Graduate Policies & Procedures

Terms of appointment

Students who wish to be considered for appointments to the graduate student staff should contact their departments. Applications from new students are considered only after their acceptance to graduate programs. An appointment for the academic year is for the period September 1 through May 31; a summer appointment is normally for the period June 1 through August 31. However, appointments may be made for shorter periods. Only resident graduate students who are candidates for advanced MIT degrees may be appointed. Undergraduates, nonresident, and special graduate students are not eligible; however, in unusual circumstances, the Dean of the School or the Dean for Graduate Education may authorize such appointments.

Applications for reappointment are considered individually. Reappointment depends on academic progress as well as on performance as an assistant. A student’s appointment to an assistantship may be cancelled at any time if progress in a graduate program is unsatisfactory, or if the student is not carrying out the duties assigned.

Assistants are subject to the policies and procedures of their departments and of the Institute and must respect and conform to the rules and procedures of the division or laboratory to which they are assigned. Students who hold full time graduate student staff appointments normally cannot engage in additional employment for which they receive compensation from MIT administered sources.

A graduate student on active duty in the military can apply for an RA or TA appointment, but may not be permitted to receive the stipend. Active service personnel who are admitted to MIT for graduate work continue to receive their full military pay. Thus, by law, they are ineligible to receive additional payment from any federally funded research contract or other federal funding resource administered by MIT. If the RA is industry funded, then it may be appropriate to negotiate a stipend supplement; however, this would be considered on a case by case basis.

Students who hold full fellowships, traineeships, or other awards from MIT, or outside sources, cannot be appointed to full time graduate student staff appointments. The above restrictions include payments on hourly payrolls as well as academic, administrative, or research staff appointments.

Supplementary stipends (exclusive of tuition and fees) exceeding the guidelines established by the Academic Council must be approved by the Dean for Graduate Education.

While an appointment specifies either teaching or research as the primary duty, occasions may arise when it is necessary to reassign duties in whole or in part. Any assistant may be called upon to aid in proctoring examinations.

Instructor-G and assistantship appointees observe normal Institute holidays and are entitled to two weeks of vacation with pay if their appointments are for the full calendar year. Their vacation schedules must be approved by their supervisors.

The supervisor and the department head must approve a student’s absence from the Institute during a working period.