About Us

The MIT Physics REFS are Course 8 graduate students here to listen to your problems. Whether you feel

  • Stressed out by classes or General Exams
  • Frustrated by your interactions with your advisor or colleagues
  • Annoyed by your roommate
  • Confused by the strange culture you've just landed in
  • Just in need of someone to talk or vent to

we can hear you out, provide a sounding board as you think about possible resolutions, connect you with other helpful resources, practice difficult conversations with you, and help you take action to improve your situation. But we will never take any action on your behalf or disclose any portion of our confidential discussion, to anyone, without your express prior consent, unless there is an imminent risk of serious harm to yourself or others. To schedule a private, confidential meeting with a member of the MIT Physics REFS, email physREFS@mit.edu, or stop by one of our offices.

MIT provides institute-wide services such as MIT Mental Health for administering to general counseling needs, but many of the concerns that arise in Course 8 students' lives are specific to the particular environment of the Physics department -- and, as such, can only be appreciated by other Course 8 students. The REFS are here to be those students.

All members of the MIT Physics REFS have undergone extensive Institute-certified training in conflict mediation. We are available to serve as neutral mediators in private, closed-door student-student or student-faculty conflict-resolution sessions. But we're also here to help you in much less formal settings. Don't worry that your problems are too small to matter; if something's bothering you, come talk to us about it!