Self-Selection Instructions

Self-Selection is a process that allows eligible MIT community members (e.g., students, postdocs, visiting scholars, etc.) to select on-campus graduate housing. During the housing selection period, prospective residents will enter the housing portal to view available housing units and to select their desired unit. Once selected by a Self-Selection participant, a housing unit will no longer be available to other individuals participating in the process. This enables students to select their exact unit within their preferred building and to confirm their housing assignment in one, easy-to-navigate process.


Curious about how self-selection works? Please continue reading for helpful instructions that will guide you from start to finish.


Step 1: Explore Your Housing Options

As a starting point, please take a moment to review all of your on-campus housing options, which can vary according to your family size. 


Step 2: Log Into the Housing Portal

Once you’ve explored your housing options, log into the Housing Portal using your MIT credentials by clicking the “Login with Touchstone” button (MIT graduate students only). If you are a visiting student, postdoc, or other affiliate, please follow the instructions on the login page to create an account before signing in. 


Step 3: Navigate to the Self-Selection Application

Once you’ve accessed the portal, please navigate to the “Forms” tab. Depending on your affiliation with MIT, you will select either:

  • Graduate Self-Selection Application (for enrolled MIT graduate students); or 
  • Visitor Self-Selection Application (for all visitors, postdocs and other affiliates)


Step 4: Complete the Self-Selection Application

Within the Self-Selection Application, you will be asked a series of questions, including whether you will be selecting single or family housing, as well as your roommate preferences and other initial pieces of information. You may revisit this section of the Self-Selection application if you need to edit your preferences, or to upload Proof of Family or other documentation.

Visual Instructions for Steps 1-4 can be found below (this is general guidance and may slightly vary based on the time of year you are selecting):

Steps 1-4


Step 5: Select an Available On-Campus Housing Assignment

After you have completed the application questions, you may continue to the room selection portion of the application (only available during self-selection days between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm ET). Here, you will be able to view all available on-campus graduate housing units and select your preferred unit. Please be aware that any rooms that you add to your cart will be removed after 10 minutes of inactivity.


Step 6: Sign Your Housing License Agreement

Once you have selected a housing assignment, you will be prompted to sign a Housing License Agreement (what’s this?). Please read through the Agreement carefully as it contains the terms and conditions of living in MIT Graduate Housing, as well as the rights and responsibilities of residents and the Institute. Please familiarize yourself with MIT’s Cancellation and Termination policies should you later decide not to live within your selected housing assignment. After signing the Agreement, you will be prompted to fill in an expected arrival date.


Once you select an available housing assignment and submit your signed Housing License Agreement through the Housing Portal, you will receive an auto-response email acknowledging the successful submission of the Housing License Agreement. You will then receive a follow-up confirmation email from Housing & Residential Services (HRS) within approximately 5-7 business days containing your building, apartment number, monthly rent, confirmed move-in date, and roommate information (if applicable).  Please note that all HRS communications are sent to your email address.

As described within your Housing License Agreement, you are responsible for rent from the occupancy date listed on the confirmation email for the apartment, whether you move in on that date or not. If you need to adjust your confirmed move-in date, please contact staff from HRS.

Visual Instructions for Steps 5-6 can be found below (this is general guidance and may slightly vary based on the time of year you are selecting):

Steps 5-6


Once you have completed the initial sections of the Self-Selection application (as described in Step 3 above), you will then have access to select from all available housing units matching your household size.  When the Self-Selection process is available, please note the following days and times when you can view and select a housing assignment in the Housing Portal*:  

  • Tuesdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm ET
  • Thursdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm ET

*Note: Self-selection is unavailable during Institute holidays.

As a reminder, once a housing unit has been selected by a Self-Selection participant, it will no longer be available to other individuals participating in the process. If you would like to preview a sample Housing License Agreement before selecting, please visit our website.

When viewing available units, if you don’t see unit types matching your preferences, don’t lose hope! Unit availability may change from week-to-week as units are added on a rolling basis (dependent on current residents’ housing plans). HRS will continue to release new rooms for future Self-Selection periods as they become available. Please know we cannot guarantee or predict availability.

When entering the Self-Selection process during the available selection periods, you have the opportunity to view all available units for that day – units will not be added. Housing units that become available between selection days will be released for the next selection period. We recommend that you revisit the Self-Selection process on a different day if you do not find an available housing assignment that meets your specific needs.

If you do not sign your Housing License Agreement when picking your Housing Assignment, we kindly ask that you sign your Agreement by 12:00 pm ET (noon) on Friday of the week you select your booking. If you fail to sign within this timeframe, your selection will be canceled and offered to other Self-Selection participants, and you will be subject to a $250 Cancellation Fee.

After selecting your desired housing unit and signing your Housing License Agreement, you will work with a member of our team to finalize an occupancy "move-in" date. Your rent obligation will not begin until your confirmed occupancy date and rent will be prorated accordingly.

Please note that we're unable to hold units vacant for extended periods of time, so please select a housing unit that's available around the time of your desired occupancy date. Fall move-in dates can range from mid-June to mid-October, but no later than November 1. Spring move-in dates can range from mid-December to mid-February, but no later than March 1.

The one-year occupancy period typically runs from early August until July 31 of the following year. HRS will make every effort to help ensure incoming residents’ move-in dates align with their housing plans. For example, some incoming residents may transition into their on-campus housing assignment after the expiration of their off-campus lease at the end of August. If you need to arrive on campus before your unit is available, connect with HRS to learn about temporary on-campus sublicensing opportunities. We also offer a housing selection process between November and March for students who are seeking available on-campus housing for the spring semester. Students may renew their housing assignment according to the terms of their Housing License Agreement.

As mentioned above, please familiarize yourself with MIT’s Cancellation and Termination policies should you later decide not to live within your selected housing assignment or if you will need to terminate the housing assignment earlier than the license period end date.