The Institute should provide direction and leadership on policies concerning graduate students, but graduate students should be able to provide opinion on Institute policies affecting them. Institute committees which set graduate student policy should either have graduate student representatives or provide a mechanism for graduate student participation in relevant decisions.
A student wishing to discuss a concern or to present a grievance may seek assistance from the following Institute offices: Office of the Dean for Graduate Education; Office of the Dean for Student Life; and from the office of the Ombudspersons.
Discussions shall remain confidential if the student so requests. Individuals will not be reprimanded or discriminated against for initiating an inquiry or complaint. If a satisfactory solution is not forthcoming, the student should follow the grievance procedure described in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 9.6, whereby a graduate student may request a formal inquiry concerning his or her complaint or grievance. A formal inquiry may be initiated through any of the above offices at the student’s choice. Other offices are available to provide assistance to students, including the Medical Department, Campus Police, religious counselors, counseling deans, and housemasters.
Institute Policy Guiding the Graduate Student Experience
- MIT does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, handicap, age or national or ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs and other Institute administered programs and activities [http://web.mit.edu/policies/7/7.1.html].
- Graduate students are protected from harassment, including sexual misconduct. [http://web.mit.edu/policies/9/9.5.html , http://hrweb.mit.edu/policy/3-10 , http://sexualmisconduct.mit.edu/sexual-misconduct-policy] and retaliation [http://web.mit.edu/policies/9/9.6.html].
- Any graduate student who believes that they have been unfairly treated is encouraged to resolve the concern through the Institute’s complaint resolution procedures [http://web.mit.edu/policies/9/9.6.html].
- Pending approval by the Dean for Graduate Education, female graduate students anticipating giving birth may take paid childbirth accommodation: [http://odge.mit.edu/gpp/registration/changes/childbirth-accommodation-maternity-leave/].
- As with all members of the MIT community, graduate students are to be treated with evenhanded respect for their dignity, individual qualities, and property.[http://web.mit.edu/policies/9/9.1.html].
- Graduate students have a right to and responsibility to maintain a safe and clean working environment [http://web.mit.edu/policies/9/9.2.html].
- Graduate students have the right to conduct research in an environment free from conflicts of interest and the responsibility to maintain their research free of conflicts of interest [http://web.mit.edu/policies/4/4.4.html].
- Graduate students have the right to conduct research in an environment free from academic misconduct and dishonesty and a responsibility to maintain standards of academic integrity and responsible conduct of research [http://web.mit.edu/policies/10/10.1.html].
- Graduate students are protected from personal exploitation. In the case of full-time research assistants, supervised activities should be confined to thesis research and professional development [https://odge.mit.edu/gpp/roles/roles/student-and-faculty/, http://web.mit.edu/policies/8/8.2.html – sub3].
- Graduate students in a paid assistantship have a right to paid vacation in accordance with Institute policy [http://web.mit.edu/policies/8/8.3.html].
- Graduate students must be notified of the work requirements for each subject, including grading criteria and procedures, at the beginning of each term [http://web.mit.edu/faculty/teaching/termregs.pdf].
- Each academic unit should ensure that students have ready access to the following information [http://odge.mit.edu/gpp/roles/roles/department].
- Degree requirements
- Academic deadlines
- Time limits for seeking advanced degrees
- Departmental procedures for general and/or qualifying exams
- Guidelines for resolving concerns or conflicts within the department
- Individuals available for consultation regarding student issues and problems
- Criteria for termination or withdrawal of a graduate student
- Rules governing teaching assistant and research assistant appointments and fellowships
- If a department or program is considering terminating a graduate student, that student should be made aware at an early stage of the reasons for such consideration, and should be notified in writing when formal consideration of termination is initiated [http://odge.mit.edu/gpp/roles/roles/department].