Final Report of the Graduate Student Housing Working Group

August 10, 2018

To the members of the graduate student body:

I write to share the final report of the Graduate Student Housing Working Group, and to update you on the steps we have been taking since last fall to respond to the recommendations from the group’s interim report.

As you may recall, in October the Institute released a graduate student housing expansion plan based on the working group’s initial findings about graduate students’ housing needs and demand for on-campus housing. We committed to growing MIT’s 2016-17 graduate student housing stock by at least 950 beds.

In the months since the working group’s interim report and our response, the following progress has been made (much of which is detailed in the final report):

  • The Office of Campus Planning evaluated the feasibility of potential sites for new graduate student residences and continues to narrow down the options.
  • Housing & Residential Services in the Division of Student Life pulled together a Graduate Student Housing Working Group Implementation Team, and launched pilots in the fall 2018 housing allocation designed to make our current housing options more attractive and accessible to graduate students. Couples were offered the opportunity to live in “single” housing and graduate students were able to request to move to certain residences in roommate groups. We extensively advertised these changes to students and, as a result, participation in our first two pilots has been strong. We have also made Westgate efficiency apartments that families have not requested available to single students who are seeking on-campus housing. Housing & Residential Services will evaluate the effectiveness of these new offerings as they continue their work to implement the housing policy changes called for in the final report.
  • We have accepted the recommendation of the Graduate Student Housing Working Group to convene a similar group every three years in order to update our understanding of MIT’s graduate student housing landscape. We will also be adopting the report’s recommendation to perform an “annual checkup” to measure how we are meeting various housing milestones.


I am grateful to Chair Ian Waitz and the entire group (members listed below) for their insights and hard work throughout the 2017-18 academic year. They helped shine a light on the complex process of understanding and responding to evolving graduate student housing needs, and, with their final report, have put forward sensible strategies to ensure that MIT is well positioned to address demand, supply, and cost issues in the coming years.


Cynthia Barnhart


Graduate Student Housing Working Group

  • Ian Waitz, Vice Chancellor and Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Chair)
  • Jon Alvarez, Director of Campus Planning
  • Adam Berinsky, Mitsui Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science
  • Kelly Blynn G, Urban Studies and Planning
  • Lauren Chai G, Mechanical Engineering
  • Orpheus Chatzivasileiou G, Chemical Engineering; Vice President, Graduate Student Council
  • David Friedrich, Senior Director, Housing Operations and Renewal Planning, Division of Student Life
  • Stephen Graves, Chair, Faculty Committee on Campus Planning; Abraham Siegel Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management
  • Will Kimball G, Sloan School of Management; Eastgate President
  • Suzy Nelson, Vice President and Dean for Student Life
  • Abigail Regitsky G, Materials Science and Engineering; Co-Chair, State and Local Affairs Committee
  • Nicholas Triantafillou G, Mathematics; Co-Chair, Housing and Community Affairs Committee
  • Krystyn Van Vliet, Associate Provost; Professor, Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering