American Studies at MIT offers students the opportunity to organize subjects from various fields (e.g., history, anthropology, literature, political science, music, art and architecture, and urban studies) into personally constructed interdisciplinary programs as a way of gaining an integrated understanding of American society and culture.
American Studies is a field of concentration; it is also available as the humanities component of a joint major program (the 21E and 21S degrees), or as a full major by special arrangement. American Studies majors work out a coherent program of study with an advisor, usually including two subjects each in literature and history, although variations are possible. Major programs can center on a particular interest or aim more broadly at a comprehensive knowledge of various aspects of American life and culture.
The coordinator of American Studies is Professor Meg Jacobs, Room E51-263, 617-253-7895, email@example.com.
Through a wide variety of subjects drawn from a number of disciplines, this program provides a curricular framework for exploring topics in ancient and medieval studies which range from the history of ideas and institutions to that of material artifacts, literature, and certain original languages. The program spans the 6,500 years between 5000 BC and 1500 AD.
This program’s goal is to develop knowledge and understanding of the more distant past both for itself, in its uniqueness, and as an object of specifically modern questions and methods of inquiry. The program has an interest in the structure of institutions and social systems, and in relationships between the social order and learned traditions, values, ideologies, and ideas. Ancient and medieval studies derive a special claim to our interest from the fact that the record is so full and multiform and that much of it is of exceptionally high quality at once in substance and form.
Ancient and Medieval Studies is available as a concentration, a minor, and as a major departure within Course 21. Individual programs are to be determined in consultation with Professor Anne E. C. McCants, Room E51-255, 617-258-6669, firstname.lastname@example.org (fall); Professor William Broadhead, Room E51-257, 617-258-6668, email@example.com (spring).
The Department of Biology and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offer a joint undergraduate curriculum that focuses on the emerging field of computational and molecular biology. The curriculum provides strong foundations in both biology and computer science and features innovative, integrative, capstone and elective subjects. The goal is to produce an entirely new cadre of graduates who are uniquely qualified to address the challenges and opportunities at the interface of computational and molecular biology.
Students in the program are first-class citizens in two departments (Biology and EECS) and in two schools (Science and Engineering), with one academic advisor from each department.
Completion of the curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Molecular Biology and prepares students for careers that leverage computational biology (e.g., pharmaceuticals, bioinformatics, medicine, etc.) as well as further graduate study in biology, in computer science, and in emerging programs at the interface.
Information about the program is available in both the EECS and Biology Undergraduate Offices. Please visit http://web.mit.edu/biology/, Room 68-120, 617-253-4718, and/or http://web.mit.edu/eecs/, Room 38-476, 617-253-4654.
Psychology, the study of human mental life and behavior, is represented at MIT as a program in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and as a concentration within the undergraduate HASS Requirement. Faculty and subjects in psychology are found in many MIT departments, including Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Management, History, and STS. Students who wish to concentrate in psychology take a set of subjects from these departments, chosen in consultation with the concentration officer for the Program in Psychology.
Students who wish a more substantial education in the field may pursue a Minor in Psychology, described in further detail in the following section on minors.
In addition to taking psychology subjects, undergraduates may take advantage of a wide range of research opportunities (generally via the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program). Students should contact UROP coordinators from specific departments about projects currently available.
For more information about the Program in Psychology, contact Professor Alan Hein, Room 46-2047, 617-253-5759, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Undergraduate Office, Room 46-2005, 617-253-0482.
Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the significance of gender in human society and thought, both in the United States and around the world. Drawing on more than 50 years of scholarly work centered on gender analysis as well as research in many traditional fields, the program explores questions such as how women and men learn their gender roles; how different societies define women and men; and how ideas of sex and gender shape and are shaped by language, individual behavior, and social institutions such as law, religion, and education. Students explore the varied roles gender has played in different cultures, times, intellectual disciplines, and forms of creative expression. Debates over sexuality, reproduction, feminism, masculinity, the roles of women in history, politics, and science, and the intersections of gender with other social categories such as race, class, ethnicity are all topics addressed within this interdisciplinary field.
Most subjects in the field of Women's and Gender Studies are cross-listed with other departments and are available to students in a wide range of fields of study. Through classes, UROPs, and events, both undergraduate and graduate students gain new perspectives on other disciplines such as computer science, law, philosophy, theater, management, literature, urban studies, psychology, and history. WGS subjects are open to all students.
The curriculum includes a core subject, Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, and a selection of subjects from many departments at the Institute, listed in the WGS section of the MIT Subject Listing & Schedule. A full major (known as a major departure) is available by special arrangement. WGS also offers a minor program (see below) and a concentration.
