Student Opportunities in the Arts at MIT

There are many departments, labs, centers, and initiatives at the Institute that offer resources and support for students interested in pursuing the arts at MIT. These include the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT), Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), List Visual Arts Center, MIT Museum, and Student Art Association.

Whether aiming to make, experience, or study art, or simply seeking to connect with others who share a passion for the arts, there are many opportunities to explore the arts for MIT students.

Funds and other resources are available to support you in your art-making process.

For more information, contact: arts@mit.edu

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Achieve

Attend

Connect

Create

Study






Study

Pursue a major, minor, concentration, or a graduate degree in the arts, or meet the HASS-A requirement. There are 17 undergraduate majors and minors and 10 graduate degrees in the arts offered by the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Architecture and Planning. Almost half of all undergraduates enroll in arts classes each year. There are also many extra-curricular opportunities to engage in arts learning.

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS)

SHASS is home to research that has a global impact and to superb graduate programs, all recognized as among the finest in the world. With 13 academic fields, the School’s portfolio is vast and includes:

Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Literature
Music and Theater Arts

School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P)

SA+P believes that humanity’s toughest problems occupy the same ground as their solutions: the space between people and their environment. The school is home to:

Architecture + Urbanism
History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture
Program in Art, Culture and Technology
Media Lab

HASS Requirements

All undergraduates must complete a HASS Concentration of three or four subjects, depending on the field you choose. The requiprment gives MIT students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the issues and methodologies in a single area of the humanities, arts, or social sciences.

Extra-Academic Classes

Hands-on instruction in the arts is offered by the Student Art Association. Students with all levels of experience are able to take classes in photography, ceramics, oil painting, and more.

Cross-Register at Partner Institutions

Full-time MIT students may cross-register for classes at Harvard University, Wellesley College, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Each school has its own cross-registration rules and eligibility policies and is available during the fall and spring terms.

Cross-Disciplinary Classes

The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) supports cross-disciplinary curricular initiatives that integrate the arts into the core curriculum at MIT and create new artistic work or materials, media, and technologies for artistic expression.

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Create

Resources and support for art making including funding, exhibition space, work space, tools, mentorship, and so much more!

Funding for Arts Projects

Current MIT students, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for funding from the Council for the Arts at MIT. Applicants can submit proposals individually or on behalf of a group or organization.

Makerspaces

MIT has over 45 makerspaces on campus, each with their own department affiliation, policies, and access rules. Mobius, a mobile app launched in 2016, serves as a one-stop-shop portal the enables students, faculty, and staff to find the resources they need and contact managers regarding each space.

Performance Groups

In addition to faculty-led performance groups, MIT boasts hundreds of special interest groups in dance, music, theater, and interdisciplinary forms.

Extra-Academic Classes

Hands-on instruction in the arts is offered by the Student Art Association. Students with all levels of experience are able to take classes in photography, ceramics, oil painting, and more.

START Studio

Supported by the Arts at MIT, the goal of the START Studio is to cultivate and support MIT arts focused entrepreneurial projects and business teams. It is a 24-hour space equipped with the tools necessary to develop both object based and software products.

ACT Fabrication and Digital Media Spaces

The Program in Art, Culture and Technology facilities include a darkroom, metal lab, sewing room, sound studio, video and digital photography editing suite, and a well equipped general workshop.

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Connect

Find others who share your passion for the arts

MIT Arts Scholars

An arts leadership group that brings together MIT students who are passionate about exploring the diverse array of arts available at MIT and in the Boston area. Members attend subsidized monthly excursions and workshops hosted by an expert in the relevant field.

Performance Groups

In addition to faculty-led performance groups, MIT boasts hundreds of special interest groups in dance, music, theater, and interdisciplinary forms.

Arts on the Radar

Explore all that the arts have to offer at this annual event to launch the new academic year hosted by the List Visual Arts Center, the Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Music and Theater Arts, and the Arts at MIT.

ASA Student Groups

Access a database of student-led interest groups in creative and performing arts via the MIT Association of Student Activities (ASA).

