Once you are admitted to the Operations Research Center (ORC), there are a number of important matters to think about prior to your arrival at MIT and once you arrive at MIT.
Hard Copy Transcript
If you have not done so already, you should have provided the Center with the most up-to-date official copy of your transcript. If you have not, please speak with the Academic Administrator.
The majority of students during the first year choose to live on-campus. The assignment is done via a lottery process. Information on graduate housing can be found at housing.mit.edu/graduatefamily/graduate_family_housing
The International Students Office (ISO) hosts many events for international students and helps students navigate immigration procedures. Prior to MIT's Registration Day, you must attend an information session at the ISO to receive clearance to register. For more information, including a guide for incoming international students and information about your visa paperwork, visit the ISO website.
Important Note for International Students: MIT’s International Students Office (ISO) has gone paperless for the submission of the necessary documents to obtain your I-20 (for F-1 visas) document. In order to receive instructions on how to secure your I-20 from MIT, you MUST establish your MIT email address immediately (see above). Once you have done this you can begin the I-20 process by following the instructions outlines on http://iso.mit.edu/students/i20_ds2019_application.shtml
On the day your I-20 is complete, the ISO will send it to you via express shipping. You can check the status of your I-20 on the ISO web page.
MIT requires that all incoming students complete and submit a medical form. Information can be found at: https://medical.mit.edu/faqs/medical-report-form
MIT Email and Certificates
Once you accept admission to the the ORC and fill out your Graduate Admissions Reply Form you will receive an automated email from IS&T (Information Systems and Technology) with instructions on how to establish your Athena User Account and password (sometimes called a Kerberos or MIT email account). In addition to being your MIT email address this is also your online identity at MIT which will allow you to access a myriad of online resources including online software downloads, the MIT Libraries, WebSIS and the off-campus Housing listings. If you already have an MIT email account, you will not receive this email.
This account plus security certificates for your computer will grant you access to the MIT secure web pages. Kerberos and email usernames are the same as Athena username. Get both MIT Certificate Authority (CA) and Personal Certificate by visiting this page http://ist.mit.edu/certificates
Orientation and Arrival to MIT
ORC students are advised to arrive at MIT at least one week prior to Registration Day. It’s important that you do not miss any of the MIT and ORC orientation events that are usually held before Registration Day. The ORC will hold an informal Orientation Meeting which will be followed by events presented by the Graduate Student Council. For more information on events scheduled visit Information please visit the Grad Orientation web pages.
The ORC will also be setting up a time for you to meet briefly with an ORC Staff member to get orientated to the Center itself and answer any questions you may have. You will receive an email from us in late July to set a meeting.
MIT tuition bills are available in electronic format only and can be viewed on your WEBSIS account in July for payment by the middle of August. If you have a research assistantship or fellowship that will pay your tuition, it may not be posted to your account before your bill is due. Please pay only the portion that is not covered by your award (i.e., dorm fees student life fee). If a late fee is applied to the portion covered by MIT, you will not be responsible for paying that late fee. For more detailed information regarding the cost of attendance, including specific costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing and food as well as transportation, please visit the SFS website and the Registrar's OFfice website.
The MIT ID
After arriving on campus, incoming graduate students must visit the MIT Card Office in order to receive an MIT ID card. An individual must present a valid passport, or a US government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license. Driver’s licenses from foreign countries, college/university IDs from other institutions like Harvard or Wellesley, credit/bank cards, or insurance cards will not be accepted as proof of ID. https://idcard.mit.edu/ (E17-106)
This ID provides library privileges and access to TechCash services, dormitories, academic buildings, and parking lots.
Writing Skills Exam
The Operations Research Center, in cooperation with the MIT Writing Program, administers a Writing Skills Examination to all incoming students to the interdepartmental program in Operations Research whose native language is English. The Writing Exam is administered online during the summer and requires you to preregister for the testing. You will be sent information via email with regard to the testing dates.
English Evaluation Test
The Operations Research Center, in cooperation with the MIT Writing Program and the Foreign Languages and Literature Section, administers an English Evaluation Test (EET). MIT mandates that all incoming international graduate students need to take this test unless their language of instruction from ages 6 through high school (continuously) was in English. These students would instead be required to complete the Writing Skills Exam (see above). The English Evaluation Test is usually held at the end of August of each year and students will be notified via email with the date and more details.
Registration at MIT is usually held during the first week of September (following the Labor Day holiday). Registration is handled electronically and no pre-registration is required for incoming students. Prior to registration day, you should arrange to meet with your faculty advisor on Registration Day to discuss your course selections for the semester. For more information please please go to the website for the MIT Registrar's Office.
There are a number of forms that students will need to complete upon arrival to MIT. The forms can be found here
MIT Information and Useful Links
Atlas for New Graduate Students - A very useful site where new grad students can obtain important onboarding information and complete essential forms and tasks. (Kerberos ID and installed MIT certificate required)
Student Resources Website – Want to know how to find stuff at MIT? From academics to finances and community life to professional development, search and find the resources you need. Search or browse for resources by topic or keyword. View undergraduate or graduate-specific resources. Short descriptions help you understand if a resource is what you are looking for. The site is Mobile-friendly.
STELLAR – is MIT’s web-based learning management system developed for managing the authoring and delivery of MIT Courses electronically. It’s primarily used by Course Instructors (or TAs) for presenting materials relevant to their courses (i.e., syllabus, calendar, lecture notes). STELLAR can be accessed by any student with an MIT certificate. The ORC has created its own STELLAR page which can be found under “project sites”. In the ORC Wiki - FAQs section you will find useful information and answers to common questions. The ORC Syllabi section contains links to several of the program handouts.
Canvas - Similar to STELLAR, Canvas is an easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS) that brings instructors, students, and course content together in one place: online course sites. It’s cloud-based so you can access all of your courses in real-time from anywhere on any device. It's currently used for all Sloan courses and will likely replace STELLAR entirely at some point.
The MIT Card Office – (E17-106) After arriving on campus, incoming graduate students must visit the MIT Card Office in order to receive an ID card. An individual must present a valid passport, or a US government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license. Driver’s licenses from foreign countries, college/university IDs from other institutions like Harvard or Wellesley, credit/bank cards, or insurance cards will not be accepted as proof of ID. All international students must go through an orientation at the International Student Office prior to getting an MIT ID. To make an appointment, please call ext. 3-3795, or stop by E18-219. This card provides library privileges and access to TechCash services, dormitories, some academic buildings, and parking lots.
The International Students Office (ISO) – (E18-219) provides services that meet the special needs of MIT international students. All international students are required to check in with ISO upon arrival at MIT.
The Graduate Student Council (GSC) – consists of elected representatives from academic departments and graduate living groups. The GSC is primarily concerned with promoting the general welfare and concerns for the graduate student body, and communicating with the MIT faculty and administration.
MIT WebSIS – is a web-based student information system for MIT students. You will use WebSIS throughout your MIT career to review and maintain your academic and financial student records.
The Parking and Transportation Office – offers information on subsidized MBTA passes, free shuttles, etc.
The MIT Center for Work, Family & Personal Life – offers direct services and individualized referrals to students, faculty, staff, and their families. Whether providing assistance with work or family-related matters, or other issues pertaining to life at MIT, the Center supports and celebrates the diversity of backgrounds and experiences within the MIT community. The Graduate Student Manual (https://oge.mit.edu/) lists regulations and pro-cedures concerning MIT graduate degree programs.