New housing option for graduate students

December 19, 2019
Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor, 2014–2021 | Martin A. Schmidt, Provost, 2014–2022 | Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, 2011–2020 |

Dear graduate students,

Before the holiday break officially begins, we want to share some exciting news about progress on our October 2017 commitment to increase the Institute’s graduate student housing stock and our work to respond to community recommendations from two separate graduate student housing reports.

New on-campus housing option for graduate students and families

Beginning in 2021–22, we will start to expand west campus housing options by constructing a new building with 550 beds on the site of the West Lot parking area and Building W89. The West Lot is located between Simmons Hall and the MIT Police station (W89) on Vassar Street. Once finished, this project will complete our 2017 pledge to add 950 graduate student beds to our housing system.

This project presents our community with a significant benefit: graduate students and graduate student families will now have access to the convenience and independence of apartment-style living in a residence hall minutes away from the heart of campus. We are pleased to be diversifying our housing portfolio to include an option that promises to be an exciting alternative to living off-campus for many students.

Why (and how) we are making this new option a reality

The 2014 and 2018 Graduate Student Housing Working Group reports identified two pressing goals:

  1. Expand our housing options so that we can enable graduate students and graduate student families living off-campus to move on campus; and
  2. Provide MIT with more financial capital, flexibility, and bandwidth so that we can expedite adding beds, make capital renewal improvements, and address deferred maintenance work in our graduate student housing system.

With this guidance from our community in mind, we plan to partner with an experienced third-party developer on this project. We have been discussing our plan and its benefits with faculty and student leaders, and we will share an update with the broader community in the coming months. This FAQ provides additional information about the project.

Our commitment to providing graduate students and graduate student families with an array of opportunities to live in vibrant MIT residential communities remains strong. Once open, this new building and the community members who call it home will be a welcome addition to west campus.

We hope you have a wonderful, restful holiday season!


Cynthia Barnhart

Martin A. Schmidt

Israel Ruiz
Executive Vice President and Treasurer