For more information, contact the coordinator, Heidy M. González, Room 14E-316, 617-253-8844, or visit http://web.mit.edu/wgs/.
MIT students expect to be full participants in the global economy and research environment. The interdisciplinary HASS Minor in Applied International Studies prepares them for this reality by integrating international learning and experiences into a six-subject program of study that encompasses four distinct requirements. To ensure coherence in their chosen coursework, students must declare a region and language of focus.
The first area of focus is that of language and culture. Lasting economic and social relationships in an international context are only possible for those who speak the language of a foreign country and are familiar with its cultural dimensions. Therefore, students must be proficient in a foreign language (level IV or better).
Students may choose from a broad range of subject offerings to fulfill the social science component of the program. This component provides students with an understanding of economic, political, cultural, and historical concepts that are essential to understanding the interconnectedness of the modern world. Within this general area, students must choose at least two subjects focused on their declared region of interest.
Recognizing that theoretical learning should be combined with hands-on experience, the Minor in Applied International Studies includes a required stay-abroad component that exposes students to the challenges and opportunities of working and living in another culture. Students select their options in close consultation with the minor advisor. The experience abroad will typically take place in the form of an internship, research stay, service learning opportunity (for which students do not usually receive credit), or study abroad, and must be at least 10 weeks in length.
Independent research rounds out the requirements of the minor. In the context of the required research seminar, students select their own topics for research in the social sciences; develop their research during the term, in consultation with the instructor; and complete the research with a substantial paper.
The requirements are summarized in more detail below.
|Area I||Equivalent of four terms of college language training
related to student's geographical specialization. Language
subjects beyond level II may count toward Area II requirement.
|Area II||Five subjects from any program in SHASS, including:
at least one social science subject, and
at least two subjects focused on the student's declared region of interest.
|Area III||International experience of at least 10 weeks.|
|Area IV||Research seminar in international studies and social science
offered annually in the Political Science Department,
or another subject with a substantial independent research
component. Examples of subjects that may be used to complete
this requirement (with prior approval by the minor advisor) are
17.145, 17.405, 17.483, and 17.921J.
Ben Schneider in the Department of Political Science is the minor advisor, E53-407, 617-253-7207, email@example.com. Additional information can be obtained from Tobie Weiner, undergraduate administrator in Political Science, E53-483, 617-253-3649, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minor in Astronomy, offered jointly by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Physics, covers the observational and theoretical foundations of astronomy. The minor requires seven subjects as follows:
|8.282J||Introduction to Astronomy|
|8.286||The Early Universe
|12.008||Classical Mechanics: A Computational Approach|
|12.400||The Solar System|
|12.420||Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System|
|12.425||Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques
|8.287J||Observational Techniques of Optical Astronomy|
|12.43J||Space Systems Engineering|
|12.431J||Space Systems Development I|
|12.432J||Space Systems Development II|
|8.UR or 12.UR||Undergraduate Research|
|8.ThU or 12.ThU||Undergraduate Thesis|
|12.411||Astronomy Field Camp|
Four of the subjects used to satisfy the requirements for the astronomy minor may not be used to satisfy any other minor or major.
Further information on the minor may be obtained from Professor Paul Schechter, 37-664G, 617-253-0690, email@example.com.
The Minor in Biomedical Engineering is open to all students who do not major in Course 20. This program includes broad science and engineering fundamentals that support applications in biomedical engineering, and is distinct from the goals of the Course 20 major. A total of eight subjects is required; note that 5.12 is a prerequisite to both options for the Science Core requirement.
The Minor in Biomedical Engineering consists of the following:
|3.016||Mathematical Methods for Materials Scientists and Engineers|
|plus one of the following:|
|1.010||Uncertainty in Engineering|
|7.36||Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology|
|9.07||Statistics for Brain and Cognitive Science|
|18.440||Probability and Random Variables|
|18.443||Statistics for Applications|
|5.07J||Biological Chemistry I|
|7.02J||Introduction to Experimental Biology and Communication|
|One introductory-level engineering-focused class from Courses 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 16, or 22 (i.e., any lower-level engineering class outside of Course 20 for which the student fulfills the prerequisite, excluding 10.04J and any cross-listed Course 20 subject)
|One of the following:|
|20.110J||Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems|
|20.111J||Physical Chemistry of Biomolecular Systems|
|plus one of the following:|
|20.310||Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics|
|20.320||Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems|
|20.330||Fields, Forces, and Flows in Biological Systems|
|and one of the following:|
|20.371||Quantitative Systems Physiology|
|20.390||Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology|
|Or three subjects from the following groups|
|Upper-level biomedical engineeringfocused elective (20.34x–20.4xx)*|
|HST biomedical engineeringfocused elective (HST.52xJ, HST.54xJ)*|
* Most additional cross-listed Course 20 or HST subjects can be taken to fulfill a total of three subjects grounded in Biomedical Engineering Principles and Applications. 20.109, 20.309J, and 20.380 are not acceptable.
