MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Spring 2022


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; HASS-S  | G. Jones
21A.157  The Meaning of Life; HASS-S  |  H. Paxson, M. Buyandelger
21A.500J  Technology and Culture; HASS-S  |  D. Banerjee

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100  Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  |  P. Roquet, K. Fendt
CMS.306  Making Comics and Sequential Art; HASS-A  |  M. Cordero
CMS.400  Media Systems and Texts; HASS-H  |  J. Picker


14.01  Principles of Microeconomics; HASS-S  |  S. Ellison
14.02  Principles of Macroeconomics; HASS-S  |  R. Caballero

Global Languages (GL)

21G.042J Three Kingdoms: From History to Fiction, Comic, Film, and Game (New); HASS-H  |  E. Teng
21G.070J  Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution (New); HASS-H; CI-H  |  P. Duong
21G.087J  Introduction to Russian Studies; HASS-H  |  E. Wood, M. Khotimsky

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


21H.141  Renaissance to Revolution: Europe, 1300-1800; HASS-H, CI-H  |  J. Ravel
21H.173  Socialism in Latin America from Che Guevara to Hugo Chavez; HASS-H  |  T. Padilla
21H.186  Nature and Environment in China; HASS-H  |  T. Brown


24.900  Introduction to Linguistics; HASS-S, CI-H | N. Richards
24.912J  Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies; HASS-A/H, CI-H  |  M. DeGraff, D. Fox Harell, D. Wood


21L.003 Reading Fiction;  HASS-H, CI-H |  J. Buzard
21L.009 Shakespeare; HASS-H, CI-H  |  L. Habinek
21L.025 A History of the Book from Papyrus to Pixel (NEW); HASS-H, CI-H  |  S. Frampton


21M.030  Introduction to World Music; HASS-A, CI-H  | E. Ziporyn
21M.051  Fundamentals of Music; HASS-A  |  N. Lam
21M.080  Introduction to Music Technology; HASS-A  |  I. Hattwick


24.05  Philosophy of Relgion; HASS-H, CI-H  |  J. Spencer
24.09  Minds and Machines; HASS-H, CI-H  |  E.J. Green
24.118  Paradox and Infinity; HASS-H  |  A. Ditter

Political Science

17.28J  The War at Home: American Politics and Society in Wartime;  HASS-S  |  A. Berinsky
17.41  Introduction to International Relations; HASS-S, CI-H  |  R. Nielsen, M. Grinberg
17.53  The Rise of Asia; HASS-S  |  D. Samuels, T. Fravel

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.003  Ancient Greeks to Modern Greeks: A History of Science; HASS-H, CI-H  |  W. Deringer
STS.005J  Data and Society; HASS-H  |  E. Medina, S. Williams

Theater Arts

21M.600  Introduction to Acting; HASS-A  |  C. Hammond, B. Green, M. Jennings
21M.606  Introduction to Stagecraft; HASS-A  |  Staff
21M.810  Creating the World We Want: Protest, Activism, and Performance (NEW); HASS-A  |  C. Brathwaite

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

WGS.109 Women and Global Activism in Media and Politics; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Sur
WGS.181 Queer Cinema and Visual Culture; HASS-H. |  K. Surkan
WGS.224. Race, Gender, and Social Inequality: Reproductive Health Care in the United States; HASS-S. |  E. Janiak


21W.735  Writing and Reading the Essay; HASS-H, CI-H  |  B. Williams
21W.741J Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies; HASS-A/H, CI-H  |  M. DeGraff, D. Fox Harell, D. Wood
21W.747  Rhetoric; HASS-H, CI-H  |  S. Lane