Undergraduate Housing


First-Year Residential Experience

Greetings from MIT Housing & Residential Services (HRS) — we hope you’re as excited as we are for the start of your journey at MIT!

Who We Are

HRS oversees on-campus housing assignments, repair and maintenance, residential security, and more.  Our team is responsible for ensuring that residences are welcoming, safe, and effectively supporting MIT’s distinctive residential experience. 

We encourage you to connect with members of our team regarding any housing-related inquiries that you may have.   We're available to assist through a variety of channels, including virtual and in-person services, as well as by phone and email.  Visit our contact page linked below to learn more. 

Contact Us

Students and teams from Housing & Residential Services and Residential Education participated in a First-Year Housing Experience program as part of virtual Campus Previous Weekend (CPW) activities for families of admitted students.  Click the link below to watch the program, which aired live on Thursday, March 30, 2023. 

Watch Video


Living on Campus

Each of our residence halls have their own unique community, and choosing where to live is one of the most exciting decisions you will make during your time on campus!

MIT’s residential experience encourages students to make connections with their peers outside of the classroom.  At MIT, we know that fostering healthy relationships, including with your roommates and others in your residential community, will help you thrive.  All first-year students are required to live on campus in one of MIT’s available residence halls.

This webpage includes some helpful details as you think through your on-campus housing options for the coming academic year.  Already thinking about what to pack?  Take a peek at some suggestions.


Housing Eligibility

All fully-registered undergraduate MIT students are guaranteed four years of consecutive on-campus housing.  Students who, after their freshman year, decide to live off campus, take a leave of absence, or who study abroad, may request to return to on-campus housing through the Waitlist Process, which is subject to housing availability.     

First-Year Residency Requirement 

First-year students are required to live in one of the on-campus undergraduate residence halls for the duration of their first year at MIT.  Close proximity to classes, as well as access to on-campus facilities and resources, are especially important during the transition to college life. 

Rare exceptions are made in cases where first-year students are married or will live full-time with parents or guardians who reside in the Boston area.  Students who are seeking an exception may write a letter of petition to HRS requesting permission to live off campus during their first year at MIT. In addition to a letter, first-year students must supply documentation of off-campus residency with parents or family, or documentation of marriage. The petition will be reviewed by HRS in conjunction with the Office of the First Year.

Residence Halls

Incoming first-year residents may preference any of the available undergraduate residence halls within their housing application.  As a starting point, please visit the Guide to Residences website to explore each residential community.  Make sure to check out the Interactive Introductions to the Institute “i3” videos posted to each house page, which are created by current residents to showcase their community.


While first-year students must live in an on-campus MIT residence hall, students may socially affiliate with Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups, known as “FSILGs”.  After their first year, students may choose to move into FSILG housing or remain in an on-campus residence hall.

About 35 percent of all MIT undergraduates are affiliated with an FSILG.  Formal recruitment to join an IFC Fraternity or Panhel Sorority occurs in the fall semester after Orientation.  Recruitment for Independent Living Groups & Multicultural Organizations occur on an individual basis.  Some IFC Fraternities & Panhel Sororities will hold informal recruitment in the spring semester.  Visit the FSILG website to learn more.

Housing selection, like a lot of things at MIT, is very unique.  Teams at HRS, Residential Education, and across the Division of Student Life, are committed to ensuring your housing assignment and move-in experiences are easy and welcoming!

Housing Application

Access to the first-year housing application typically opens in May.  Incoming first-year students will receive an email from HRS with details regarding the housing application process, as well as the application submission deadline.  Important housing dates will also be posted to the housing Dates & Deadlines webpage.  

All applicants are given equal weight; it does not matter when you submit your housing application, as long as it’s received by the posted deadline.  Building placements are made according to a lottery process, so don’t feel rushed to complete the online form – take your time when evaluating the housing options and be honest when sharing your living preferences.  You can also amend your submitted preferences at any time before the deadline– just make sure your changes are saved within the housing portal. 

The application captures students' housing preferences, including which living community students prefer to join.  Through the application, students may also choose to form a group of up to four total students who are interested in the same building placement.  While HRS will make every effort to assign students to one of their top three residence hall preferences, there is a possibility that a student may receive an assignment in any of the available residences based upon space availability.  But don't worry!  There are multiple opportunities to change your housing assignment at MIT (see below).   

Room Assignments

Careful attention is paid to students’ room assignments to help ensure a positive living experience. A unique feature of MIT’s residential system is that student Room Assignment Chairs or "RACs" coordinate individual room assignments in each building along with members of their House Team.  While a key set of principles guides the room assignment process, each house approaches room assignments a bit differently and information about each house’s room assignment process is linked below. 

Key Room Assignment Principles 

  1. New student preferences will be used to make room assignments.
  2. Upper-level students will not preference or select students to live on their floors/entry/community.
  3. First-year students may opt out of exploration and required moves.

After receiving living preference information from students, HRS shares these details with student Room Assignment Chairs (RACs) to facilitate individual room assignments for each residence hall in coordination with the House Team. Confirmed room assignments will be shared with incoming students according to the posted date.

HRS has worked collaboratively with Residential Education, RACs and House Teams in each house to develop a process for first-year room assignments. Below, please find house-created Action Plans (see example) outlining each residence hall's unique approach to assigning residents to specific rooms:


Changing Housing Assignments

When students arrive to campus for the start of the academic year, they have the opportunity to participate in Residence Exploration or "REX" which allows for exploration of each house, and to participate in special programming organized by existing residents.  After seeing each of the living communities during REX, students who would like to change their housing assignment are welcome to participate in the First Year Residence Exchange or "FYRE" process.  

FYRE, which is dependent upon housing availability, allows students to change their housing assignment.  Students who are unsuccessful at changing their housing assignment are also welcome to apply through the Building Switch Process, which enables successful residents to change their housing assignment beginning the next semester.  

Mentorship is a big part of MIT residential life.  All residence halls have a live-in House Team that cultivates community among their residents.

  • Houses are led by live-in faculty, called Heads of House, who offer academic and personal support to residents. Heads of House, as well as Associate Heads of House, often live with their spouses or partners and families, and they lead the House Team, which consists of:
    • Area Directors (ADs)
      • ADs are full-time professional staff members who are the student-outreach and support experts. As live-in staff, they assist with the transition to college and general navigation through MIT.
    • Graduate Resident Advisors (GRAs)
      • GRAs provide academic support to students on many residential floors/wings as live-in staff.
    • Residential Peer Mentors (PMs)
      • PMs are trained undergraduate students who serve as community-builders, leaders, and resources. They are a direct support person for a small cohort of first-year students.
    • House Operations Managers (HOMs)
Additionally, students play a significant role in building community in the residences through strong house governments and a variety of student-led activities and programs.