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: Profs. Diana Henderson and Chris Capozzola
The HASS Requirement in the Freshman Year
All MIT undergraduates must complete 8 HASS subjects to fulfill the HASS General Institute Requirement. You are expected to complete at least one HASS subject each semester.
The HASS Requirement has three components: distribution, concentration, and electives.
- Distribution Component (3 subjects)
You are required to complete three (3) HASS distribution subjects, one from each of the following categories:
- Humanities (HASS-H)
- Arts (HASS-A)
- Social Sciences (HASS-S)
- Concentration Component (3 or 4 subjects)
You must complete a HASS concentration of 3-4 subjects (some fields require 3, some 4) that together provide an increased knowledge in a particular field. You must propose a concentration by the end of the first week of classes of their second semester junior year.
- Electives (1 or 2 subjects)
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).
Also keep in mind:
- The HASS Requirement overlaps with the Communication Requirement. All students must take two HASS subjects that are designated as CI-H or CI-HW. The first CI subject must be completed in the freshman year.
- HASS Exploration (HEX) subjects are recommended to students as one pathway into the HASS Requirement. These subjects are team-taught by faculty and provide opportunities for faculty-student interaction. More information can be found at: http://web.mit.edu/hassreq/exploration.html.
- HASS subjects provide a welcome balance to problem-set-oriented Science Core subjects.