MIT: Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyClass of 2017

First Year Academics: Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement

HASS subjects provide a welcome balance to problem-set-oriented Science Core subjects. In order to graduate you must complete eight HASS subjects. To ensure that you are making steady progress towards your degree, you are expected to complete at least one HASS subject each term.

See the HASS Requirement website for full information. Information on this page focuses on the HASS Requirement in the freshman year.

View the HASS Requirement GIR Video: Prof. Chris Capozzola


The HASS Requirement in the Freshman Year

The HASS Requirement has three components: distribution, concentration, and electives. Your freshman HASS subjects can begin fulfilling any of these three components.

  1. 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).
  2. Concentration: You must pass 3 or 4 subjects in a particular field defined as a HASS concentration.
  3. Electives: The remainder of the HASS Requirement can be fulfilled with 1-2 additional subjects from any HASS category (HASS-H, HASS-A, HASS-S), including subjects designated as HASS Elective (HASS-E).

You can use the Subject Listing search function to identify various types of HASS subjects. Also visit the HASS website to learn more about HASS Exploration subjects.

How the Communication Requirement and the HASS Requirement Overlap

All CI-H and CI-HW subjects count toward the HASS Requirement as well as the Communication Requirement. Codes in the Subject Listing and Schedule indicate the component of the HASS Requirement for which a subject will count.

Some are listed as HASS-D and require participation in the HASS-D Lottery, which manages enrollment. Note that the Class of 2017 is not required to take HASS-D subjects. However, 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.

For More Information

Send questions about the HASS Requirement to