MIT is a large institution with a rich array of resources and activities that are available to DUSP students.
The MIT Libraries, with holdings of more than 2.7 million volumes, support students in all major fields of study and research at MIT. On the Libraries' web site (libraries.mit.edu), Barton, the Libraries' catalog, lists holdings of books, journals, and theses, and Vera, the online guide to electronic resources, lists databases and e-journals, subject web pages, and e-mail addresses of library subject specialists ready to provide reference help and instruction online or in person.
The Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning, Room 7-238, one of the five divisional libraries, is the home library for planning students and the place where print course reserve readings are located. The Dewey Library of management, politics, and economics, E53-100, is also a highly relevant collection. Resource materials for interdisciplinary subjects, like environment, are collected in each of the subject libraries. Barton gives the location of materials and shows whether books are out in circulation, on reserve, or currently available. Barton and Vera are accessible from library terminals, Athena workstations, dial-in terminals, and the Internet.
The Rotch Library covers the subjects of urban design and development, real estate, environmental policy and land use, geographic information systems, housing and community economic development, regional planning and development, urban transportation, and planning practice. It also has copies of the theses of most former DUSP students. The new GIS laboratory is located at http://libraries.mit.edu/gis/ . Slides, digital images, CDs and videotapes are available for student use through the Rotch Visual Collections, Room 7-304. At Rotch, graduate students may arrange for borrowing privileges at the Harvard College Libraries and the Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
For more information, please contact the Libraries' web site:
Computer Resource Organization's Name (CRON)
CRON provides a range of computer hardware and software for student use, and facilitates access to other computational resources on campus for both the Departments of Architecture and Planning. CRON can advise users on equipment to purchase, and manages the day-to-day operations of the Department's computing infrastructure.
CRON maintains an environment in which information technology is available and easily accessible to serve required coursework and independent study. It manages a complex computer network supporting Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems. Wireless access (to MITnet) is provided throughout the campus by MIT Information Systems and Technology (http://ist.mit.edu ), allowing convenient network access for laptops. Wired network drops are available in the studios and other spaces where students can connect desktop computers. All MIT students receive a network account that enables access to state-of-the-art software, as well as e-mail, personal file storage (including web pages) and general Internet access.
Software provided includes office productivity suites, two- and three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD), modeling, rendering, animation, video editing, multimedia, image processing, geographic information systems (GIS), and structural, heat and lighting analysis packages. Where software licenses allow, software is available for installation on student-owned computers without charge.
Hardware includes color and black-and-white laser printers, wide-format plotters, scanners (flatbed and slide), digital cameras, portable projectors and video equipment. Computers are located in studios, classrooms, labs and other areas. Many areas are equipped with plasma screens or overhead projectors. Refer to the CRON website to learn where equipment is located. During the academic term, computer facilities are available 24 hours a day to students enrolled in the Department's academic programs. In addition to the Department's facilities, all MIT students have access to workstations in Athena clusters located throughout the campus.
There is no fee for using the computers in the Department's public areas, but students are charged a subsidized rate for printing, plotting and software licenses. This 'CRON Computing Fee' charge appears on one's Bursar's statement at the beginning of each term.
Further information can be had by visiting the CRON web site:
MIT students have access to state-of-the art health, dining, and other facilities. A new athletic center is currently under construction, and resources for students with families are both available and under construction.
MIT offers a range of physical education activities during the academic year as well as during IAP. Classes are offered on a "quarter" system, with two sign-ups each term. There is a large student-run intramural program, in addition to approximately 40 intercollegiate clubs. The new Albert and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center features an Olympic-class swimming pool, a 5,000-square-foot court facility for volleyball, aerobics and recreational basketball, as well as six squash courts built to international competition standards.
For more information, please visit the Athletics web site:
The MIT Health Plan coverage required by MIT provides services at no additional cost at the MIT Health Services Center. The Center provides a pharmacy, infirmary, and facilities for medical, dental, surgical, and other specialties. It employs 24 full-time and over 50 part-time physicians as well as other professional support personnel. Students are assigned a personal physician and a pediatric service provides care for students' children.
For more information, please visit the MIT Medical web site:
MIT operates 12 retail food service operations on campus. These vary from the offerings at Stratton Student Center on the west side of campus to Walker Memorial on the east side facing the Charles River, which houses a dining hall, a snack bar, and a graduate student pub. Other facilities offer various dining options as well as a well-stocked convenience store and evening snack bar, open seven days a week until 2 a.m. The Kosher Kitchen provides Kosher, non-dairy dinners three evenings a week.
