20 Undergraduate Majors
MIT offers 20 undergraduate majors within the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. As with most majors at MIT, these consist of a core of required subjects and a set of electives, and combine the study of basic principles with practical applications. The major course of study is designed to prepare students for careers in that field or for graduate study. Most students who major within the School do so through one of the following 12 departments, sections, and programs:
SHASS also offers "Major Departures." These are typically interdisciplinary fields, and may offer students greater flexibility in putting together a program of study. Students who complete a Major Departure receive an S.B. in Humanities, Course 21.
Students interested in a Major Departure should contact the HASS Academic Administrator, Liz Friedman for guidelines and procedures. After consulting with Ms. Friedman, students must submit a Major Departure Proposal with the following four parts:
The Cover Page
The cover page includes the student’s:
- Proposed Major Departure Field in the format “Proposal for a Major Departure in [The Major Field]”
- Full Name
- MIT ID#
- Contact Information (e-mail address, phone number, mailing address)
- Other Major (if applicable)
- Class Year
The Proposal Text
The text of the proposal is the intellectual rationale for the Major Departure. It should be approximately 2 pages long, double-spaced. Most proposals are between 2-4 double-spaced pages, but there is no official length requirement.
The List of Courses
The student must list all of the classes that s/he is planning to count toward the Major Departure. All classes must be listed with subject numbers and titles, units, and the semester in which the classes were taken or will be taken. Two classes must be marked as CI-M’s. (After the major is approved, students must submit the CI-M’s to SOCR for approval.)
The list should be formatted as follows:
Subject Number | Title | Units | Semester (i.e. FA2010)
Once the first three parts of the proposal are composed, the following signatures should be collected on a separate signatures page:
- The Student
- The Student’s Major Advisor (For the Major Departure)
- The Thesis Advisor (If the student is writing a thesis, and if the Thesis Advisor is different from the Major Advisor)
- The SHASS Associate Dean
The completed proposal, with all signatures except the SHASS Associate Dean’s, should be submitted to the HASS Academic Administrator, Liz Friedman, in the SHASS Dean's Office.