Academic Support

It’s common to experience academic challenges as a student at MIT, no matter who you are. Below are some helpful resources that can help students who are looking for academic support.

  • Instructors care about their students. A good starting place when you are running into academic concerns is to reach out directly to your professors or teaching staff (e.g., instructor, recitation leader, TA). We know, it can be intimidating to contact your professors directly, but they want to help!
  • You can be vague on personal or medical details, and you should only share what you are comfortable sharing. Focus on how what you are experiencing is impacting your work. For example, instead of giving a lot of details about your situation, you might focus on how it has been impacting your work, “I have been struggling with some personal issues, and it’s made it hard to focus on problem set 6.”
  • You should be specific about your academic request. Let your professor know specifically what work you can’t complete, approximately how long you will be impacted by your situation, and any thoughts you have about making up the missed work. 
  • Professors like to know that you are connected to campus resources so that you are supported through whatever you’re experiencing. If you want to talk through your situation or need help navigating it, please connect with GradSupport or S3.
  • Here are some more tips for difficult conversations and for building a solid advising relationship.

There are many reasons why a student might want or need to take time away from MIT. These may include personal or medical issues interfering with academics; opportunities for professional experience, such as an internship; family or community commitments; or the desire to just take a break.

The goal of Disability and Access Services is to ensure that our students receive equal access to all Institute programs, activities, and services. For students seeking accommodations, we encourage you to visit the DAS Accommodation page for the full process or contact das-student@mit.edu for inquiries.

  • Give everything its own time (and, ideally, space) – This helps your brain to associate places/times with a particular class or subject.
  • Make your weekly plans on Fridays – Friday is a great day to plan your week because it includes the weekend and helps you think ahead of deadlines.
  • Have set times to work with other people for accountability – It can help to have working with others be routine rather than only reaching out if you feel behind
  • It’s more efficient to ask for help – If you want to get through things faster, you have to be brave enough to ask for help! It’s a key part to prioritizing your wellbeing.
  • Not all time should be work time! – Taking breaks is important for your brain, your emotional wellbeing, and your body!
  • Find what works for you – You should make a system that works for you and your style (ie, some people want to define every minute of their work days, others find that overwhelming. Some people make lists, some people don’t, etc)
  • Be kind to yourself – Remember that part of college for everyone is learning how to manage their time and no one is perfect at it; mistakes are part of the learning process. 
  • If you feel like you never have enough time… you might be right – If timing is always really tough, it might be worth cutting back somewhere. That could mean academics, extra-curriculars, or something else but the math on your time has to work for you.
  • Use the resources available to you – There are a lot of resources at MIT designed to help you —TAs, advisors, S3, GradSupport, House Teams, Academic and Graduate Administrators – reach out for help when you need it!

For other tips to prioritize your wellbeing visit doingwell.mit.edu.

You shouldn’t have to think about where to turn to ask for help. Just ask.

ask.mit.edu