Faculty & Advisors

To fulfill the HASS Requirement, each student must complete eight HASS subjects designated as counting towards the Requirement. Students are expected to complete at least one HASS subject each semester. There are three components to the HASS Requirement: distribution, concentration, and HASS electives.

Distribution Component (3 subjects)

All students will complete a distribution consisting of three HASS subjects, one from each of the three categories: Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. You can see which subjects are in each of these categories using the Advanced Search page of the MIT Online Subject Listing & Schedule, [Look for the label: HASS Categories (for students entering in Fall 2010 or later).] Please note that a few subjects have been assigned to more than one category; these subjects will automatically audit for the category needed by the student.

Students who entered prior to the 2010-11 academic year and transfer students entering as sophomores will complete the distribution known as HASS-D.

Concentration Component (3 or 4 subjects)

The HASS Concentration offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the issues and methodologies in one area of Humanities, Arts, or Social Sciences. All undergraduates must complete a HASS Concentration of 3-4 subjects (some fields require 3, some 4) where they will gain a sophisticated sense of the questions that characterize these fields of study.  

Students in collaboration with their concentration advisors (a designated facuty member in the respective area of study) must select a field of concentration and submit a Concentration Proposal Form by the end of the first week in their second semester junior year. Ideally, students will have completed their HASS Distribution subjects by this point, and their experiences with these subjects will guide their choice of Concentration. One subject may be counted toward both the distribution and concentration components with the permission of the Concentration Advisor. Students must submit a Concentration Completion Form by the end of the first week of their final term at MIT, whether or not they are taking some of their concentration subjects during that term.

For detailed information on the procedures for declaring and completing a concentration, please refer to the procedures section of the Contentrations page. A downloadable HASS Concentration checklist(pdf) for students is also available.

HASS Elective (1 or 2 subjects)

The remainder of the eight-subject HASS Requirement can be fulfilled with any other HASS subject of the student's choosing designated as HASS-H, HASS-A, HASS-S, or HASS-E.

Special Notes:

The HASS Requirement overlaps with the Communication Requirement. All students must take two HASS subjects that are designated Communication Intensive (CI-H or CI-HW). The first subject must be completed in the freshman year. Complete information can be found on the Communication Requirement site. Questions about the Communication Requirement can be directed to commreq@mit.edu.

Students who wish to enroll in a HASS subject that is also designated as CI-H or CI-HW in the subject listings must select them through a special process. For more details and deadlines visit: http://enrollmenttools.mit.edu.

Students who do not complete thier Concentration Proposal and Completion Forms by the deadlines will be subject to late fees.


View Core Blitz video: HASS Requirement (Profs. C. Capozzola and D. Henderson Presentation)


HASS Exploration Subjects

All HASS Exploration Subjects may be used towards the HASS Requirement, as noted in the online subject listings.

HASS Exploration subjects are recommended by the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement as an option for all undergraduates to approach relevant topics from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies within the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Faculty-lead and team-taught, HASS Exploration subjects provide students with an opportunity to interact with faculty and upperclassmen at MIT.

Information on teaching a HEX subject.

**Information on the revised Distribution Component

In Fall 2010, the Institute began phasing in a revised Distribution Component to the HASS Requirement. The revised Requirement applies to students who enter as freshmen in Fall 2010 and thereafter. Students who entered prior to the 2010-11 academic year and transfer students entering as sophomores in Fall 2010 will complete the requirement under the distribution known as HASS‑D.

The requirements students must complete are determined by their year of entry and class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) at the time they begin their studies at MIT. Students cannot petition to complete the other distribution component.

Students applying for readmission after a leave of absence should contact the Committee on Curricula for additional information on completing the HASS Requirement.

Who to Contact:

Advisor, Communication and HASS Requirements

Office of the HASS Requirement

HASS Academic Administrator

SHASS Dean's Office



Patty Fernandes

Liz Friedman

Questions about:

  • HASS Requirement
  • HASS Concentrations
  • Petitions for substitutions within the HASS Requirement and distribution credit for transfer subjects
  • Overlap between the HASS and Communication Requirements

Questions about:

  • Advising for special HASS concentrations
  • HASS Minors
  • Major Departures
  • 21E/S Majors
  • HASS@Cambridge (CME)
  • General SHASS information


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