All MIT freshman undergraduate students (except a very small number who commute from Boston-area homes) are required to live in an MIT dormitory during their first year of study. Each MIT dormitory has its own history, traditions, and student culture. Both undergrad and grad dorms have a resident Housemaster, usually a member of the MIT faculty, living in a special apartment suite within the building. Some of the larger dorms have multiple Housemasters, each responsible for a subsection of the building, and consulting together on building-wide issues. Undergrad dorms are usually divided into suites or floors, and usually have a Graduate Resident Tutor (GRT), an unmarried grad student living among the undergrads who is supposed to help support student morale and group activities.
McCormick Hall is a women-only dorm; all other dorms are coeducational. Eastgate and Westgate are designated for family housing, and all other dorms are reserved for single students. However, many resident Housemasters live with their families in special apartment suites located within singles-only dorms.
In addition, a significant proportion of MIT undergraduate upperclassmen (and women) live in so-called Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups (FSILGs), either on campus or nearby in Cambridge, Boston, or Brookline, Massachusetts.
Lastly, undergrads after their first year, and grad students may live in apartments and houses in the Greater Boston housing market at large.
Much (but far from all) of MIT student housing is located west of Massachusetts Avenue, on Amherst Street/Alley causing the latter neighborhood to be known as "Dorm Row". In spite of this name, several MIT fraternities and a sorority are located among the dormitories. When proceeding westward on Amherst Street (which soon becomes Amherst Alley after a brief run with Danforth Street), one will encounter the following residences on one's left (athletic fields are on the right), in this order:
At the far the end of Amherst Alley, one can see Tang Residence Hall on the far front left and Westgate on the close front right.
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