Be Your whole self.
Apply for an MIT HASS minor.
“We’re all searching for ways to develop all the aspects of our creative and intellectual identity.”
— Natalia Guerrero S.B. ’14
Minors at MIT are a great way to dig deeper into a field that you've always wanted to explore; or that combines well with and amplifies your major field; or that enables you to develop a creative talent; or gain knowledge and skill in a fascinating field that is important in a different way than your major field.
Each year hundreds of MIT undergraduates decide to minor in one or more of MIT's humanities, arts, and social science disciplines, choosing from 30 fields.
Keep in mind that you can share up to 5 subjects in a HASS Minor with the HASS GIR Requirement. Therefore, you could only need one extra subject to create a HASS Minor. A full Minor is very accessible!
Minors are coherent programs of study providing significant experience in their disciplines. Minor fields are specified as part of the S.B. degree, thus giving recognition of focused work in a discipline outside the major course of study.
Why earn a Minor?
You may find that your 3- to 4-subject required HASS Concentration has not satisfied your curiosity about your field of choice. By adding subjects to your concentration, you can build a 6-subject minor that allows you to explore the field in greater depth. A minor is not required for graduation, but you may earn up to 2 minors, whether in HASS fields or other disciplines.
Choose from 30 MIT HASS fields!
Take an Online Tour of the MIT HASS fields
All MIT's HASS classes are designed to empower our students to succeed — to serve the world well, with innovations and lives that are rich in meaning and wisdom.
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Acronyms 101: HASS is MIT's acronym for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science fields, most of which are located in MIT SHASS, the MIT School of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
HASS Minor Advisors
For a list of current minor advisors, click here.
Course Requirements and Guidelines
A HASS minor consists of at least 6 subjects. These are typically arranged into 3 levels, reflecting different degrees of sophistication.
You may concentrate and minor in the same field, and use the same subjects for both. You must still submit concentration forms, even if you minor in the same field.
Of the 8 subjects that comprise the HASS Requirement, up to 5 of these HASS subjects may be applied toward the 6-subject HASS Minor. Of these 5, only one may be applied toward the HASS-Distribution requirement.
Minors are awarded when the S.B. degree is awarded, and must be associated with a specific degree.
For students who began undergraduate studies at MIT prior to Fall 2020, the junior/senior Pass/Fail option may not be used for courses that fulfill a minor program in HASS.
You may use transfer credits toward a HASS minor, at the discretion of the minor advisor. However, MIT subjects must comprise at least half of any minor program.
You may not minor and major in the same field.
A HASS minor may not be in the same field as the humanities component of a Course 21E or 21S major.
You may not overlap more than 2 subjects between a HASS minor and any other degree (major or minor). In some cases, you may minor and major in different, but related fields. Regardless of any overlap in requirements between the two programs, SHASS does not allow students to overlap more than 2 subjects between any two degrees (minor and minor or minor and major).
Procedures, Forms, and Timing
You may file forms electronically or on paper. Click here for a HASS Minor Application Form or HASS Minor Completion Form. You may also pick up a HASS minor application from the field office, the advisor for your chosen minor, the SHASS Dean's Office (4-240), or the Students Services Center (11-120). You should apply for your HASS minor by the end of your junior year.
Consult with the minor advisor about your program of study, and have the advisor sign your application.
Submit the yellow (“canary”) copy to Andrea Wirth in the SHASS Dean's Office, 4-240; distribute the other copies as indicated on the bottom of the form, electronically or on paper.
To change any part of your program once it has been approved, consult the minor advisor. Mark the changes on the field office’s copy of your application (the original, white copy), have the minor advisor initial them, and give a photocopy or scan to the SHASS Dean's Office, 4-240. Alternatively, you can just file a new application form.
You must file a HASS minor completion form by the end of the third week of your final term at MIT, whether or not you are taking some of your minor subjects during that term. If the deadline falls on a holiday, forms are due on Thursday instead. Here are the procedures to follow in each instance:
If you have completed all of the subjects in your minor program, bring a HASS minor completion form (available from the same sources as the minor application) to the minor advisor for signature, along with an unofficial transcript and the white copy of your minor application (available from the minor field office). Submit the yellow (“canary”) copy to Andrea Wirth in the SHASS Dean's Office, 4-240; distribute the other copies as indicated on the bottom of the form. You may file the completion form at any point after you have completed the subjects in your minor—there is no need to wait until your final semester--but you must do so by the deadline above in order to avoid a $50 late fee.
If you are taking some of your minor subjects during your final term, list these subjects on the bottom of the minor completion form, have the minor advisor sign the form, and distribute the other copies as indicated on the bottom of the form. The last term subject(s) must be correctly listed. List the exact subject number under which you are registered. Failure to take these steps by the deadline above will result in a $50 late fee. If you need to change a last term subject after submitting the form, you must notify Andrea Wirth in the SHASS Dean's Office immediately. Once a passing grade for these classes has been reported, the Registrar will record that your minor is complete.
The absolute latest date that you can submit a HASS minor completion form is April 30th of your final term at MIT. This will result in a $50 late fee.
If you decide not to minor after you have submitted a HASS minor application, you must notify the SHASS Academic Administrator and your HASS minor advisor. Send an email to both, with your full name, ID number, class year, and the minor you are dropping.
Class on field trip for 21H.380 /21A.411/21H.980, People and Other Animals, a seminar on history and anthropology
Learn more about The Power of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT
At MIT we view the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences as essential, both for educating great engineers, scientists, scholars, and citizens, and for sustaining the Institute’s capacity for innovation.
Why? Because the Institute’s mission is to advance knowledge and educate students who are prepared to help solve the world’s most challenging problems – in energy, health care, transportation, and dozens of other fields. To do this, our graduates naturally need advanced technical knowledge and skills — the deep, original thinking about the physical universe that is the genius of the science and engineering fields.
But the world’s problems are never tidily confined to the laboratory, workbench, or spreadsheet. From climate change to poverty to disease, the challenges of our age are unwaveringly human in nature and scale; and engineering and science issues are always embedded in broader human realities, from deeply-felt cultural traditions to building codes to political tensions.
So our students also need an in-depth understanding of human complexities — the political, cultural, and economic realities that shape our existence — as well as fluency in the powerful forms of thinking and creativity cultivated by the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
MIT Henge, photograph courtesy of Richard Koolish '68