The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement


All MIT undergraduates must complete 8 HASS subjects to fulfill the HASS General Institute Requirement. Students 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)

  • Students 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)

  • Each student 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.

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).

Note: Students interested in language classes, should visit the MIT Global Languages site for details on whom they should contact to have their language level assessed, see: https://mitgsl.mit.edu/fall-2020-class-location-and-level-placement.

Take aways:

  • 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 first 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: https://registrar.mit.edu/hex.
  • Students may search for HASS subjects by HASS Category (HASS-H, HASS-A, HASS-S) via the Advanced Search feature available in the online subject listing in WebSIS: http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi.
  • HASS subjects provide a welcome balance to problem-set-oriented Science Core subjects.
  • If you or your advisees have any questions or concerns about their individual circumstances or progress, please reach out (use the contact information below).

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