Eligibility, Costs and Timeline

RLE Visiting Student Requests 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the MIT Visiting Student program, the student must:

  • Be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution in the US (other than MIT) or abroad
  • Be enrolled in a degree program for the entire duration of their visit at MIT
  • Visit for a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 12 months. Visits under 3 weeks do not qualify, please contact Maxine Samuels for assistance
  • Obtain through MIT, a J‑1 (non-degree) student visa, except for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or students from another U.S. institution
  • Fifty-one percent (51%) or more of the student’s funding must come from non-personal sources (i.e. government scholarships, home university funds, MIT funds, a private organization)


  • No course participation is allowed
  • No employment is allowed (on or off campus)
  • Visit must be for academic research reasons
  • All research must be conducted ON MIT campus ONLY
  • The student cannot be a: 
    • Current MIT Degree Student
    • Current MIT Special Students
    • Student who has withdrawn or is on a leave of absence

Processing Timeline

  • For international students (currently abroad) — applications must be submitted at least 120 days prior to their appointment start date, to provide adequate time for visa processing
  • For students attending a U.S. university or with permanent resident status — applications must be submitted at least 45 days prior to their appointment start date


  • $1,000 processing fee – the MIT faculty host must pay out of a discretionary account; research funds cannot be used for this purpose
  • Registration fees — either the student or faculty must pay for registration and student activity fees each semester the student is visiting MIT. Please refer to the VS Estimated Expense AY 2019–2020 for the most up-to-date fee amounts
    • Spring — $1200 + student activity fees
    • Summer — $900 (no student activity fees)
    • Fall — $1500 + student activity fees
  • Student’s personal expenses — The student must have enough funding to cover personal expenses for the entire duration of their visit at MIT. See VS Estimated Expense AY 2020–2021 for the total amount required. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the student’s funding must come from non-personal funds