Policies and Support

Graduate Academic Standing Policy

Department of Architecture Graduate Academic Standing Policy 

All of the following graduate degree programs within the Department of Architecture are expected to comply with the stated policy: PhD, SMArchS, SMACT, SMBT, and MArch, except where explicitly noted. 

Minimum Academic Standards

To achieve satisfactory academic progress and maintain good academic standing, graduate students in the Department of Architecture must achieve the following qualitative and quantitative standards:  

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 or higher 

  • Term grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher 

  • Meet the minimum course load required (36 units per term) 

  • Make satisfactory progress towards the degree requirements (defined as completing program requirements in designated sequence on or before anticipated degree date, as set when is student is admitted to the program) 

  • Meet the Department’s English Language requirement  

In addition, MArch candidates must make satisfactory progress through the studio sequence and will be flagged for review when they receive two grades of C+ (cumulatively) or lower in studio courses.  

PhD students must progress satisfactorily through their additional requirements (qualifying paper, language exams, major and minor exams, thesis proposal, etc.) on a timeline determined by each of the PhD program. PhD students who are not making satisfactory progress through their dissertation milestones may receive a J-* or U grade in thesis.  

*J- grade expected to be available for use as of Fall 2024 term.  

For Reference – Institute Policy: 

To achieve satisfactory academic progress for purposes of federal student financial assistance, an MIT graduate student must achieve the following qualitative and quantitative standards:  

Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) exceeding 4.0 on MIT’s 5.0 scale; and 

Pass 67% of cumulative credit units attempted (defined as “pace”); and 

Make satisfactory progress in his/her academic milestones, as evaluated by his/her graduate program; and 

Not exceed five* terms of enrollment for a Master’s candidate and 13 for a PhD or ScD candidate.  

See https://oge.mit.edu/gpp/admissions-and-registration/academic-performance/graduate-academic-standards/  

*Dept note: MArch students receive a standard seven terms of enrollment to complete their degree program.  

Academic Honesty

MIT expects that all students come to the Institute for a serious academic purpose and expects them to be responsible individuals who conduct themselves with high standards of honesty and personal conduct.

Cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and other forms of academic dishonesty are considered serious offenses for which disciplinary penalties can be imposed. These concepts are explained more fully in the Academic Integrity Handbook.

Some academic offenses by students may be handled directly between the faculty member and student, possibly with the assistance of the head of the faculty member's department. As a result of discussion between the faculty member and the student, the faculty member may conclude that the student has, in fact, behaved dishonestly and may wish to take some further direct action. Among the direct actions the faculty member may wish to take are reduced grade, a warning letter, and redo of assignment or exam. The faculty member may also bring the case to the Office of Student Citizenship (OSC) or to the Committee on Discipline (COD) for resolution.

COD Rules and Regulations are available here. Procedures for dealing with academic misconduct in research and scholarship can be found in the MIT Policies & Procedures here.

Harassment Policy

Harassment of any kind is not acceptable behavior at MIT; it is inconsistent with the commitment to excellence that characterizes MIT’s activities. MIT is committed to creating an environment in which every individual can work, study, and live without being harassed. Harassment may therefore lead to sanctions up to and including termination of employment or student status.

Harassment is any conduct, verbal or physical, on or off campus, that has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual or group’s educational or professional performance at MIT or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment. Some kinds of harassment are prohibited by civil laws or by MIT policies on conflict of interest and nondiscrimination.

Harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age includes harassment of an individual in terms of a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person’s identification with a particular group.

Sexual harassment may take many forms. Sexual assault and requests for sexual favors that affect educational or employment decisions constitute sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment may also consist of unwanted physical contact, requests for sexual favors, visual displays of degrading sexual images, sexually suggestive conduct, or offensive remarks of a sexual nature.

The Institute is committed under this policy to stopping harassment and associated retaliatory behavior. All MIT supervisors have a responsibility to act to stop harassment in the areas under their supervision. Any member of the MIT community who feels harassed is encouraged to seek assistance and resolution of the complaint.

MIT provides a variety of avenues by which an individual who feels harassed may proceed, so that each person may choose an avenue appropriate to his or her particular situation. Institute procedures are intended to protect the rights of both complainant and respondent, to protect privacy, and to prevent supervisory reprisal.

