MIT SHASS Introductory-Level Subjects | Fall 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.01 How Culture Works; HASS-S  | Staff
21A.502  Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives; HASS-S  |  G. Jones

Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Reich, J. Picker
CMS.300 Introduction to Videogame Theory; HASS-H  | M. Jakobsson
CMS.376 History of Media and Technology; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Paradis


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

Global Studies and Languages (GSL)

21G.058J/21A.132J  Race and Migration in Europe; HASS-H, CI-H  | B. Stoetzer
21G.067  Digital Media in Japan and Korea; HASS-H  | P. Roquet
21G.237  MIT Out Loud: Public Speaking for Bilingual Students (NEW); HASS-H | A.C. Kemp

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 | Staff
21H.130 The Ancient World: Greece; HASS-H, CI-H | Staff
21H.185J/12.386J Environment and History; HASS-S, CI-H | H. Ritvo, S. Solomon


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


21L.007 World Literatures; HASS-H, CI-H | J. Terrones
21L.020J/WGS.145J Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the In-Between; HASS-H, CI-H | M. Resnick
21L.021 Comedy; HASS-H, CI-H  |  W. Kelley


21M.011 Introduction to Western Music; HASS-A, CI-H | M. Marks, T. Neff
21M.030 Introduction to World Music ; HASS-A, CI-H | P. Tang, G. Dempsey
21M.053 Rhythms of the World (NEW); HASS-A |  L. Tilley


24.00 Problems of Philosophy; HASS-H, CI-H | M. Schoenfield
24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life; HASS-H, CI-H | K. Setiya
24.05 Philosophy of Religion; HASS-H, CI-H  | J. Spencer

Political Science

17.20 Introduction to the American Political Process; HASS-S, CI-H  | D. Caughey
17.40 American Foreign Policy; HASS-S, CI-H | J. Hayes
17.42 Causes and Prevention of War; HASS-S, CI-H | S. Van Evera

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

STS.004 Intersections: Science, Technology, and the World; HASS-H  | D. Fitzgerald
STS.006J/24.06J Bioethics; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Chaudhuri, Q. White
STS.083 Computers and Social Change (NEW); HASS-H  |  E. Medina

Theater Arts

21M.600 Introduction to Acting; HASS-A  | A. Kohler
21M.603 Introduction to Design for the Theater; HASS-A  |  S. Brown
21M.604J/21W.754J Playwriting I; HASS-A  |  K. Urban

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

WGS.101 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies; HASS-H, CI-H  | A. Walsh
WGS.161J/21H.320J  Gender and the Law in US History; HASS-H  | C. Capozzola
WGS.160J/STS.021J  Science Activism: Gender, Race and Power; HASS-E  | E. Bertschinger


21W.742J/WGS.231J Writing About Race; HASS-H, CI-H  |  K. Ragusa
21W.747 Rhetoric; HASS-H, CI-H  | S. Strang, A. Karatsolis,
21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories; HASS-A  | S. Lewitt, M. Nathan