Subcommittee on the HASS Requirementreturn to MIT home page
About the Requirement - FAQ
- What is the HASS Requirement?
- Which distribution component is part of my HASS Requirement?
- Can I petition if I want to be under the other rules?
- What is the Distribution Component of the HASS Requirement?
- Will HASS-D subjects continued to be offered?
- Will the HASS-D lottery still be in place?
- Will HASS-D subjects be open to all students?
- What if I did not get my first choice HASS-D subject in the lottery?
- I missed the HASS-D lottery, or did not get placed in the lottery. What do I do?
- Will the Communication Requirement change as well?
- Will I be able to count Harvard or Wellesley classes towards the Requirement?
- Does transfer credit apply to any of my distribution subjects?
- Will performance subjects count towards the distribution component of the Requirement?
- If I'm readmitted after a leave of absence, which rules will I fall under?
For all students 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, can also be used to fulfill the CI-H component of the Communication Requirement.
In Fall 2010, the Institute began phasing in a revised HASS Distribution Component. This revised distribution applies to incoming first-year students in AY 2010-11 and beyond. Students who entered prior to the 2010-11 academic year will continue under the HASS distribution system known as HASS-D.
The revised Requirement applies to students who enter as freshmen in Fall 2010 or later and to transfer students who enter as sophomores in Fall 2011 or later, as illustrated in the following chart.
|Enter as...||2009-10 or earlier||2010-11||2011-12||2012-13|
|Freshman||HASS-D||HASS categories||HASS categories||HASS categories|
|Sophomore||HASS-D||HASS-D||HASS categories||HASS categories|
No. The requirements you must complete are determined by your year of entry and your class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) at the time you begin your studies at MIT.
For first-year students entering in academic year 2010-11 and after:
Incoming first-year students in AY 2010-11 and after will be required to take three HASS distribution subjects, one from each of the following categories: Arts (HASS-A), Humanities (HASS-H), and Social Sciences (HASS-S). Over 600 currently active subjects can be used to satisfy this component of the HASS Requirement.
For students who entered MIT prior to the 2010-11 academic year:
Students who entered MIT prior to the 2010-11 academic year remain under the HASS-D system, and are required to take one subject in three of the five HASS distribution categories: Literary and Textual Studies; Language, Thought, and Value; Visual and Performing Arts; Cultural and Social Studies; and Historical Studies. A complete description of the HASS-D requirement is available here.
For transfer students entering as sophomores academic year 2010-11:
Students who transfer into MIT will follow the HASS Requirement that applies to their class i.e., students entering as Sophomores in Fall 2010 will complete the HASS-D system of the HASS Requirement for graduation.
For transfer students entering as sophomores academic year 2011-12:
Students who transfer into MIT will follow the HASS Requirement that applies to their class i.e., students entering as Sophomores in Fall 2011 will complete the revised Distribution Component of the HASS Requirement for graduation.
MIT is committed to offering a full breadth of HASS-D subjects through 2013. Many of these subjects will continue in the HASS curriculum after 2013, and can be used by students in the classes of 2014 and beyond to satisfy the distribution component of the HASS Requirement.
The HASS-D lottery will continue to be part of the registration process for HASS‑D subjects. There are no plans to eliminate the lottery at this time. Any student wishing to enroll in a subject identified as HASS-D should enter the lottery.
Yes, all students, including freshman entering in Fall 2011, will be able to register for HASS-D subjects. The HASS-D lottery will continue to be used to manage enrollment in these classes.
Please refer to the HASS-D Lottery website for more information.
Please refer to the HASS-D Lottery website for more information and a list of open subjects after the lottery has been run. You may be able to add a HASS-D after the term begins through the normal Add process — just remember that instructor approval is always required to add a HASS-D subject.
The Communication Requirement has not changed. It still consists of 4 subjects total 2 CI-H/CI-HW subjects (overlap with the HASS Requirement) and 2 CI-M subjects (in the major). It is still paced across the undergraduate career.
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 contact the HASS Academic Administrator with questions about Harvard cross-registration. Students may receive elective credit for classes taken outside of MIT. For more information, please refer to the petitions page of this site or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Normally, transfer credit can not be used for the Distribution Component of the Requirement. For more information on using transfer credit towards the Distribution Component, please refer to the petitions page of this site or contact email@example.com.
If a student under the revised Distribution (HASS-A, HASS-H, HASS-S) 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 specific 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.
Students under the HASS-D system will need to petition the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement for two six-unit performance subjects of Literature sampling subjects to count as a HASS subject.
For more information please see the petition section of this site.
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.Back to top