Visiting Scholars Program

From time to time, the Literature Section may accept requests for Visiting Scholar status.  If you are interested, please send an initial inquiry to the Literature Section:


  • Visitors are expected to obtain their own support from research or study grants obtained from a foundation, university, or other agency. The Literature Faculty provides access to its seminars, colloquia, and conferences, as well as library and email facilities.
  • Students currently enrolled in a degree program are not eligible to become Visiting Scholars. Visiting Scholars are expected to have a Ph.D. and several years of professional experience, or the equivalent.
  • You must apply directly to the Literature Faculty for appointment as a Visiting Scholar. The Literature program will act as a liaison with the International Scholars Office to process visa applications for foreign candidates, who meet the eligibility requirements below.


Individuals wishing to be considered for visiting scholar status will need to display proof of the following:
Minimum funding required per year (US$) –
{Funding levels may change according to the cost of living index for Cambridge and Boston.}
Rates are current as of March 4, 2020.

  • Primary Visitor: $35,000
  • Plus 1 dependent: $40,000
  • Plus 2 dependents: $45,000
  • Plus 3 dependents: $50,000

How To Apply

Please send an initial inquiry to the Literature Section:
After the initial contact, we may ask for:

  1. A letter describing your project, a rationale for pursuing this work in Cambridge and MIT, and the names of faculty members whose research interests coincide with you own. Include the dates you would like to visit.
  2. A curriculum vitae.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. At least one publication or writing sample.

The application and all its parts (letters, etc.) should be emailed or addressed to:
The Literature Section
Visiting Scholars Program
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 14N-407
Cambridge, MA 02139


  • Before May 1 for the following Fall semester (September 1).
  • Before October 1 for the following Spring semester (February 1).


If your application is accepted, the department will contact you with further details and paperwork about your visit.


Visiting scholars at Literature are expected to:

  • Stay at Literature for one term, or for at least three months during the term,
  • Give a presentation of their work to the Literature community,
  • Publish about their work at Literature and communicate their research, and
  • Participate in research groups and internal discussions.

Literature will help integrate visitors into its community and facilitate their work by providing access to MIT’s libraries, an e-mail account, and admissions to Literature. Unfortunately, Literature cannot provide office space, housing, or computer workstations to visiting scholars.