About the Requirement - FAQ

What is the HASS Requirement?

The HASS Requirement consists of eight subjects, of at least nine units each, in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Within this eight-subject requirement, students must complete a Distribution and a Concentration Component. A detailed description of the components of the HASS Requirement is available on the homepage of this site. Two of the subjects students complete to fulfill the HASS Requirement, designated as CI-H subjects, also count toward the CI-H component of the Communication Requirement.

Students who entered prior to the 2010-11 academic year will continue under the HASS distribution system known as HASS-D.

What is the Distribution Component of the HASS Requirement?

All students must complete three (3) HASS Distribution subjects, one from each of the following categories: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Students may choose from more than 600 currently active subjects to satisfy the Distribution Component. Students are strongly encouraged to complete this component of the HASS Requirement by the end of the junior year.

Can a Communication Intensive subject also count for the the HASS Requirement?

All students are required to take 2 CI-H (Communication Intensive in HASS) subjects and 2 CI-M (Communication Intensive in the major) subjects. The CI-H subjects may also count toward the HASS Requirement either as part of the Distribution Component or as an elective.

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

Will I be able to count Harvard or Wellesley cross-registered classes towards the Requirement?

To receive credit toward the HASS Requirement for a subject taken at Harvard or Wellesley, students must petition the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement. Please note that subjects taken outside of MIT, including subjects taken through cross-registration, may count as HASS electives only. Subjects not completed at MIT may not counttoward the Distribution Component. For more information, please refer to the petitions page of this site or email hassreq@mit.edu.

Does transfer credit apply to any of my Distribution subjects?

Transfer credit can often be used as a HASS elective toward the HASS Requirement. Please contact the transfer credit examiner in the appropriate HASS field for more information.

Normally, transfer credit cannot be used for the Distribution Component of the Requirement. For more information contact hassreq@mit.edu.

Will performance subjects count towards the Distribution Component of the Requirement?

If a student takes two six-unit performance subjects in Music and Theater Arts, these two subjects will be automatically combined to count as one Arts (HASS-A) subject. No action is required on the student’s part. Similarly, unless a particular sequence of subjects is specified, any combination of two six-unit sampling subjects in Literature will automatically be combined to count as one Humanities (HASS-H) subject. Again, no action is needed on the student’s part.

For more information please see the petition section of this site.

If I am readmitted after a leave of absence, which rules will I fall under?

In general, students are expected to complete the set of General Institute Requirements (GIRs) that is in effect during their year of entry, based on their class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) at that time. If you interrupt your studies for a short period of time, you will be expected to complete that same set of GIRs when you return. However, if you will not graduate within 10 years of your original date of entry, contact the Committee on Curricula for additional information.

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