The officer was responding to report of a disturbance Thursday night when he was shot multiple times, according to a statement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office and Cambridge police. It said there were no other victims.
MIT said on its website that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors until further notice. People were urged to stay away from the Stata Building, a mixed use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area.
The shooting came little more than three days after the twin bombings on the Boston Marathon that killed three people, wounded more than 180 others and led to an increase in security across the city.
The shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. outside an MIT building, according to state police spokesman Dave Procopio.
The officer, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead from his wounds.
About 11,000 people attend the prestigious university.