Updates about IAP for MIT Graduate Students

December 22, 2021
Blanche Stanton, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education | Suzy M. Nelson, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life | Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education |

Dear Graduate Students,

By now, you likely have seen the message to the entire MIT community about the Institute’s plans for a modified IAP 2022. For more context on these plans, effective immediately, watch the video of and slides from the 8 am community call on Tuesday, December 21.

In brief:

  • MIT’s research operations will continue at full strength as they have for more than a year. We are committed to ensuring the academic progress of all of our graduate students, especially since we know that, for most of our graduate students, research continuity is a critical part of academic continuity.
  • As appropriate to research scope and practices, we have asked research group leaders to encourage flexible work locations with their group members beginning today through the end of IAP.
  • If you are a GRA and/or have some role in engaging with our undergraduates, keep in mind the ways that campus life will differ during IAP 2022, including the expected lower participation rates in classes and activities as well as policy changes, as outlined in the community letter.
  • If you are teaching / supporting a for-credit course during IAP, we recommend that you review the parallel communication that went out to faculty and instructors as well as this revised resource site courtesy of The Teaching & Learning Lab (TLL) (https://tll.mit.edu/resources-for-iap-2022/).
  • GradSupport, OGE, and other support services are here, as always, to provide any assistance and the residential services team will also be on hand to provide assistance to students who live in campus housing.

For everyone on campus now or returning to campus in the coming weeks, also keep in mind the following.

Vaccines and Boosters


  • The usual Covid-19 testing will continue in near-term. Contact tracing for positives, however, will be limited to the most concerning cases and will be automated using a form. It is critical that you complete this form if you test positive so that MIT Medical  can determine if more detailed follow-up is required.
  • To make isolation easier on you, we strongly encourage you to pack a ten-day personal isolation kit before you leave to return to campus. It should contain any prescription medications you take as well as preferred non-prescription cold-fighting medications and pain killers/fever reducers. Also include personal care items like tissues, cough drops, and contact lens fluid, your favorite snacks, and anything else you think you’ll need to be comfortable for ten days in isolation.

Other Policy Reminders

  • Masks: MIT is pausing its “one mask down at a time” policy in instructional settings like classrooms; and masks will be required for everyone, always, indoors. MIT has a supply of KF94 or similar masks that will be made available at test drop-off points. Unvaccinated students must wear masks when outdoors if they are unable to be physically distant from others by three feet. See these instructions on how to use the KF94 masks for best results.
  • Events: Until further notice, serving or consuming food and/or drink at all MIT-sponsored events is prohibited, including grab-and-go service. (Note: This content was updated on 12/27/21.)
  • Eating indoors: The Institute is de-densifying eating areas (e.g., fewer tables and chairs).
  • Visitors: Visitors to campus will be required to attest to having a booster in Tim Tickets.

For additional information, please visit MIT Now.

We realize this latest phase of the pandemic will be challenging for many of you, especially with the approaching break. Be sure to take care of yourselves, your families, and your fellow students and to reach out if you need help.

Best wishes,

Blanche, Suzy, and Ian

Blanche Staton
Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education

Suzy M. Nelson
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life

Ian A. Waitz
Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education