Welcome to Student Life at MIT

The Division of Student Life mission says it all: “We are here for students.”

For the better part of two centuries MIT has earned a reputation for educational and research excellence. Learning that happens inside the classroom is amplified by that which happens outside of the classroom. These experiences, which I often refer to as the “other” classroom, stretch across campus and beyond: on playing fields and theater stages, in residence halls and student organization meetings, in service to our community and faith gatherings. These opportunities enrich students’ lives and help them build skills as leaders, organizers, and problem-solvers. These campus life experiences also offer students spaces to have fun and relax, to rest and recharge, and to achieve some balance between learning and living.

The Division of Student Life (DSL) partners with students, faculty, and staff to help students thrive academically, physically, and personally. We are dedicated to supporting students during a formative time in their life. The MIT experience is rigorous, and we are here to listen, to guide, and to assist whenever students need help.

In short, we are here for students. And DSL staff will aim to deliver on that mission every day.

This website captures the range of student life experiences at MIT. Whether you are a current student, parent, prospective student, or faculty or staff member, I hope you find what you are looking for quickly, and that this resource is able to answer your questions. If not, please share your thoughts on how we can do better.

Best wishes,

Suzy M. Nelson
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life

Suzy M. Nelson

Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life


Suzy M. Nelson

As a member of the Chancellor’s senior staff at MIT, Suzy M. Nelson oversees many areas related to graduate and undergraduate student life at MIT: wellness and student support; residential life programs; fraternities, sororities and independent living groups; housing and dining; student activities and associated services and facilities; diversity and inclusion initiatives; violence prevention and response; student disability services; religious life; and athletics, physical education and recreation.

A graduate of the higher education doctoral program at Syracuse University, Nelson came to MIT after serving as Vice President and Dean of the College at Colgate University. With more than twenty-five years of experience as an educator, Nelson has worked at Harvard, Cornell and Syracuse Universities in residential life, student life and activities, and fraternity and sorority affairs. She has also lectured at Cornell University and other colleges on topics related to leadership, human services, and adult learning.

Nelson’s favorite part of her job is working with students. She began her career teaching high school English before returning to graduate school to study student development and college administration. Areas of academic interest relate to college residential learning communities, student well-being, and sustained dialogue as a technique for resolving conflict. Nelson and her husband Jack have four children.

Personal Appointments
Contact Rita Dalton at ritadalt@mit.edu or (617) 253-8566