Your Health & Safety Are Our Priority

As we plan for returns to on-campus graduate housing, the health and safety of the entire MIT community and our neighbors continues to guide our decision-making.  With guidance from MIT Medical, MIT Emergency Management and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have developed a phased approach to graduate resident returns that aligns with established density restrictions in on-campus graduate housing. 

This plan was also created with input from graduate student leaders who serve on the Graduate Student Council and House Executive Committees, as well as Heads of House and staff from various departments across MIT.

The team at Housing & Residential Services (HRS) wants to assure you that we will continue to provide the support needed to successfully transition back to campus when it is safe to do so.  We appreciate your continued partnership, patience and understanding as we navigate these challenges and focus on ways to keep our residential community safe.  Please be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of this webpage.  

An overview of this information is also available in a quick guide

Important Contact Information

Key Dates

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

  • Students who would like to collect their belongings (and not return to live) may begin scheduling returns to campus.
  • Eligible residents of efficiencies, one-bedroom apartments or two-bedroom family housing may initiate moves back to campus. Please see below for further details.


Monday, June 15, 2020

  • Eligible residents of multi-occupant apartment-style graduate housing may initiate moves back to campus. Please see below for further details.


To Be Determined

  • Eligible residents of dormitory-style graduate housing may initiate moves back to campus (i.e. living areas with shared hall kitchens and bathrooms). Please see below for further details.



SECTION 1:  I would like to pick up my stuff.

Students who are interested in returning for the sole purpose of collecting their belongings may do so according to the procedures outlined below.

When can I return?

  • Residents may schedule a return between May 20 and July 31 to collect their belongings.  In an effort to ensure staff are available to accommodate your request, we are asking that returns be scheduled from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Weekend and evening pick-ups are discouraged but will be accommodated if necessary.

What is the process?

1. Schedule your pick-up.

  • Students must coordinate with the House Operations Manager for their residence hall to schedule a day/time for their return (please see contact information above).
    • Please help make tracking your request easier by using the following email subject line: Your Last Name, First Name / Building and Room Number
  • Students are allowed to have assistance with moving, including professional services such as Piece by Piece Movers (guide).  Any persons who are assisting with the move will be required to check-in at the front desk upon arrival and follow the expectations outlined below.

2. Be a good neighbor.

  • Where applicable, students will be expected to coordinate move logistics with any roommates remaining in the apartment, and to provide ample notification.

3. Observe community expectations upon arrival.

  • Students will be required to present their MIT ID and may only enter the building to remove belongings.
  • The front desk will issue a lockout key to be used only for the time needed to remove all belongings. Please note that if the key is not returned, a lock replacement fee will be applied to the resident’s student account.
  • Students and guests must wear a face covering, as well as practice physical distancing and hand hygiene at all times while in the residence hall. 
  • Students and guests may not stay in the room or building overnight.
  • Please submit a Hardship Request Form if you have special circumstances for which this expectation creates a hardship so that options can be explored.


SECTION 2:  I plan to return to live on campus.


Limiting the density of on-campus residential communities remains critical to preventing potential exposure to the virus and reducing risks to residents.  On-campus graduate housing settings where residents are sharing certain common spaces, as well as locations where overall density remains elevated, present certain challenges to practicing physical distancing.  We considered the varied living environments of our graduate student residence halls and focused on maintaining low student-to-bathroom and kitchen ratios. 

The team at HRS, Heads of House, and student leaders have consulted on a phased path forward for routine returns to campus for residents who departed their 2019-2020 housing assignments.  The plan consists of three parts (please see the three stages below).  Please take a moment to review each of these subsections which include information about return eligibility, the stages of return and community expectations for those who return to on-campus graduate housing. 

Who is eligible to return?

MIT graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for approval to return to campus to live in their 2019-2020 graduate housing assignment between May and July 31, 2020 when standard housing licenses expire.* 


Students must be:

  1. Eligible to register for the summer or fall 2020; AND
  2. Eligible to remain in housing beyond July 31, 2020 because of a signed license agreement for the 2020-2021 academic year.

*NOTE: Students who have renewed their license agreements for the fall may elect to return after July 31.  For those that opt not to return to campus housing and would like to discuss canceling their fall housing, please contact HRS by email or by telephone at (617) 253-5148 to discuss your options.

What are the three stages for returns to campus?*

​1. STAGE ONE: Initiate Scheduled Returns to Private Apartments [MAY 20]

  • Residents (who meet the eligibility criteria listed above) may return to single or family apartment-style graduate housing (i.e. family housing, one-bedrooms, efficiencies) may initiate returns to live back on campus by completing the following request form.
  • All Graduate Resident Advisors (GRAs) may initiate returns in coordination with their Head of House and the Associate Dean for Residential Education, Don Camelio.


2. STAGE TWO: Initiate Scheduled Returns to Multi-Occupant Apartments [JUNE 15]

  • In addition to the approved returns described in Stage One above, eligible MIT graduate students who live in shared apartments (i.e. two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments) may initiate returns to graduate residences by completing the following request form.