For further information, please visit the Biological Engineering website at http://web.mit.edu/be/ or contact the BE Academic Office, Room 56-651, 617-253-1712.
Energy is a fundamentally multidisciplinary topic. Transforming the world’s energy systems requires combining expertise from numerous fields in engineering and technology, natural and social science, and policy. A diversity of disciplinary perspectives is necessary to equip students to work in this complex, evolving field.
The Energy Studies Minor for undergraduates is an Institute-wide program that complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges. The minor curriculum integrates these three domains in a thoroughly multidisciplinary program. A faculty oversight committee including representatives from all five Schools oversees the Energy Studies Minor program.
The Energy Studies curriculum has two components. The first is a core that provides an integrated perspective on energy and associated environmental challenges in three domains, each with a primary focus: Science Foundations (fundamental laws and principles that govern energy sources, conversion, and uses), Social Science Foundations (social scientific perspectives and tools that explain human behavior in the energy context), and Technology/Engineering in Context (the application of laws and principles to a specific energy context). The second component is a customized program of electives that is selected by each student in close consultation with his or her Energy Studies Minor faculty advisor.
|Choose one of the following options:|
|8.21|| Physics of Energy
|Option 2: Choose one group of two subjects from the list below:|
|6.007|| Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Lasers
|2.005||Thermal-Fluids Engineering I|
|5.60||Thermodynamics and Kinetics
|2.005||Thermal-Fluids Engineering I|
|5.60||Thermodynamics and Kinetics
|12.021||Earth Science, Energy, and the Environment|
|12.340||Global Warming Science
|6.007|| Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Lasers
|12.021||Earth Science, Energy, and the Environment|
|12.340||Global Warming Science
|14.01||Principles of Microeconomics|
|15.031J||Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies|
|Choose one of the following:|
|2.60J||Fundamentals of Advanced Energy Conversion|
|4.42J||Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings|
|22.081J||Introduction to Sustainable Energy|
|Choose 24 units from the following (all subjects 12 units unless otherwise noted):*|
|1.071J||Global Change Science|
|1.801J||Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control|
|2.006||Thermal-Fluids Engineering II|
|2.570||Nano-to-Macro Transport Processes|
|2.612||Marine Power and Propulsion|
|2.627||Fundamentals of Photovoltaics|
|2.813||Energy, Materials, and Manufacturing|
|3.003||Principles of Engineering Practice (9 units)|
|3.004||Principles of Engineering Practice|
|4.401||Architectural Building Systems|
|4.472||Design Workshop for a Sustainable Future (9 units)|
|6.061||Introduction to Electric Power Systems|
|6.131||Power Electronics Laboratory|
|6.701||Introduction to Nanoelectronics|
|10.04J||A Philosophical History of Energy|
|10.27||Energy Engineering Projects Laboratory (15 units)|
|10.426||Electrochemical Energy Systems|
|11.162||Politics of Energy and the Environment|
|11.165||Infrastructure in Crisis: Energy and Security Challenges|
|11.168||Enabling an Energy-Efficient Society|
|12.213||Alternate Energy Sources (6 units)|
|14.42||Environmental Policy and Economics|
|14.44||Energy Economics and Policy|
|15.026J||Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy (9 units)|
|21H.318||The Energy Crisis: Past and Present|
|22.033||Nuclear Systems Design Project|
|22.06||Engineering of Nuclear Systems|
|STS.032|| Energy, Environment, and Society
* See the Energy Studies Minor web page (http://web.mit.edu/energystudies/) for potential substitutions.
Students who take more than the required subjects from any of the core curriculum subject lists may count the additional coursework toward the elective requirement. Contact Christie Ko, academic coordinator, MITEI Education Office, Room E19-370D, 617-253-3478, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://web.mit.edu/energystudies for more information.
The Program in Psychology encompasses subjects from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Sloan School of Management; Program in Science, Technology, and Society; and other areas.
The Minor in Psychology consists of six subjects arranged in three levels of study that provide students breadth in the field as a whole and some depth in one or two areas of specialization. The three levels are as follows.
|Tier I||One subject:|
|9.00||Introduction to Psychology
|Tier II||Two subjects, one from any two of the following areas:|
Personality and Social Psychology
|Tier III||Three subjects from one or two of the following areas:|
Personality and Social Psychology
Only 9.00 may be double-counted to satisfy the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Minor in Psychology.