The multilevel student center houses the Lobdell Court cafeteria, a coffeehouse and student art center, and various recreational and commercial facilities such an arcade, LaVerde's Market, a travel agency and Technicuts. The Student Center Plaza, where students congregate, is bounded on the west by Kresge Auditorium with its large concert hall seating 1,200, and its theatre, offices, and rehearsal rooms.
The Coop is a small, cooperative department store and bookstore, with two branches on the MIT campus. As members of the MIT community, students may become Coop members and obtain yearly charge cards, enabling them to receive end-of-year rebates, a percentage of the total yearly expenditure on all purchases.
For more information, please visit the COOP web site:
The MIT Work-Life Center
The MIT Work-Life Center fosters a welcoming and supportive environment that enhances the lives of the diverse mix of people and families who live, work and study at MIT. The Center provides services in the areas of parenting, child care, school information, job flexibility and relocation to MIT. It offers referrals and guidance to those seeking information and solutions through MIT's network of human services offices and organizations. Finally, staff perform research in and advocacy for work/life issues and help develop policies and programs that improve the quality of life at MIT.
For more information, please visit the CWFLP web site:
The DUSP faculty recognize that success in both academic work and professional practice relies heavily on strong communication skills. The most effective planners possess the ability to synthesize complex data and other information, organize its analysis, and formulate its interpretation into persuasive forms of argument. As a consequence, the Department has consistently established writing ability as a competency it expects of graduating students, and provides a range of resources students may access to demonstrate and achieve it.
All those who are not native speakers of English take the Institute's English Evaluation Test given by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures during Orientation Week, for an early evaluation of their speaking and writing abilities and placement in appropriate English as a Second Language courses. Other support for developing writing skills is available through MIT's Writing and Communication Center.
Students may choose to participate in a variety of activities offered by the Department, MIT, and the greater-Cambridge/Boston area.
Students often liken their experience at MIT to taking a drink of water from a fire hose. The number of intellectual and social activities in the Department is extensive. A weekly electronic newsletter keeps members of the Department informed about lectures, meetings, job and internship openings, and provides general announcements.
- Governance and Student Organizations: Students find many opportunities to become involved in the affairs of the Department. An active Student Council works to improve the quality of student life. Each class elects its own student representatives to the standing committees that set policy for the degree programs. An annual town meeting is held each fall for faculty, students, and staff to discuss issues of concern. There is also a Students of Color organization which is involved in student recruitment, admissions, and support for new students.
- Speaker Series: A vital part of the weekly calendar includes stimulating luncheon or brown-bag speaker series offered by many of the Program Groups in the Department, featuring alumni/ae and other prominent leaders in both academia and professional practice. Each semester starts with a kick-off dinner and speaker; holiday and end-of-year celebrations bring all members of the Department together for social events. Students organize their own Thursday Night Forum, which provides an opportunity to interact socially over a light dinner provided by the Department. Dinner is followed by speakers who foster dialogue among faculty, staff, and students about important issues which affect planning practice and education.
- Professional Development: Since planning is an applied profession, the opportunity to gain exposure to and experience in the field is vital. The Department provides students with stipends for travel to the annual conferences of the American Planning Association, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Planners Network, and other professional associations, for job networking and professional development. In January, DUSP sponsors a Professional Development Institute of short courses.
The highly successful Internship Program offers MCP students myriad paid opportunities to work in public, private, and nonprofit organizations, often under the mentorship of a DUSP alumnus/a. Gaining professional experience is a critical complement to the academic experience of the Master's program. Internships are most often one semester in duration, but sometimes can extend throughout a student's two-year enrollment.
Graduate students are encouraged to share in the many cultural and social activities available. During the academic year, students can participate in and attend over 400 music, theater, and dance events on campus. Visual arts activities range from Student Art Association classes in painting, sculpture, and photography to opportunities to explore interactive video, computer graphics, and holography. The List Visual Arts Center, located in the Weisner Building, is internationally recognized for its contemporary art exhibitions. The MIT Museum offers exhibitions and programs that explore the interplay between art, science, and technology.
Leaders in many fields give campus lectures and seminars. Numerous special interest groups and religious organizations offer a variety of opportunities. Just one example is the Graduate Student Council (GSC), which is concerned primarily with promoting the general welfare of the graduate student body and voicing its ideas and concerns to the administration.
In addition to campus activities, Boston-variously referred to as "Beantown," the "Hub," and the "Athens of America "-and the larger metropolitan area have much to offer in terms of rich history, culture, and diversity, with activities to satisfy all tastes and budgets.