Subcommittee on the HASS Requirementreturn to MIT home page
Details of the HASS Requirement
To fulfill the HASS Requirement, each student must complete eight HASS subjects (usually 9- or 12-units) designated as counting towards the Requirement. Students are expected to complete at least one HASS subject each semester until the eight subjects are complete. There are three components to the HASS Requirement: Distribution, Concentration, and HASS electives.
Distribution Component (3 subjects)
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.
Concentration Component (3 or 4 subjects)
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 a Concentration Advisors must select a field of Concentration and submit a Concentration Proposal Form by the end of the first week of their second term 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 a Concentration subject during that term.
HASS Elective (1 or 2 subjects)
The remainder of the eight-subject HASS Requirement can be fulfilled with subjects of the student's choosing from any HASS category (HASS-A, HASS-H, or HASS-S) or subjects designated as HASS Elective (HASS-E).
Students - Satisfying the Requirement
How to identify a HASS subject:
On the Advanced Search page of the MIT Online Subject Listing & Schedule, you can search for subjects in any of the HASS categories. (Look for the label: HASS Category represented with the picture of a blue book.)
Hint: because there are many subjects in each category, you may wish to limit your search to a specific term – or even to a specific Course or time of the day. Additional search tips are posted on the Help page of the subject listing.
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.
In your first year, you should consider taking at least one HASS subject each semester. Some things to keep in mind:
- Consider a HASS Exploration Subject (HEX) subject. HEX classes are faculty led and approach topics from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
- 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. More information can be found on the Communication Requirement site.
- You have the opportunity to complete three Distribution subjects - one humanities, one arts, and one social science - before graduation. Try something new!
More advice on how to choose a class:
In your second year, you should consider completing the Distribution Component of the Requirement (taking a third and fourth subject) and begin to think about your area of interest for Concentration.
As a junior, you should be well on your way towards completing the HASS Requirement. If you have not already spoken with the Concentration Advisor in the area you are considering for your field of Concentration you should do so at this time. HASS Concentration Proposals need to be approved by your Concentration Advisor no later than the end of the first week of classes second term junior year. Please note, students who took early sophomore standing generally need to submit this form in the fall term.
Note - Subjects taken under the Junior/Senior P/D/F option cannot be used to fulfill the GIRs, including the HASS Requirement.
In your final year, you must complete the HASS Requirement in order to receive your S.B. degree. Your HASS Concentration Completion Form needs to be approved by your Concentration Advisor no later than the end of the first week of classes of your final term, whether or not you are taking a Concentration subject during that term.
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