MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Spring 2019


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 & G. Jones

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | S. Constanza-Chock, J. Picker
CMS.301 Introduction to Game Design Methods; HASS-A  | M. Jakobsson
CMS.309J/21W.763J Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction; HASS-A  | H. Hendershot


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

Global Studies and Languages (GSL)

21G.025  Africa and the Politics of Knowledge (New); HASS-S  | A. Edoh
21G.057J/STS.022J/WGS.275J  Gender, Race, and Environmental Justice; HASS-H  | B. Stoetzer
21G.070  Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution; HASS-H, CI-H | P. Duong

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.141 Renaissance to Revolution: Europe, 1300-1800; HASS-H, CI-H | V. Pugliano
21H.165 A Survey of Modern African History; HASS-H | K. Mutongi
21H.172J/21G.078J Latin America Through Film; HASS-H | T. Padílla


24.9000  How Language Works; HASS-S | K. von Fintel


21L.003 Reading Fiction: Great Novels in English; HASS-H, CI-H | A. Abramson
21L.005 Introduction to Drama; HASS-A, CI-H | A. Fleche
21L.006 American Literature: American Gothic; HASS-H, CI-H  |  W. Kelley


21M.011 Introduction to Western Music; HASS-A, CI-H | E. Pollock, T. Neff, C. Schmid
21M.030 Introduction to World Music ; HASS-A, CI-H | L. Tilley, G. Dempsey, P. League
21M.080 Introduction to Music Technology (New); HASS-A |  I. Hattwick


24.01 Classics of Western Philosophy; HASS-H, CI-H | K. Meadows
24.05 Philosophy of Religion; HASS-H, CI-H | J. Spencer
24.09 Minds and Machines; HASS-H, CI-H  | E.J. Green

Political Science

17.20 Introduction to the American Political Process; HASS-S, CI-H  | D. Caughey
17.41 Introduction to International Relations; HASS-S, CI-H | J. Hayes
17.53 The Rise of Asia; HASS-S | R. Samuels, M. T. Fravel

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.011 Engineering Life: Biotechnology and Society; HASS-H  | R. Scheffler
STS.050 The History of MIT; HASS-H  | D. Douglas
STS.058 Space Exploration and Interplanetary Habitation (New); HASS-E  |  M-P. Boucher

Theater Arts

21M.600 Introduction to Acting; HASS-A  | A. Kohler
21M.605 Voice and Speech for the Actor; HASS-A  | K. Eastley, O. D'Ambrosio
21M.606 Introduction to Stagecraft; HASS-A  |  S. Rodemann

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

WGS.101 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Walsh
WGS.111J/CMS.619J  Gender and Media Studies; 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  |  K. Ragusa
21W.747 Rhetoric; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Karatsolis, S. Strang
21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories; HASS-A  | S. Lewitt, M. Nathan