About 35 percent of the 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students on the campus participated in the survey, the New York Times reported.
The survey asked about several forms of unwanted sexual contact, from touching to penetration, "involving use of force, physical threat or incapacitation".
Nearly 12 percent of women and six percent of men said they had experienced the same kinds of unwanted sexual contact, but without force, threat or incapacity.
When asked if they had been raped or sexually assaulted, only 11 percent of female and two percent of male undergraduates said yes.
Among undergraduates, several men and women said they had heard sexist remarks and inappropriate comments about people's bodies.
"The data tells us things that we maybe did not want to hear," Cynthia Barnhart, MIT chancellor, was quoted as saying.
There is confusion among some of our students about what constitutes sexual assault and it needs more open discussion, Barnhart said.
The institute has taken several steps in the recent past to curb sexual assault on the campus, the report added.