MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Fall 2017


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.500J/STS.075J Technology and Culture; HASS-S  | S. Helmreich
21A.520 Magic, Science, and Religion; HASS-S  | G. Jones

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Picker and S. Hong
CMS.300 Introduction to Videogame Theory; HASS-H  | M. Jakobsson
CMS.309J/21W.763J Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction; HASS-A  | H. Hendershot


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 Studies and Languages (GSL)

21G.030J/WGS.236J  Introduction to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to K-Pop; HASS-H  | E. Teng
21G.064  Introduction to Japanese Culture; HASS-H, CI-H  | P. Roquet
21G.070  Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Greene

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.001 How to Stage a Revolution; HASS-H, CI-H | P. Alimagham, M. Ghachem, C. Horan
21H.130 The Ancient World: Greece; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Ostrow
21H.157 The Making of Modern South Asia; HASS-S | S. Aiyar


24.900 Introduction to Linguistics; HASS-S, CI-H | A. Albright


21L.015 Children's Literature; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Bahr, M. Gubar
21L.021 Comedy; HASS-H, CI-H | P. Donaldson
21L.024 Literature and Existentialism (Proposed); HASS-H, CI-H | E. Brinkema


21M.011 Introduction to Western Music; HASS-A, CI-H | E. Pollock, T. Neff, A. Boyles
21M.030 Introduction to World Music ; HASS-A, CI-H | P. Tang, L. Flood
21M.051 Fundamentals of Music; HASS-A |  E. Kwon, K. Salfelder


24.01 Classics of Western Philosophy; HASS-H, CI-H | S. Haslanger
24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life; HASS-H, CI-H | K. Setiya
24.08J/9.48J Philosophical Issues in Brain Science; HASS-H, CI-H  | E. J. Green

Political Science

17.20 Introduction to the American Political Process; HASS-S, CI-H  | D. Caughey
17.40 American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future; HASS-S, CI-H | S. Van Evera
17.50 Introduction to Comparative Politics; HASS-S, CI-H | C. Lawson

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.004 Intersections: Science, Technology, and the World; HASS-H  | D. Fitzgerald
STS.026 History of Manufacturing in America; HASS-H  | M. Roe Smith

Theater Arts

21M.603 Introduction to Design for the Theater; HASS-A  | S. Brown
21M.604J/21W.754J Playwriting I; HASS-A  | L. Harrington, 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.S10 Special Subject: History of Women in Science and Engineering (New) | M. Weinstock


21W.747 Rhetoric; HASS-H, CI-H  | S. Strang
21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories; HASS-A  | S. Lewitt
21W.762 Poetry Workshop; HASS-A  | E. Barrett