3. STAGE THREE: Initiate Scheduled Returns to Dormitory-Style Housing [Timing TBD]

  • In addition to the approved returns described in Stages One and Two above, eligible MIT graduate students who live in dormitory-style housing may initiate returns to graduate housing (i.e. living areas with shared hall kitchens including Ashdown House three-bedroom suites and shared floor bathrooms including units within 70 Amherst).  While a set date for Stage Three returns to campus has not yet been established, we expect to be able to confirm a timetable for returns shortly after the launch of Stage 2.  Once a return authorization date has been established, students may initiate the return process by completing the following request form.     
  • As noted above, on-campus graduate housing settings where residents are sharing certain common spaces, as well as locations where overall density remains elevated, present certain challenges to practicing physical distancing.  We recognize that this uncertainty is a significant inconvenience for these residents and we will continue to evaluate and update students with additional information as soon as possible. 

*NOTE:  The time periods for each of the stages above remain subject to change based upon local, state and federal regulations, as well as guidance from MIT Medical and MIT Emergency Management.

What are the community expectations if I return?          

1. Get tested for COVID-19 and Self-Quarantine

As a condition of returning to MIT housing, students, and their spouse, partner, or other adult authorized occupants (as applicable) MUST:

  1. Receive a COVID-19 test at no cost from MIT Medical within 24 hours of arrival (residents will be expected to self-quarantine after arriving on campus); AND
  2. Complete one of the following:
    • Receive a second COVID-19 test approximately 7 days later and remain in self-quarantine throughout this period until a second negative test is confirmed; OR
    • Remain in self-quarantine for a 14-day period.


  • Students will be provided access to their room on their confirmed return date, however, room keys will not be issued until a COVID-19 test has been administered by MIT Medical within 24 hours of arrival (proof of test will be provided by MIT Medical).   
  • Residents of family housing, one-bedrooms or efficiencies may self-quarantine in their living area.
  • Residents of two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments where overall density remains elevated may be required to live in temporary alternative on-campus housing coordinated by MIT (i.e. Burton Conner) during the self-quarantine period.​

Testing Availability: COVID-19 testing is available at MIT Medical from Monday through Friday during the hours listed below (times may be impacted during holidays). No appointment necessary. Please visit the testing area through the outdoor courtyard along Ames Street.  In observance of the Fourth of July holiday, MIT Medical will be closed for all testing services July 3–6. 

  • 8:00 am – 9:30 am
  • 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm 

NOTE: Weekend testing is not available at this time.  Requests to return to graduate housing cannot be granted on Fridays and Saturdays.

How to self-quarantine during the test result waiting period​: The self-quarantine process limits a person’s movement during the period when it is unclear whether they have the virus.  If a person is quarantining, they will be instructed to limit their movements outside of their room for up to 14 days. If they need to pick up food or a package at the desk, they will be required to wear a face-covering and avoid touching door handles directly or using elevators.  Learn more about self-quarantining by visiting MIT Medical’s website.  

Residents who test positive for COVID-19:  Any resident who tests positive for COVID-19 will have the full support and dedicated resources of the MIT community.  Campus partners, including staff from MIT Medical and the CARE Team, have developed a comprehensive approach to supporting residents diagnosed with COVID-19 until they fully recover.  This includes a temporary on-campus housing relocation depending upon housing type, meal delivery service and other assistance.

2. Sign Short-Term License Agreement.

  • Residents who are returning to campus will be required to sign a short-term housing license agreement through July 31, 2020.  To access and sign this document, please visit the MyHousing portal (MIT credentials required) and complete the license agreement that will be posted to your dashboard under the Summer 2020 header.  The temporary license agreement includes updated community expectations (see housing policies below) as part of MIT’s response to COVID-19.  Your billing will resume on the date your room key(s) is/are reissued at the front desk of the residence hall. 

3. Updated Housing Policies.*

  • Residents who return to on-campus graduate housing will be required to adhere to all current COVID-19 emergency housing policies.  These policies are in effect across all graduate residences to help reduce community spread of COVID-19 through person-to-person contact.  Some of these policies include:
    • Residents must practice physical distancing
    • Face coverings are required in residential common areas and public spaces
    • Overnight visitors or guests from outside the residence hall are not permitted
    • Spaces such as multi-purpose rooms, seminar rooms, and small and large enclosed common spaces in our communities are closed.

*NOTE: MIT reserves the right to revise and amend the Housing Policies, the terms and conditions on the HRS website, and any other MIT policies and procedures, at any time. Changes in policies, may include, without limitation, testing for COVID-19, completing health screening questionnaires, self-quarantining, temperature monitoring, and participation in contact tracing protocols, as well as following any updated federal, state, and local guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What if I’m experiencing a significant hardship related to being off campus?


Students who do not meet the minimum criteria to return and live in graduate housing may request an exemption to return, which will be considered by a team across the Division of Student Life and granted on a limited case-by-case basis according to the criteria listed below.*

  • Students who do not have reasonable alternative housing options, including those who do not have a home to go to, or for whom going home would be unsafe given the circumstances of their home life.
  • International students who cannot travel to their home country, or who have visa issues that would impact their return to campus.
  • Students who are “designated personnel,” who have been given a specific exemption by the dean of their school to work on critical research.
  • Graduate student residents of FSILGs or undergraduate housing who departed campus during the COVID-19 move-out.

*NOTE: This list of exemptions is not exhaustive nor a guarantee of permission to return.  Students who receive an exemption and live in a residential setting with shared floor kitchens or bathrooms, or a location where overall density remains elevated, may be required to live in temporary alternative on-campus housing coordinated by MIT. 

If you are experiencing a significant financial hardship due to living off campus, please review the resources that are availableThis link opens in a new window to graduate students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please know how much we appreciate your continued patience and cooperation.  Please review the FAQ information below to help address many of your immediate questions regarding the graduate resident return process.