MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Spring 2017


Suggested Introductory Subjects 

The following is a list of subjects that have been suggested by the departments, programs, and sections as among those recommended for students who may not already have experience in these fields. This list is not all-inclusive, and is intended only as one possible starting point for students looking to explore the MIT SHASS fields. HASS-Exploration (HEX) subjects, for instance, provide another appropriate route, and many students will find additional subjects that match their own distinctive interests.

The full list of course offerings is available through the online subject listing and more information is always available through the departments, programs, and sections. Students should always refer to the official subject listing for updated schedules and locations. This list may not be updated after the start of classes.

Enjoy the exploration! 

Fields of Study 


21A.00 Introduction to Anthropology: Comparing Human Cultures | A. Moran-Thomas
21A.157 The Meaning of Life (New) | G. Jones and H. Paxson
21A.504J/STS.086J/WGS.276J Cultures of Computing | A. Steingart

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies | J. Picker and E. Schiappa
CMS.301 Introduction to Game Design Methods | M. Jakobsson
CMS.308 The Visual Story: Graphic Novel, Type to Tablet | J. Paradis


14.01 Principles of Microeconomics | J. Harris
14.02 Principles of Macroeconomics | J. Poterba
14.70J/21H.134J Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective | A. McCants

Global Studies and Languages (GSL)

21G.036J/CMS.356J  Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives | J. Wang
21G.067  Digital Media in Japan and Korea (New)  | P. Roquet
21G.074 Topics in Portuguese Popular Culture | A. Igrejas

GSL offers language instruction courses at a variety of levels to suit your skills. All but ELS provide subjects for complete beginners:  Chinese, English Language Studies, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


21H.102 American History since 1865 | C. Capozzola
21H.161 The Middle East in the Twentieth Century | P. Alimagham
21H.181J/17.035J Libertarianism in History | M. Ghachem


24.900 Introduction to Linguistics | N. Richards


21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante | A. Bahr
21L.004 L2 Reading Poetry: From Ben Johnson to Beyonce | J. Terrones
21L.019 Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction: Great Fiction on the Page and the Screen | M. Resnick


21M.011 Introduction to Western Music | E. Pollock, T. Neff
21M.030 Introduction to World Music | E. Ziporyn, L. Pellegrinelli
21M.051 Fundamentals of Music |  K. Salfelder


24.03 Good Food: The Ethics and Politics of Food | S. Haslanger
24.09 Minds and Machines | E. McWilliams
24.118 Paradox and Infinity  | A. Rayo

Political Science

17.269 Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics (New) | A. White
17.42 Causes and Prevention of War | D. Altman
17.53 The Rise of Asia | R. Samuels, V. Narang

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.001 Technology in American History | M. R. Smith
STS.002 Finance and Society  | W. Deringer
STS.012 Science in Action: Technologies and Controversies in Everyday Life (New) | D. Banerjee

Theater Arts

21M.601 Drawing for Designers (New) | O. Botez
21M.606 Introduction to Stagecraft | S. Rodemann
21M.645 Motion Theater | C. Hammond

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

WGS.101 Introduction to Women’s Studies | A. Walsh
WGS.275J/21G.057J/STS.022J Gender in Science, Technology, and Environment | B. Stoetzer
WGS.S10 Special Subject: Marginalized Masculinities (New) | K. Gray


21W.747 Rhetoric | S. Strang and A. Karatsolis
21W.762 Poetry Workshop | E. Barrett
21W.775 Writing About Nature and Environmental Issues | C. Taft