Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Many visitors enjoy touring the MIT campus to take in the school’s architecture. The Maclaurin Buildings (Buildings 3, 4, and 10), which form a U-shape around Killian Court, are perhaps the most recognizable, typically appearing on postcards and other media. Building 10 has a colonnaded facade and massive dome reminiscent of Rome’s Pantheon. Kresge Auditorium is another architectural highlight, touted along with the nearby chapel as a prime example of midcentury modern architecture. The Stata Center has a striking angular design by architect Frank Gehry, and many visitors appreciate avant-garde Simmons Hall.
Students lead 75- to 90-minute campus tours, which cover sites such as the Stata Center, MIT Chapel, the Zesiger Athletic Center, Kresge Auditorium, the Infinite Corridor, and the Student Center. Some guided tours combine visits to Harvard and MIT.
Things to Know Before You Go
An accessibility map that outlines the locations of ramps, elevators, power doors, and more throughout the campus is available.
Even though they are named, most buildings on the MIT campus are referred to by their assigned numbers.
Be on the lookout for “hacks,” the school’s name for creative student pranks, such as an office chair that appeared on the Lobby 7 dome, topped by an orange traffic cone a day later.
How to Get There
MIT is located in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Boston. The school’s main entrance is at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, and the information center is located in room 7-121, inside the main entrance on the right. You can reach the campus via Boston’s mass transit system (known as the T); hop the red line to the Kendall/MIT stop. From Harvard Square and Dudley Square in Boston, take bus 1 to MIT.
When to Get There
Overall, the best time to visit Cambridge is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and the student population is smaller. Twice a year, folks gather to watch the sun shine across the Infinite Corridor, which links several main buildings at MIT. This alignment, known as “MIThenge,” takes place over the course of several days around mid-November and late January.
The MIT Bridge
If the weather is nice, walk across the Harvard Bridge (also known as the MIT Bridge or Massachusetts Avenue Bridge), which spans the Charles River, to Boston, keeping your eyes peeled for painted markings that indicate an unusual measurement: the Smoot. Named after MIT graduate Oliver Smoot, the demarcation was part of a fraternity prank where Smoot laid down across the bridge and used his body to measure its length.