In the spirit of inclusivity, MIT is in the process of updating its systems to allow students, staff, and faculty to indicate gender identity (beyond traditional legal definitions), pronouns, and preferred name (other than their legal name). The goal is for such information to be captured and displayed consistently while still ensuring that MIT is meeting any legal requirements for reporting purposes. Due to the complexity of MIT’s systems, this process will take time.
A small group with members from ICEO, IS&T, HR, and OVC is working on planning, implementation, and stakeholder/community outreach.
As future details about implementation and the timeline become available, they will be posted here. The first phase of this project relates to student data; a small group is working concurrently on updates to processes and systems for staff and faculty. The information below currently reflects upcoming changes for students only.
What systems are changing?
WebSIS is currently the only system that is adding new input fields for gender identity, preferred name, and pronouns. More information about other student systems, in addition to those affecting staff and faculty, will become available as the project evolves.
What options are available for gender/gender identity?
An individual may select one or more of these options to identify in the way that feels most comfortable for them. An individual may also check “Another Identity” and write in an answer if it is not listed. These fields were chosen in order to correspond with the data collected through the undergraduate and graduate admissions processes, and in order for WEBSIS to remain consistent with other enterprise data systems at MIT. If you would like to make suggestions for how this data is collected, pelase email GIIMIT@mit.edu
- Trans Female/Trans Woman
- Trans Male/Trans Man
- Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming/Gender Fluid
- Prefer Not to Answer
- Another Identity [enter your own]
What does “Preferred Name” mean?
A Preferred Name is the name by which a community member wishes to be known by others at MIT. This name is usually different from their Legal Name. MIT’s policy covers Preferred First and Middle Names. Surnames can be changed only with a legal name change.
What does “Legal Name” mean?
A Legal Name is the name that appears on a passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card.
What does “Legal Sex” mean?
Legal Sex is used for legal reporting purposes and benefits records. It may appear on a birth certificate. Due to U.S. federal policies and practices, MIT only collects two options for Legal Sex, female and male.
What information is required for reporting requirements?
Students will still be required to enter their legal first name, legal last name, and legal sex to meet federal reporting requirements. The additional categories are optional, and students can edit their responses throughout their time at MIT.
How should new and existing community members make changes?
For newly enrolling students:
- Undergraduates already have options via the MIT Admissions application process
- Prospective graduate students via Grad Apply and Sloan will have more options during the application / enrollment process
For continuing, enrolled students
- Visit WebSIS and navigate to the Biographical Information link. Enter or change any values in the new fields (all are optional). The data in these fields can be changed at any time throughout a student’s time at MIT. Development is underway to reflect these fields in relevant downstream information systems. To change your legal name, email a completed Change of Legal Name Form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To change legal sex, email a completed Legal Sex Marker Change Form to email@example.com.
For additional LBGTQ+ educational opportunities, programs, and support, please connect with LBGTQ+ Services.
This office supports all undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc students at MIT. Their website contains helpful guides and information for transgender and non-binary
students at MIT, and they have a growing list of LBGTQ+ resources for anyone who is interested in learning more.