These HASS-D FAQs are for students who entered before Fall 2010
The FAQs on this page address the HASS Distribution Requirement (known as the HASS-D), which is in effect for students who entered before 2010. For information about the revised HASS Distribution component, in effect for incoming freshmen in the fall of 2010, visit the HASS Requirement Website.
What is the HASS-D requirement?
"HASS-D" stands for "HASS-Distribution," because the purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to try new fields of study within Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Three of your 8 HASS classes must be from 3 of the 5 HASS-D categories. For a full description of the requirement, please click here.
Can I get HASS-D credit for a class that isn’t already classified as HASS-D?
No, HASS-D classes must meet strict criteria in order to be approved. Classes taken at MIT that are not already classified as HASS-D cannot be petitioned for HASS-D credit. Classes taken at Harvard under cross-registration or at Cambridge through CME are not eligible for HASS-D credit. HASS-D transfer credit is rarely granted and only in extenuating circumstances. Basically, you should just take classes that are designated as HASS-D. The only exception is the HASS-D Language Option.
I’m not very good at reading and/or writing. Can you recommend a HASS-D that doesn’t involve too much reading and/or writing?
No, most HASS-D classes are intended to help students improve their reading and writing skills, and it is in your interest to improve these skills. Fortunately, as there are many, many disciplines within HASS to choose from, you should be able to find a subject that you will enjoy reading and writing about.
What is the HASS-D Language Option?
A level 3 or 4 language class (i.e., third or fourth semester, intermediate level) may substitute for one of your required HASS-D subjects. Please note that these classes must be level 3 or 4, not 3rd or 4th year.
Which HASS-D Category is a Language Option class in?
The HASS-D Language Option is outside of the 5 HASS-D Categories. If you count one HASS-D Language Option class, your other 2 HASS-D’s may be from any 2 of the 5 categories.
Can I use an advanced language class for my HASS-D Language Option?
No, the HASS-D Language Option was instituted to encourage non-native speakers of a foreign language to continue study beyond the elementary year, not to encourage native speakers to continue study of their first language.