Residential Scholars FAQ

Welcome! Below you will find some of the most common questions asked about the Residential Scholar process, from applying to moving in. 

Role Description

The Residential Scholars program is a live-in residential experience for visiting and permanently appointed MIT faculty members and professionals from the community who are eager to share with the MIT student community their expertise, interests, and wealth of life experiences. The live-in residential scholars’ program is based in four undergraduate residence halls: Simmons Hall, New House, Maseeh Hall, and New Vassar.

The purpose of this program is to increase the opportunity for residential students to meet and interact with individuals who are engaged in exciting academic or other endeavors while giving visitors and interested faculty the opportunity to interact with and better understand MIT undergraduates – their passions, their intelligence, and their commitment to creating a better future.


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Is this right for me?

You can read about the experience of the 2022-2023 Residential Scholars here.

How long is the appointment for?

The residential scholar term follows the academic calendar, running from September 1 through June 1 of the following year. After discussion with the head of house, you can choose either a single semester position or the full academic year.

Is there an application deadline?

The priority deadline to be considered for a Fall 2024 position is Monday, April 1st. Applications received after that day may still be considered if there are still open positions.

What is the apartment like?

• Apartment Types: Residential Scholars are assigned 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, depending on the residence hall and availability, the size of Scholar’s family residing with them. Scholar apartments are established in each residence hall and cannot be changed to accommodate larger families. Check out these videos of  the inside of Simmons Hall and Maseeh Hall.

• Residential scholar apartments are offered at below-market rates similar to other on-campus graduate housing apartments. The rental rate also covers utilities and WIFI. Floor plans and rates are shown here.

• Apartment insurance is not included and Residential Scholars are encouraged to purchase coverage on their own. The Institute is not responsible for any expenses incurred due to damage or other issues related to coverage.

• Furniture: Apartments come fully furnished. Residential Scholars are responsible for any additional furniture they may want in the apartment. The Office of Housing and Residential Services replaces damaged furniture with comparable pieces. • Residential Scholars are responsible for expenses related to moving in and out of the scholar apartment.

Am I eligible if I have a partner and/or children?

The housing options (1-2 bedroom apartments) are adequate for single individuals and small families (1-2 children) due to the limited space available.

What is the application process like?

Submit Application: This includes information about you, and, if applicable, your partner and dependent children who will live with you on campus.

• Interview: Upon review of your application, if you will be advanced in the process, a member of the Residential Scholar planning team will contact you to schedule an interview. Prior to your interview you will be provided with information pertaining to the specific residence(s) with scholar opportunities. The interview will be conducted by the head of house in the residence hall and students. It is an opportunity for the house team to get to know you and learn what you would bring to the community. It is also a time for you to learn about the living community and assess if the role is right for you.

• Appointment: Once a scholar candidate is selected, they will receive an appointment letter and directions for completing a required background check. If the candidate would like to accept the position, they sign the offer letter and return it by the stated deadline. The background check must come back clear before the candidate is allowed to move in. Background checks can take a few weeks to complete so it is best to submit the required information as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are administrative tasks that can be completed related to the appointment.

Once you have signed your offer letter, there are some administrative tasks that need to be done by MIT staff. These tasks vary from individual to individual, but include:

  • Background checks for you, partners, and any dependents residing with you who are age 18+. Once a background check is completed (approximately 2 week turnaround), you can work with the Housing and Residential Services staff to determine your move in date and talk about logistics.
  • The Office of Residential Life will “sponsor” you and your spouse/partner, which enables you to get an MIT email account. If you have ever had an MIT ID# or kerb, you should tell us upon appointment.

Moving In:

• Once your background check and MIT accounts are set up, we’ll work with you to arrange a move-in date and time.

• The move-out date must be by June 1, and can be coordinated with the House Operations Manager.

• Moving costs are the sole responsibility of the Residential Scholar.

Am I able to use the dining hall?

Residential Scholars receive a 10 meal/per week meal plan, as do spouses and qualifying dependents, that follow the academic calendar. Meals are not provided when classes are not in session (i.e. January Independent Activities Period (IAP) and meals cannot be “added” to your meal plan. If you need additional meals outside of the 10 meals/week, you may pay using tech cash at your own expense. Children under three are free, and children 3-12 pay half price at the door. Scholar apartments have full kitchens.

Is parking available?

Parking is available for a fee. Once you have your MIT account and are in our Housing system we can connect you with the Parking and Transportation Office to arrange your parking.

Can residential scholars have pets in the residence hall?

According to MIT housing policy, pets are prohibited within residence halls, with the exception of fish in tanks up to 20 gallons. In limited circumstances, a residential scholar may be approved for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) as a reasonable accommodation for the resident’s use in the resident’s dwelling unit, or acknowledge a dog as a “service animal” which has been individually trained to do work or perform a task on behalf of an individual with a disability. Any individual approved for such assistance animal is responsible for ensuring that the animal does not unreasonably interfere with routine activities or cause unreasonable difficulties for residents of the building or other MIT community members. Residential scholars should contact MIT Human Resources at to inquire about the approval process for an ESA. If an ESA is approved, residential scholars must comply with all protocols related to a pet accommodation.