Beginning with the freshman class of Fall 2010, the Institute is phasing in a revised HASS Distribution component of the HASS Requirement.
Continuing students who entered prior to Fall 2010 are unaffected by the change in their HASS Distribution requirement, and will continue to fulfill the existing requirement. MIT is committed to offering a full range of HASS-D subjects for the next two years to ensure that all current students are able to complete this requirement.
Overview of the HASS distribution component for both groups
1 - For first year students entering in Fall 2010 and thereafter
Under the revised distribution component, incoming freshmen in fall 2010 and beyond will be required to take one HASS subject from each of the following categories:
All other aspects of MIT's HASS Requirement remain unchanged. There is also no impact on the Communication Requirement.
Please note that although students entering Fall 2010 and beyond are not required to take subjects designated as "HASS-Ds," enrollment in these subjects is determined by the HASS-D lottery and all students wishing to take a HASS-D subject should enter.
For more information visit
the MIT HASS Requirement website
2 - For students who entered before Fall 2010
Students who entered prior to the 2010-11 academic year will continue under the former HASS-Distribution Requirement (known as the HASS-D). Information about the HASS-D requirement can be found lower on this page. Enrollment in all HASS-D subjects, except for language classes, is determined by the HASS-D lottery. All students wishing to take a HASS-D should enter.
For more information about the existing HASS-D Requirement see below.
HASS-D requirement for students who entered before Fall 2010
Students who entered before Fall 2010 must take 3 subjects from 3 different HASS-D categories. These subjects must be taken for a letter grade or under the Freshman Pass/No Record option. Students may take more than 3 HASS-Ds; "extra" HASS-Ds will count toward the 8-subject HASS-Requirement as HASS-Electives. HASS-D subjects are designed with specific aims in mind and, unless stated otherwise, must meet certain criteria.
Literary and Textual Studies—Category 1
Subjects in this category are devoted to the interpretation of texts, to literary traditions, and to literary genres.
Language, Thought, and Value—Category 2
Subjects in this category focus on the concepts, principles, and modes of expression basic to our efforts to understand individuals and their place in the universe
Visual and Performing Arts—Category 3
Subjects in this category are drawn from the visual arts, music, drama, dance, and film. Some are historical and analytical; others are more directly concerned with the creation of art.
Cultural and Social Studies—Category 4
Subjects in this category study human societies by examining social, cultural, economic, political, and religious organizations and behavior.
Historical Studies—Category 5
Subjects in this category study the development of people, institutions, and countries over time.
The HASS-D Foreign Language Option
Students may substitute one Level 3 or Level 4, third- or fourth-semester, (intermediate-level) language subject for one HASS-D. If the subject is taken at MIT, it will automatically count toward the HASS-D Requirement.