For information about the Psychology Program and a listing of available subjects in these areas, consult the BCS Undergraduate Office, Room 46-2005, 617-253-0482.
Public policy is an academic field that focuses on how government action can enhance the quality of life of citizens. The interdisciplinary HASS Minor in Public Policy is intended to provide a framework for students in engineering and sciences who are interested in the role of public policy in the field of their technical expertise. Because the Course 11 major has a strong public policy element and several subjects are redundant, Course 11 majors are not eligible for the Minor in Public Policy.
The six-subject minor is organized along three dimensions. The first dimension is a foundation built on the study of the institutions in which public policy decisions are made and implemented. All students take two subjects that introduce them to justifications for government action—justifications that form the fundamental basis for making public policy. The second dimension is the study of the methods for assessing the impacts of policy change on policy outcomes. The purpose is to provide students with a basic understanding of the range of approaches professionals use to evaluate public policies. The third dimension is an in-depth study of policymaking in one substantive field. All minors specialize in an area of public policy, such as science and technology policy, and take three subjects within that specialty. Students may also do an internship to fulfill one part of the three-subject requirement.
|Tier I||Introduction to Markets, Politics, and Public Policy (two required subjects)|
|11.002J/17.30J||Making Public Policy|
|14.01||Principles of Microeconomics
|Tier II||Policy Analysis (one required subject)|
||Methods of Policy Analysis|
|Tier III||Policy Concentration|
|Three subjects chosen in one of the
following tracks: social
and educational policy, environmental policy, infrastructure
policy, science and technology policy, labor and industrial
policy, international development policy, security and defense
policy, and urban and regional policy. Students may propose
their own track for approval by their minor advisor; students
may substitute a semester-long internship
in their chosen field for one subject, with the approval of
their minor advisor.
Students can obtain additional information from the public policy website, http://web.mit.edu/polisci/academic-programs/undergraduate/minorpublicpolicy.shtml; Sandra Wellford, undergraduate administrator in Urban Studies and Planning, Room 7-346A, 617-253-9403; or Tobie Weiner, undergraduate administrator in Political Science, Room E53-483, 617-253-3649, email@example.com.
The Minor Program in Women's and Gender Studies is designed for students who, in addition to the focus of their major program of study, seek a fuller understanding of the ways in which gender and other constructs have shaped our understanding of ourselves and of the communities and world in which we live. The minor program consists of six Women's and Gender Studies subjects, one of which may be taken at Harvard or Wellesley with the permission of the director, arranged into three levels of study as follows:
|Tier I||Required introductory subject:|
|WGS.101|| Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
|Tier II||Four subjects, at least one of which is drawn from
|Humanities and the arts|
|Social and natural sciences
|Tier III||One advanced seminar:|
|WGS.301J||Feminist Political Thought|
| An upper-level Women's and Gender Studies subject
as determined by the director
Several Minors in Regional Studies are offered at MIT: African and African Diaspora Studies, Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Russian and Eurasian Studies. These interdisciplinary programs provide MIT undergraduates with valuable opportunities to acquire knowledge of a particular country, region, or culture. This better prepares them for academic, business, and government careers in a world where regions, countries, and cultures are increasingly interdependent.
Because the nature of these minors is cross-disciplinary, typically combining foreign language study with humanities, arts, and social sciences, they are arranged into the following four areas of study:
Area I: Language (Intermediate level)
Area II: Humanities and the Arts
Area III: Social Sciences
Area IV: Historical Studies
Students are required to take six subjects (at least three of which must be MIT subjects) typically in the following configuration: two language subjects, beginning at the second year or third term (Area I), and four other subjects, chosen from at least two of the other three areas. If a student already has achieved the equivalent of intermediate-level language proficiency, he or she can take either two more advanced-level language subjects or two more subjects from Areas II, III, or IV in place of the intermediate language subjects. Languages not presently taught at MIT may be taken at Harvard or Wellesley, or elsewhere during the summer or IAP with the permission of the minor advisor.
