covers both routine preventative care (such as annual check-ups) and emergency care, and meets the Massachusetts requirements for health care coverage.  Regardless of whether or not students plan to enroll in MIT insurance, all entering students must submit a copy of their medical report and immunization records prior to enrolling.  More information about on-campus health services and the MIT Student Extended Health Insurance Plan is available online through MIT Medical.  If a student wishes to enroll a spouse, domestic partner, or dependent on his or her student health plan, the department will continue to pay for the cost of the student's coverage.  The student will be responsible for paying the difference between the spousal/dependent coverage and the amount covered by the department.

On-campus preventative and urgent care are provided at MIT Medical.  The urgent care center at MIT Medical is available to all MIT students, benefits-eligible employees, and retirees, regardless of whether the patient is enrolled in the student health plan. Family members covered by any MIT-sponsored health plan are also eligible to use the Urgent Care Service.  More information about the urgent care center, including the hours of operation and services available, is online at MIT Medical.

Stipend Information

Graduate students at MIT receive monthly stipend payments at the end of each month, via direct deposit.  Direct deposit, tax withholding, and other forms can be updated online via MIT's SAPweb Employee Self-Service page, under the "Money Matters" tab.  Students can also download electronic copies of pay stubs and W2s.  Please note that federal and state income taxes are automatically withheld from those students paid via Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships.  Students paid via MIT fellowship support may not have taxes withheld automatically, but fellowship support disbursed as stipend is still subject to state and federal income taxes.  The Office of Graduate Education (OGE) offers more information about taxable income online here.  Please contact Rebecca Teixeira in the Chemistry Education Office with any questions about stipend payments.

International Students

The International Student Office (ISO) at MIT provides primary support to international students throughout the visa process.  The United States government is currently giving extra scrutiny to student visas, and students planning to leave and re-enter the United States should discuss their travel plans with ISO prior to their trip, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to successfully re-enter the United States.

Resources for Families & Partners

MIT Spouses & Partners have a wealth of resources and also offers a Newcomer's Guide, online community, ongoing groups, and activities. The Office of Graduate Education (OGE) has also compiled a list of helpful resources for graduate students with partners and families.  Families and partners are also welcome to attend many department events throughout the year, including many of the events hosted by the Chemistry Graduate Students Committee (CGSC) and the annual holiday party.  Please refer to individual event invitations and reminders to determine which events are most appropriate for partners, spouses, and/or children.