General complaint procedures are described in Section 9.6 Complaint and Grievance Procedures.

Personal Support and Complaint Resolution

In addition to the Department Head, Administrative Officer, and Graduate and Undergraduate Administrators,  the following is a list of support and complaint-resolution resources at MIT and the MIT Department of Architecture.

For employees, including faculty and post-doctoral associates and fellows

  • Martha Collins, Assistant Dean for Human Resources and Administration, SA+P (mjcoll@mit.edu)
  • MIT Human Resources: MIT's Human Resources Officers (HROs) have detailed knowledge of MIT's HR policies and practices, and consult with employees, managers, HR professionals in the DLCs, and AOs. Our HROs advise and train on issues affecting work, job performance, annual reviews, training, hiring practices, leaves of absence, discipline, compensation, harassment or discrimination concerns, layoffs, reorganizations, and conflict resolution.

For Architecture

  • Diane Stacey-Wood, MIT Human Resources Officer (dianesw@mit, 617-715-5242)
  • MIT MyLife Services: MyLife Services provides MIT faculty, staff, postdocs — and families — 24/7 access to a network of experts who are available to help with life concerns, including childcare, legal and financial advice, help with personal and professional challenges, and more.

For students

  • DoingWell at MIT: DoingWell was developed to empower students to prioritize their wellbeing. Prioritizing your wellbeing is a journey that looks different for everyone and what works for you one day might need to change another day. What’s most important is that it’s what YOU need. Sometimes, DoingWell means reaching out for support because you’re not feeling good or need help. Other times, DoingWell means going for your weekly run or writing in your journal. 
  • ask.mit: MIT's initiative, ask.mit, assists students in identifying what support resource(s) at MIT are the most appropriate for their particular questions and concerns.
  • CARE Team: The CARE Team (Coordination, Assistance, Response, and Education) is a team of staff members who support all students through challenges they may experience during their time at MIT. A primary function of the CARE Team is to support students during hospitalizations and discharge, and with follow-up care. With student consent, the CARE Team will also work with families of students to support them in supporting their loved ones.
  • Dean on Call: Division of Student Life staff able to access a network of responders including MIT Police, MIT Health, Student Support Services, Residential Life Program staff, and others.
  • GradSupport: Staff in the Office of Graduate Education provide advice and counsel on a variety of issues including faculty/student relationships, changing your advisor, conflict negotiation, funding, academic progress, interpersonal concerns, and a student’s rights and responsibilities. They can also help with excused absences and provide clarification about Graduate Policies and Procedures.
  • Helping Others: Guidance on what to look for and how to respond when you are concerned about someone else.
  • iREFS (Institute-Wide Resources for Easing Friction & Stress): iREFS are graduate students formally trained and certified in conflict management skills. They provide confidential, peer-to-peer support for all graduate students at the Institute and point students to other resources on campus. They also teach conflict management workshops upon request. To meet with an iREF, email irefs-contact@mit.edu. Your request is seen by the iREFS co-chairs who will forward your request to an iREFS member who best meets your preferences.
  • Lean on Me: Text hotline for anonymous, real-time support, powered by MIT students.
  • Let's Chat: Offers easy access for students to informal, free, confidential 20-minute consultations with counselors from MIT Mental Health and Counseling during the academic year.
  • MedLinks: Student liaisons between MIT Health and undergraduates, to support their health and well-being.
  • MIT Emergency Medical Services: MIT EMS is a student-run 24/7 ambulance service for all medical emergencies on the MIT campus and in the surrounding community. Call MIT Police Dispatch at 617-253-1212.
  • MIT Health Urgent Care: Acute-care services for illnesses or injuries that need prompt attention, but aren't likely to result in loss of life or severe impairment.
  • MIT Police: Maintains a safe academic environment and offers emergency medical service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dial 100 from any campus phone, or 617-253-1212. For non-emergencies, dial 617-253-2996.
  • Peers Ears: Residence-based peer support for undergraduates, via phone and email, to promote mental health and well-being.
  • Student Mental Health and Counseling Services at MIT Health: MIT’s Student Mental Health and Counseling Services works directly with students to understand and solve problems. Visits are confidential and easy to arrange.
  • Student Support Services (S3): S3 is a friendly and easily accessible hub of support for MIT students.
  • Violence Prevention Response: MIT’s primary on-campus resource for preventing and responding to interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Hotline available 24 hours a day to support survivors in deciding what to do next.

