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MIT Values

Responding to calls from the community that MIT would benefit from having a statement of shared values, in December 2020 the Institute charged the MIT Values Statement Committee to develop one through broad consultation across the MIT community. On April 12, 2022, President Rafael Reif, Provost Cynthia Barnhart and Chancellor Melissa Nobles shared the values statement with the community, with their strong endorsement.

Values Statement

Excellence and Curiosity

We strive for the highest standards of integrity, and intellectual and creative excellence. We seek new knowledge and practical impact, in service to the nation and the world.

We prize originality, ingenuity, honesty, and boldness. We love discovery and exploration, invention and making. We delight in the full spectrum of human wisdom.

Drawing strength from MIT’s distinctive roots, we believe in learning by doing, and we blur the boundaries between disciplines as we seek to solve hard problems. Embracing the unconventional, we welcome quirkiness, nerdiness, creative irreverence, and play.

We accept the risk of failing as a rung on the ladder of growth. With fearless curiosity, we question our assumptions, look outward, and learn from others.

Openness and Respect

We champion the open sharing of information and ideas.

Because learning is nourished by a diversity of views, we cherish free expression, debate, and dialogue in pursuit of truth – and we commit to using these tools with respect for each other and our community.

We strive to be transparent and worthy of each other’s trust – and we challenge ourselves to face difficult facts, speak plainly about failings in our systems, and work to overcome them. 

We take special care not to overlook bad behavior or disrespect on the grounds of great accomplishment, talent, or power. 

Belonging and Community

We strive to make our community a humane and welcoming place where people from a diverse range of backgrounds can grow and thrive – and where we all feel that we belong.

We know that attending to our own and each other’s wellbeing in mind, body, and spirit is essential. We believe that decency, kindness, respect, and compassion for each other as human beings are signs of strength.

Valuing potential over pedigree, we know that talent and good ideas can come from anywhere – and we value one another’s contributions in every role.

Together we possess uncommon strengths, and we shoulder the responsibility to use them with wisdom and care for humanity and the natural world.


MIT’s MindHandHeart office has been charged with implementing the statement's intent and language across the Institute. Resources for the MIT community can be found at Supporting MIT Values.

Three people walk through Lobby 7. There is a tall, red banner that says Belonging and Community, with illustrations of the Dome, a person playing piano, and arms hugging a heart. A purple banner says MIT Values... and has illustrations of a smiling beaver, a globe, and people wearing graduation caps who have their arms in the air and appear to be jumping.

In September 2022, the Institute installed five billboard-scale banners in Lobby 7. Drawing on the words of the MIT Values Statement and illuminating them with line-art illustrations and a vivid color scheme, this installation is intended to promote the values to MIT's on-campus community, as well as visitors to the Institute's front door.