MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Fall 2020


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  | L. Bonilla
21A.500J Technology and Culture; HASS-S  |  A. Johnson
21A.504J Cultures of Computing; HASS-S | H. Beltrán

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  |  I. Condry, J. Picker
CMS.300 Introduction to Videogame Theory; HASS-H  |  M. Jakobsson
CMS.586J Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education; HASS-S, CI-H  |  E. Klopfer


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  |  F. Schilbach

Global Languages (GL)

21G.065  Japanese Literature and Cinema; HASS-H, CI-H  |  J. Cullen
21G.700  Intensive Spanish for Advanced Beginner Students; HASS-H | J. Barroso

Global Languages 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.009 World History and Its Fault Lines Since 1800; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Aiyar, H. Nagahara
21H.143J The "Making" of Modern Europe: 1789 - Present; HASS-H | C. Clark
21H.173 Socialism in Latin America, from Che Guevara to Hugo Chavez; HASS-H | T. Padilla


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


21L.011 The Film Experience; HASS-A, CI-H | A. Svensson
21L.015 Children's Literature; HASS-H, CI-H  |  S. Raman
21L.019 Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction; HASS-H, CI-H  |  J. Terrones


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


24.00 Problems of Philosophy; HASS-H, CI-H | A. Byrne
24.05 Philosophy of Religion; HASS-H, CI-H | J. Spencer
24.06J Bioethics; HASS-H, CI-H  |  R. Scheffler, N. Baron-Schmitt

Political Science

17.03 Introduction to Poltical Thought; HASS-S  |  K. Hoss
17.20 Introduction to the American Political Process; HASS-S  |  A. Magazinnik
17.50 Introduction to Comparative Politics; HASS-S, CI-H | C. Lawson

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.002 Finance and Society;  HASS-S, CI-H  | W. Deringer
STS.008 Technology and Experience; HASS-S, CI-H  |  D. Banerjee

Theater Arts

21M.600 Introduction to Acting; HASS-A  |  A. Kohler
21M.604J Playwriting Fundamentals; HASS-A  |  K. Urban
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.109 Women and Global Activism in Media and Politics; HASS-H, CI-H  |  A. Sur
WGS.110  Sexual and Gender Identities in the Modern US; HASS-H  |  C. Horan


21W.031 Science Writing and the New Media: Explorations in Communicating About Science and Technology; HASS-H, CI-HW  | J. Melvold
21W.036 Science Writing and New Media: Writing and the Environment; HASS-H, CI-HW  |  C. Taft
21W.742J Writing about Race; HASS-H, CI-H  |   K. Ragusa