Details on each of the minors are given below. Lists of subjects that are appropriate for a HASS minor in each of the regional studies, as well as additional information about minors, advisors, etc., can be obtained from the relevant minor advisor or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minor in African and African Diaspora Studies is designed for students interested in the cultures and experiences of the peoples of African descent on the continent and elsewhere. The minor includes study of economic and political systems as they reflect the African continent and areas of the African diaspora, and the histories, languages, and literatures of Africans and peoples of African descent elsewhere. All of Africa falls within the geographical scope of the minor. A student may concentrate on a particular region or on any of the broad groupings of African cultures, such as Arabic-speaking, Anglophone, Francophone, or Lusophone Africa. Equally, a student choosing to focus on the African diaspora may concentrate on any group of African-descended populations in the Americas. Students focusing on either principal area (Africa or the African diaspora) must also take at least one subject which deals with the other area or with interactions between them. The goal of the minor program is to emphasize the importance of Africa and people of African descent in world cultural, economic, and social developments, and to provide a balance between language, humanistic, historical, and contemporary study.
Students are expected to have two intermediate (Levels III and IV) subjects in either the official language of the region of study or in an indigenous African language. In cases where the student is specializing in Anglophone Africa or an English-speaking region of the diaspora, and does not undertake study of an indigenous language, or is a native speaker of the official language(s) of a country or region of emphasis, this component would be replaced by literature or other humanities subjects.
Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Helen Elaine Lee, Room 14N-425, 617-253-3060, email@example.com, or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minor in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies is designed for students interested in the language, history, politics, and culture of Asia and/or the Asian diasporas. In consultation with the minor advisor, students may focus their coursework on a subregion of Asia, on one of the Asian diasporas, or design their program to offer a comparative study across different regions and/or cultural groups. The goal of the minor program is to provide balanced coverage of language, humanistic and social science offerings on the region, and to expose students to comparative perspectives.
The language requirement can be satisfied by taking two intermediate (Levels III and IV, or Very Fast Track equivalent) subjects in an Asian language. Students with proficiency at this level are encouraged to take two more advanced language subjects. Alternatively, they may take two more subjects from Areas II-IV. Chinese and Japanese are currently taught at MIT. Other languages may be taken at Harvard or Wellesley, or at other institutions during IAP or the summer, with permission from the minor advisor. In cases where the student is specializing in an Asian country where English is one of the official languages, in an English-speaking region of the diaspora, or is a native speaker of an Asian language, the Area I component may be replaced by subjects from Areas II-IV in consultation with the minor advisor.
Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Emma Teng, Room 14N-421, 617-253-4536, email@example.com, or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies is designed for students interested in the languages, history, politics, and cultures of Latin America. Currently, more relevant offerings at MIT concentrate on those areas formerly colonized by Spain, although students are not required to focus their study exclusively on these areas. They are encouraged to develop a program that is both international and comparative in perspective and that takes into account the heterogeneous cultural experiences of people living in the vast territory loosely termed Latin America, as well as of those living in the United States who identify themselves as Latino.
Two language subjects beginning at Levels III and IV, either in Spanish or Portuguese, satisfy the Area I language requirement. MIT offers Levels III and IV of Spanish every semester and offers Level III of Portuguese in IAP and Level IV every spring semester. All students opting for the minor are required to take 17.55J Introduction to Latin American Studies.
Latin American and Latino Studies is available as a concentration, a minor, and as a major departure within Course 21.
Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Elizabeth Garrels, Room 14N-323, 617-253-9688, email@example.com, or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle Eastern Studies at MIT offers students the opportunity to explore the connections among culture, society, politics, economics, technology, and environment in the Middle East, including North Africa. MIT offers a number of subjects open to undergraduates that provide a variety of perspectives on the ancient, Islamic, and modern Middle East. The goal of the HASS Minor Program in Middle Eastern Studies is to lead the student from the basic language into survey subjects and then into more focused studies of individual countries or specific historical periods, and to encourage analysis of the main methodological and conceptual issues in Middle Eastern Studies.
Two intermediate (Levels III and IV) subjects in one of the following Middle Eastern languages are required: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. Because MIT does not offer instruction in these languages, students may satisfy the Area I language requirement at Harvard University or Wellesley College. They may satisfy the language requirement at other institutions provided they receive permission in advance from the HASS minor advisor in Middle Eastern Studies.
Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Philip S. Khoury, Room 10-280, 617-253-0887, email@example.com, or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minor in Russian and Eurasian Studies is intended for students seeking an interdisciplinary program of study centered on Russia and Eurasia. The program is regional in spirit, meaning that students can take subjects about a wide range of countries of Eastern/Central Europe, the Slavic states, and Central Asia.
Two intermediate (Levels III and IV) subjects in the Russian language are required to satisfy Area I. These subjects are not offered at MIT, but may be taken at Harvard University or Wellesley College through cross-registration. For more information, see Undergraduate Education in Part 1.
Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Elizabeth Wood, Room E51-282, 617-253-3255, email@example.com, or from the HASS academic administrator, Liz Friedman, Room 4-240, firstname.lastname@example.org.