Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement
HASS subjects provide a welcome balance to problem-set-oriented Science Core subjects. To ensure that you are making steady progress towards your degree, you are expected to complete at least one HASS subject each semester.
As an MIT undergraduate you must complete 8 HASS subjects designated as counting towards the HASS General Institute Requirement. The HASS Requirement has three components: distribution, concentration, and electives.
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- Distribution: You must pass 3 HASS distribution subjects, one from each of the following categories: Humanities (HASS-H), Arts (HASS-A), and Social Sciences (HASS-S).
- Concentration: You must pass 3 or 4 subjects in a particular field defined as a HASS concentration. You must submit a Concentration proposal form listing these subjects no later than the first week of classes in the second term of your junior year.
- Electives: The remainder of the HASS Requirement can be fulfilled with 1-2 additional subjects from any HASS category (HASS-S, HASS-A, HASS-H), including subjects designated as HASS Elective (HASS-E).
In your freshman year, you must complete one appropriate Communication-Intensive HASS subject (CI-H). Which CI-H subject you start with will depend on the results of the Freshman Essay Evaluation placement exam that you take over the summer.
All CI-H and CI-HW subjects also count toward the HASS Requirement.
HASS Exploration Subjects
HASS Exploration (HEX) subjects are recommended (not required) by the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement as an option for all undergraduates to explore topics from interdisciplinary perspectives and become familiar with methodologies in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Faculty-led and mostly team-taught, these subjects provide you with an early opportunity to interact with MIT faculty while learning about scholarship within HASS. For more about HASS Exploration subjects visit:
Be aware of the following:
- Some HASS subjects have a lottery to manage enrollment. These subjects are listed as HASS-D.
- Note that as an entering freshman you are not required to take HASS-D subjects. However, as you are considering your HASS choices, if you would like to take a subject labeled HASS-D, you will need to enter the HASS-D Lottery. It may be in your interest to enter the HASS-D lottery in order to maximize your chances of getting into a class of your choice. July 13 at 5 pm (EDT) is the deadline for freshmen to enter the HASS-D lottery.
- Subjects that require students to enter the HASS-D lottery are clearly labeled in the online subject listings with the instruction, "You must enter the HASS-D lottery to take this subject."
- 21F.076: Globalization: It is difficult, but not impossible, to take 21F.076 with its associated language class (9 units for each) plus a 6-unit subject like an Advising Seminar or music performance group, and stay within the 54-unit credit limit. If you are considering entering the HASS-D lottery for this popular program, please carefully review the special information about Globalization and the intersection of freshman advising choice.