Be Your Whole Self at MIT

Take the Online TOUR de SHASS
Explore MIT's Humanities, Arts, and Social Science fields.


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.


The Power Skills

100% of MIT undergraduates study the humanistic fields: the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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. In HASS studies and explorations, MIT students gain critical thinking and communication skills, creativity, cultural and historical perspectives, fluent language abilities, and knowledge about economic and political forces.

As MIT EECS Professor Anant Argawal, CEO of edX, says: these capacities are hard-won, rigorously maintained power skills, vital for innovation and success. All MIT HASS classes empower professional success, whatever one's major field, and open windows onto a lifetime of creativity and growth.

Click on the photographs below for a virtual tour through MIT's HASS fields to discover which are the most meaningful for your goals. 

Take the tour by clicking on the photographs.




Anthropology | Course 21A
Field Office: E53-335

"Culture is not quaint or exotic tradition, nor produced only by artists. Culture is a system of signs and practices through which humans interact and communicate."  
— Susan Silbey, Goldberg Professor of Humanities, and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Comparative Media Studies/Writing | Course CMS/21W
Field Office: 14N-336
"CMS/Writing is applied humanities. We combine the world's most culturally and technologically connected students with MIT's extensive resources—in particular our unparalleled tradition of innovation in media thinking and practice."  
— William Uricchio, Professor, Comparative Media Studies



Economics | Course 14
Field Office: E52-304

“Even the very best ideas in science or engineering do not automatically translate into broader economic prosperity. In large measure, the material benefits of innovation spring from complementarities between technology and economics.” 
— Ben Bernanke, MIT PhD ’79; former Chairman, US Federal Reserve Board

Global Studies and Languages

Global Languages | Course 21G
Field Office: 14N-305
"These classes opened my eyes to the staggering breadth of human achievement beyond science and engineering, showing that human interaction is as nuanced and fascinating and relevant as any physics model or math proof or computer system."  
— Chris Yang SB '08, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science


History | Course 21H
Field Office: E51-255
"Because everything has a past, the discipline of History is, of necessity, a big tent. Over this broad purview the historian's task is to strip away the obscuring layers of myth that accrete with time—and to reveal instead the true richness of the human experience."  
— Anne McCants, Professor of History, MacVicar Faculty Fellow


Linguistics | Course 24
Field Office: 32-D808
"We are working to unravel the system that unites all the languages in the world."  
— David Pesetsky, Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics


Literature | Course 21L
Field Office: 14N-407
"When you study Literature, you learn how to read—how to actively engage with the meanings that inform...everything from novels, poetry, drama, epics, and folk tales to film, television, comics and new media."  
— James Buzard, Professor of Literature 


Music | Course 21M
Field Office: 4-246
"At MIT, you can have a conservatory-level music experience within the world's finest technical institute."  
— Janet Sonenberg, Professor of Theater Arts


Philosophy | Course 24
Field Office: 32-D808

"The most enduring value and benefit from my MIT education turned out to be the introduction to philosophy and the history of ideas."  
 Ray Stata, SB '57, SM '58, Founder, Analog Devices

Political Science

Political Science | Course 17
Field Office: E53-484

At MIT Political Science, we are engaged in cutting edge research and teaching that helps us understand and solve some of the world's greatest challenges.

Science, Technology, and Society

Science, Technology, and Society | Course STS
Field Office: E51-163

STS scholars ask such questions as: "How do changes in science and technology affect what it means to be human?,” and "How do science and technology express human values?"

Theater Arts

Theater Arts | Course 21M
Field Office: 4-246
"Studying physics has enabled me to step back and analyze the mechanics of problems. Theater shows me how to examine them in terms of their human relevance."  

— Kenneth L. Roraback SB '06 in Physics and Theater

Women’s and Gender Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies | Course WGS
Field Office: 14E-316

“Re-vision—the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction—is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival."

— Adrienne Cecile Rich (1929–2012), American poet and essayist



Be Your Whole Self at MIT.

Explore a HASS minor in one of 30 fields.

In addition to the MIT HASS requirement, many students pursue a major and/or a minor in the HASS fields, exploring interests that support, balance, or expand studies in MIT's STEM fields. All MIT HASS classes empower professional success, whatever one's major field, and open windows onto a lifetime of creativity and growth.


“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!

Learn more and apply for a HASS Minor.