Update on graduate student housing

August 3, 2017
Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor, 2014–2021 |

To the members of the graduate student body,

I write to share a brief update on graduate student housing at MIT.

As you may know, the most recent study of graduate student housing needs was conducted in 2014. Commonly referred to as the Clay Report, this assessment called for the addition of 500 to 600 beds. I am pleased that the new graduate residence hall being constructed on Site 4 in Kendall Square, which is scheduled to open in August 2020, will expand our graduate student housing stock by about 250 beds.

I know that there is more work to be done on this important front. That is why, after consulting with the Graduate Student Council (GSC), Provost Schmidt, and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Ruiz, I will be taking the following steps in the upcoming academic year:

  • I will form a working group of students, faculty, and staff and charge them with developing a plan to satisfy the balance of the Clay Report target—which will increase our capacity by at least 250 beds. The group will explore issues such as potential sites, housing types, and a timeline for bringing these new beds online.
  • This group will also be responsible for assessing how graduate student housing needs (including those of graduate student families) have evolved in the three years since the Clay Report's publication. Their findings and recommendations, which will be informed in part by the recent GSC housing survey, will be released to the MIT community for comment, and the senior administration will provide a formal, timely response to each recommendation.
  • This group will also be charged with establishing a process to ensure a periodic review of graduate student housing needs, and the senior administration will respond to these regular assessments.

I believe that the combination of an operational plan and timeline for adding the remaining beds recommended by the Clay Report as well as a longer-term, ongoing assessment of graduate student housing needs will help us better serve the graduate student community. Our new Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, Director of Campus Planning Jon Alvarez, and Senior Director of Housing Operations and Renewal David Friedrich will be central to these efforts.

Soon I will write to share the working group's membership and charge. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, please email gradhousing-review@mit.edu.


Cynthia Barnhart