Location Logistics

Click on any of these to jump to the corresponding section:

Please feel free to view MIT's interactive campus map. Google Maps can also be helpful for driving directions. If you have a smartphone, the MIT Mobile app’s map can be useful for finding your way around campus on foot.

Getting to MIT

Take the Boston MBTA Red Line to Kendall/MIT station, which is at the eastern edge of MIT’s campus. Additionally, the MBTA’s 1 bus stops right in front of MIT’s main entrance at 77 Massachusetts Avenue. For those who live further away, we encourage you to use the Commuter Rail and other public transportation options when possible. Most south and west Commuter Rail lines terminate at South Station, which is four stops away from Kendall/MIT on the Red Line. For detailed instructions on how to get to MIT using I-93 (N and S), I-95 (N and S) or I-90, go here. Please keep in mind that parking at MIT is even more limited now than it has been in past years, so we do not recommend driving unless you plan to simply drop off your student.


MIT’s campus is open and urban, located just across the river from a major city and just down the street from a major commercial district. As a result, we cannot control who is wandering around during our programs. Thus, if students aren’t comfortable on their own at MIT, they may not be ready for our programs. However, we do our best to make our programs safe. For large programs like Splash, we have security volunteers roaming the hallways to help lost students and keep order. The MIT Police are aware of our programs and render assistance when necessary. Every student in every program gets a list of important phone numbers, including the directors of the program and the MIT Police. In case of emergency, always call the MIT Police first (617-253-1212), since they respond faster for emergency services than 911.


Parking on MIT’s urban campus is even scarcer than it has been in the past due to the closure of West Garage. Therefore, we strongly encourage parents to drop off their students in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day, or better yet, use public transportation. Parking is available at either endpoint of the Red Line (Alewife, Ashmont, and Braintree), and you can easily take the T to Kendall/MIT station from those parking spots.


Though 77 Massachusetts Avenue is a popular pickup/dropoff location because it’s centrally located, it is often congested. Here are some other suggestions for dropping off or picking up students:

  • Vassar Street, right past MIT’s main entrance, coming from Harvard Bridge. This is a wide, pedestrian-friendly street on MIT’s campus.

  • Kendall Square. Since there is a T stop at Kendall Square, it is often easy to get directions or follow a crowd to get there. It can also be found heading east on Vassar and then turning right (south) onto Main Street.

  • DuPont turnaround. Between the Student Center (W20) and duPont (W32), opposite MIT’s main entrance at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, there is a turnaround for easy dropoff.

Where to stay?

ESP currently does not offer any residential programs. If you do not live in the Cambridge/Boston area and wish to attend our programs, you will have to find your own accommodations. We can never arrange accommodations for our students. In particular, we cannot allow students to stay in MIT dorms. For short programs like Splash and Spark, if you are traveling some distance to get to the program, you may wish to stay in a hotel for the Saturday night between days, and even the Friday night before (since Saturday morning check-in opens at 8 am). The MIT Visitor Information Page has information and links to local hotels. Please note that hotels do not, in general, allow minors to stay in a hotel by themselves. ESP volunteers cannot provide assistance in checking students into hotels. For Splash and Spark we sometimes negotiate with local hotels for discounted rates. Note that some of these hotels have booking deadlines that fall before Splash/Spark lottery results are available. Class selections cannot be guaranteed - so please keep this in mind when making arrangements.

For Splash 2022, see more information here.

Finding your way around

The most important street in the area is Massachusetts Avenue, usually called Mass. Ave. If you can orient yourself to Mass Ave., you've often won half the battle. Similarly, the Charles river runs perpendicular to Mass Ave., so if you know your orientation relative to Mass Ave. and the river, you should be able to find your way on a map.

MIT's campus has mostly numbered, rather than named, buildings. This allows any room to be specified by its building number and room number, as (building #)-(room #). You can tell where a building is by its prefix:

  • No letter: main campus, east of Mass. Ave., between Memorial Drive and Vassar St.

  • W (as in W20): west of Mass. Ave., between Memorial Drive and Vassar St.

  • NW: west of Mass. Ave., north of Vassar St.

  • E: east of Ames St. (usually along Memorial Drive)

Once you find a building (a helpful reference is http://whereis.mit.edu), you can locate a room by noting that the first number is the floor, and the last two numbers the room number. For example, room 4-144 is building 4, room 44 on the 1st floor, and W20-467 is in building W20 (west of Mass. Ave.), room 67 on the 4th floor). Rooms usually have their full number (ie., 4-144 or W20-467) printed on the door.

There are several important locations on campus that can help you get oriented, as well:

  • Lobby 7, which is the large high-ceilinged atrium just inside 77 Mass. Ave, is at the west end of the Infinite Corridor.

  • The Infinite Corridor is the long hallway from building 7 (at 77 Mass Ave.) to building 8. The buildings along the Infinite are known as the "main group", and are buildings 1-10. Almost all ESP classes are in the main group.

  • Lobby 10 is the midpoint of the Infinite Corridor. It looks out on Killian Court and the Charles River. Directly upstairs from Lobby 10 is MIT's central lecture hall, 10-250. Check-in for ESP programs is frequently in Lobby 10, and anyone you run into on the MIT campus will be able to tell you how to get to Lobby 10.

Last modified on Oct. 13, 2022 at 04:54 a.m.