Grad Arts Forum

Encouraging networking, artistic collaboration, and intellectual discussions among MIT graduate students from different departments, the program organizes events all MIT graduate students are welcome to attend.

The Burchard Scholars Program

Bringing together distinguished members of the faculty and promising MIT sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated excellence in some aspect of the humanities, arts, or social sciences. About 35 MIT undergraduates are selected each year for the competitive program. Each cohort of “Burchards” participates for one calendar year, from February through December.

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Attend

Visit one of many exhibition spaces on campus, attend one of hundreds of performing and visual arts events on campus each year, and experience artistic research and projects produced at MIT.

Museum and Performing Arts Access

The Council for the Arts at MIT underwrites MIT’s memberships at many Boston area cultural organizations, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (ICA), and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Council will also be providing student tickets to the Boston Ballet’s virtual season and the Bobko BSO Ticket Fund will support the BSO’s Online College Card program this fall.

Arts Calendar

The MIT Community and the public are invited to attend exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other performances presented by various MIT departments, labs, and centers.

Center for Art, Science & Technology Visiting Artist Program

The program hosts artists from a wide range of visual and performing arts disciplines each academic year, exposing students to the creative process and fostering cross-fertilization among disciplines through workshops, class visits, lectures, and performances.

List Visual Arts Center

The contemporary art museum at MIT, the List Center is a creative laboratory that provides artists with a space to freely experiment and push existing boundaries.

MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery

Home to a creative community exploring commonalities between scientific and artistic methods, the Studio is a fully functional maker space and learning laboratory where MIT undergraduate and graduate students connect with unique learning opportunities in the tradition of mens et manus, “mind and hand.” Through a series of MIT classes, students integrate design and communications to engage audiences in science, technology, and innovation.

MIT Museum

Dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting materials that serve as a resource for the study and interpretation of the intellectual, educational, and social history of MIT and its role in the development of modern science and technology.

Lecture Series: Architecture

Hosted by the Architecture and Urbanism program, the series takes place on Thursday evenings during the academic year.

Lecture Series: ACT

Drawing together artists, scholars, and other cultural practitioners from different disciplines to discuss artistic methodologies and forms of inquiry at the intersection of art, architecture, science, and technology.

Lecture Series: Open Documentary Lab

The ODL invites artists, journalists, technologists, and media makers to present their work in weekly public lectures with the aim to push documentary’s boundaries and deepen the impact and reach of innovative reality-based storytelling.

Public Art Collection

The MIT campus is home to more than 3,500 pieces of art and architecture. Explore by artist or location on the MIT List Visual Arts Center’s interactive map.

Student Lending Art Program

Visit the annual exhibition of original artwork from the MIT Collection available to MIT students to display at home for one year for free.

Lecture Series: Comparative Media Studies/Writing Colloquium

The CMS/W Program invites a range of speakers to present about topics related to media studies.

Max Wasserman Forum

A public forum, endowed through the generosity of the late Jeanne Wasserman, addresses critical issues in contemporary art and culture through the participation of renowned scholars, artists, and arts professionals. The Forum is organized and presented by the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Wiesner Student Art Gallery

Located on the second floor of the Stratton Student Center, the gallery was designed to be a place for students to exhibit their artistic endeavors, both academic and co-curricular.

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Achieve

Earn recognition, put an idea to the test, and win funding.

$15K Creative Arts Competition

An annual contest designed to encourage arts-focused startups at the Institute. The $15,000 prize is offered as a grant to help launch the winning enterprise and enable the recipient(s) to join the ranks of MIT’s successful startup founders.

Funding for Arts Projects

Current MIT students, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for funding from the Council for the Arts at MIT. Applicants can submit proposals individually or on behalf of a group or organization.

Emerson Scholarship Program

Merit-based financial assistance for private lessons to MIT students of outstanding achievement on their instrument or voice in classical, jazz, or world music via competitive auditions.

Student Art Awards

The Council for the Arts at MIT presents several awards annually to MIT students who have demonstrated excellence in the arts; bestowing accolades as well as financial prizes.

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