For faculty

  • MIT Faculty Guide — Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress: This Faculty Guide assists faculty in understanding MIT students, recognizing indicators of student stress, and knowing what specific resources to recommend to students in distress.

For all members of the MIT Community

  • Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR): MIT’s centralized office for students, faculty, and staff with concerns related to discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and bias. IDHR staff support community members who have experienced harm access to: resources on- and off-campus; supportive measures including academic and workplace accommodations; informal/alternative dispute resolution processes including mediation and facilitated dialogue; and the formal complaint process.
  • MIT Health: Central resource for physical and mental health and well-being.
  • MIT Anonymous Reporting Hotline: MIT has established an anonymous reporting hotline for whistleblower or other complaints about wrongdoing and violations of Institute policy. The reporting system is hosted and maintained by a third-party vendor called Ethicspoint. Anyone may use the hotline to report a concern about suspected wrongdoing in the MIT community. MIT has a strong non-retaliation policy that applies to anyone who raises a concern in good faith through the anonymous, whistleblower reporting hotline. For questions about the hotline or related material on this website, contact compliance@mit.edu.
  • MIT Environmental Health & Safety: A collection of resources specifically intended for asking questions or reporting concerns about safety and health issues or environment, either anonymously or directly.
  • MIT IS&T: Report IT security concerns, data incidents (such as a loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of Institute information or systems), DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) violations, or offensive or obnoxious web pages or emails.
  • MIT Office of Religious and Spiritual Life: Comprising over 20 chaplains and 40 student groups, the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life (ORSEL) reflects the diversity of the Institute’s community. The chaplains provide religious, spiritual, and educational programming, as well as confidential counseling and crisis support.
  • MIT Ombuds Office: The Ombuds Office is a confidential and independent resource for all members of the MIT community, including students, faculty, employees, alumni, and employees of Lincoln Lab, to constructively manage concerns and conflicts related to your experience at MIT.
  • MIT Police Anonymous Sexual Assault Form: Sexual assaults can be reported anonymously to the MIT Police Department with this form. A victim/survivor may complete this form themselves and send it to the MIT Police Department, or a victim/survivor may ask a third party (such as a friend or counselor) to do so.
  • MIT Vice President for Research: Report research misconduct, which includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in research activities, or deliberate interference, but not include honest error or differences of opinion.


archREFS (Resources for Easing Friction and Stress) is a group of graduate students trained in conflict management and mediation that supports the MIT Architecture student community. To help students manage stress and conflict, archREFS are available to listen, help think of possible resolutions, and connect to other MIT resources. There is no concern too big or too small with which to approach an archREFS member. 

It is also important to note that archREFS is a confidential resource, meaning no information shared with them will ever be shared with others or acted upon without explicit consent or direction, except in the unusual situation of imminent risk of harm to self or others. 

To set up a one-on-one confidential meeting, email archREFS@mit.edu or sign up with this form.


In response to feedback from the Architecture community, the Strategy & Equity team developed a new platform called archCorner. ArchCorner is an online space for MIT Architecture students, staff, and faculty to submit messages with concerns, suggestions, questions, ideas, or issues to bring to the attention of department leadership, and to our larger Architecture community. In the archCorner platform, you can direct a message to members of department leadership and student services, and you will receive a response from that person in return. You can choose to make your message and response anonymous and confidential or have them posted on a Community Page viewable by our Architecture community. ArchCorner is just one way to connect with department leadership, and you are still encouraged to communicate via email, visit office hours, or engage in person at department events. ArchCorner can be accessed by Architecture community members here

BU/MIT Student Innovations Law Clinic

The BU/MIT Student Innovations Law Clinic is a free and confidential legal service for MIT students who have legal questions related to their academic research, policy advocacy, or innovative projects. They help students with questions around intellectual property, information privacy, computer access, media law and FOIA, health/FDA law, financial regulation, non-profit and for-profit entity formation, and a variety of other areas of innovation law. They are on campus on Fridays at 10am–5pm at locations throughout MIT, and you can contact them directly at www.bu.edu/law/silc.