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Operations Research Center
Student Resources

Prospective Students

New Admits

- New Student FAQs

- Writing Exam

Current Students

Useful OR Links

Interactive Learning Center


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 a very important Orientation Meeting which will be followed by events presented by the Graduate Student Council. One of the highlights of the MIT Orientation event will be a welcoming address by President of MIT, Susan Hockfield in the Kresge Auditorium

We 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.

MIT Email and Certificates


  • In early March, you will be sent an "Athena Account Coupon”. By following the instructions outlined on the coupon, you will be able to establish an MIT email address. You should do this as soon as possible and let the ORC Staff know once this has been completed. This email address and password will also be used as your Kerberos username and password 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.

For more information please see http://ist.mit.edu/support/accounts

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/services/certificates.


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. If a late fee is applied to the portion covered by MIT, you will not be responsible for paying that late fee. Please direct questions about your departmental award to Laura Rose and questions about paying your tuition bill to the Student Financial Services Office.

International Students

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 via the iMIT website (http://imit.mit.edu) by following the instructions outlined on the ISO website.

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.

Important Forms


  • I-9 Employment Form: This form should be completed, signed and taken with the proper documentation to the W20 Welcome Center (W20-021H). Complete this form or you will not be paid. NOTE: You must complete this form even if you are not being paid by MIT. (http://web.mit.edu/sfs/jobs/getting_hired_and_paid_by_MIT.html)

    Please pay special attention to the documentation you will need to present in order to complete this form (i.e., US Passport, Foreign Passport with I-551, Birth Certificate etc.). You must have these documents with you with you when you go turn in the form. A list of the acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the I-9 form.

    More information and a PDF of the I-9 form may be found here at the New Employee Orientation website and the HR Payroll Service Center website.

  • Intellectual Property Form: This agreement must be completed by all incoming students. Read the form over before bringing it to an ORC Staff member. The form should not be signed until an ORC Staff member is present so they can act as witness to the signing. More information on the policy can be found here: http://web.mit.edu/policies/13.1.html. The form itself can be found here: http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/community/propinfo.html

  • Direct Deposit Form and Tax Withholding Forms: Students receiving payment from MIT will need to complete a Direct Deposit form and a W-4 form. More information and PDFs of the forms can be found here: http://controllers.mit.edu/site/payroll/faq These forms can now be filled out and submitted online via Atlas Self Service (to access this you will need an MIT Certificate). For questions and further information about these financial forms please contact the MIT Payroll Office by phone at 617-253-3337 or via email at payroll@mit.edu.

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. This exam is to identify weaknesses in students' written English-language skills. Since so much of a student's graduate career depends on effective communication skills - both verbal and written - we feel that early identification of problem areas and appropriate remedial action are of critical importance. You will be sent further information prior to Orientation with more details and instructions. For more information see: http://www.mit.edu/~orc/resources/writing-exam.html

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) to all incoming students to the interdepartmental program in Operations Research whose native language is not Englishregardless of previous preparation in English. This test is to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the student’s written and oral Englishlanguage skills. Since so much of a student’s graduate career depends on effective communication skills, we feel that early identification of problem areas and appropriate remedial action are of critical importance.

MIT Information and Useful Links


  • Student Resources Website (http://resources.mit.edu/) 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 (http://stellar.mit.edu/) 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 that can also be found in the Wall Pockets near the ORC Reception Desk as well as the past ORC Qualifying Exams.
  • The MIT Card Office (http://web.mit.edu/mitcard/) (W20-021) 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 E39-278. This card provides library privileges and access to TechCash services, dormitories, some academic buildings, and parking lots.
  • The International Students Office (ISO) (http://web.mit.edu/iso/) (E39-278) 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) (http://web.mit.edu/gsc/www/) 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 (http://student.mit.edu/) 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 (http://web.mit.edu/facilities/transportation/parking/) offers information on subsidized MBTA passes, free shuttles, etc.

  • The MIT Center for Work, Family & Personal Life (http://hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/) 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 (http://web.mit.edu/odge/) lists regulations and pro-cedures concerning MIT graduate degree programs.


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