MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Fall 2018


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.01 How Culture Works; HASS-S  | M. Buyandelger
21A.301  Disease and Health: Culture, Society, and Ethics; HASS-S  | A. Moran-Thomas
21A.500J/STS.075J Technology and Culture; HASS-S  | A. Moran-Thomas


Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Picker, W. Uricchio
CMS.376 History of Media and Technology; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Paradis
CMS.616J/21W.768J/WGS.125J Games and Culture; HASS-S  | T.L. Taylor


14.01 Principles of Microeconomics; HASS-S  | J. Gruber
14.02 Principles of Macroeconomics; HASS-S  | R. Caballero
14.73 The Challenge of World Poverty; HASS-S, CI-H  | D. Atkin, E. Duflo

Global Studies and Languages (GSL)

21G.058  Race, Migration, and Ethnicity in a New Europe and Germany; HASS-H, CI-H  | B. Stoetzer
21G.049J/4.674J  French Photography; HASS-A, CI-H  | C. Clark
21G.065  Japanese Literature and Cinema; HASS-H, CI-H | J. Cullen

GSL offers language instruction courses at a variety of levels to suit your skills. All but ELS provide subjects for complete beginners:  ChineseEnglish Language StudiesFrenchGermanJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussian, and Spanish.


21H.007J/21L.014J Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Studies; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Frampton, E. Goldberg
21H.009 World History and Its Fault Lines Since 1800; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Aiyar, H. Nagahara
21H.160 Islam, the Middle East, and the West; HASS-H | P. Alimagham


24.900  Introduction to Linguistics; HASS-S, CI-H | A. Albright
24.917  ConLangs: How to Construct a Language (New);  HASS-S  |  N. Richards


21L.000J/21W.041J Writing About Literature: The Art of the Short Story; HASS-H, CI-HW  | W. Kelley, I. Lipkowitz
21L.003 Reading Fiction: Literary Storms; HASS-H, CI-H | A. Abramson
21L.007 World Literatures: Writing Place in Contemporary World Literature; HASS-H, CI-H | L. Finch


21M.011 Introduction to Western Music; HASS-A, CI-H | M. Marks, T. Neff, A. Boyles
21M.030 Introduction to World Music ; HASS-A, CI-H | K. Haas, P. Tang
21M.080 Introduction to Music Technology (New); HASS-A |  I. Hattwick


24.00 Problems of Philosophy; HASS-H, CI-H | C. Hare
24.013 Philosophy and the Arts; HASS-H, CI-H | B. Skow
24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life; HASS-H, CI-H  | K. Setiya

Political Science

17.01J/24.04J Justice; HASS-H, CI-H  | B. Zacka
17.30J/11.002J Making Public Policy; HASS-S, CI-H | A. Campbell
17.40 American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future; HASS-S, CI-H | J. Hayes

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.002 Finance and Society; HASS-S, CI-H  | W. Deringer
STS.004 Intersections: Science, Technology, and the World; HASS-H  | D. Fitzgerald
STS.006J/24.06J Bioethics; HASS-H, CI-H  |  R. Scheffler, A. Jaques

Theater Arts

21M.600 Introduction to Acting; HASS-A  | A. Kohler
21M.603 Introduction to Design for Theater; HASS-A  |  S. Brown
21M.604J/21W.754J Playwriting I; HASS-A  |  K. Urban
21M.605 Voice and Speech for the Actor; HASS-A  | K. Eastley, O. D'Ambrosio

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

WGS.101 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Walsh
WGS.110J/21H.108J  Sexual and Gender Identities; HASS-H  | C. Horan
WGS.225J/21A.103J/STS.046J The Science of Race, Sex, and Gender; HASS-S  | A. Sur


21W.747 Rhetoric; HASS-H, CI-H  | S. Strang
21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories; HASS-A  | S. Lewitt, M. Nathan
21W.777 Science Writing in Contemporary Society; HASS-H  | K. Boiko