Revised HASS requirement takes effect in fall 2010 for incoming freshmen

Requirement is designed to prepare MIT students for leadership contributions, lifelong learning


In May of 2009, the MIT faculty approved recommendations to change the structure of the distribution requirement within the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement. As part of the undergraduate curriculum, the HASS Requirement is designed to prepare MIT students for leadership contributions, lifelong learning in every field, and global citizenship.

The CUP Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement has determined that first-year students entering in fall 2010 will be the first cohort subject to the revised distribution requirement. Current undergraduates are not affected by this change and will continue to fulfill the existing HASS distribution requirement known as HASS-D. MIT is committed to offering a full range of HASS-D subjects for the next three years to ensure all current students are able to complete this requirement.

Under the revised distribution requirement, incoming freshmen in fall 2010 and beyond will be required to take one HASS subject from each of the following categories:

  • Arts
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

This moves away from the current, more complex, five-category distribution and will provide students with more flexibility and choice to better pursue their intellectual interests in these areas. More than 600 currently active subjects will satisfy the revised distribution requirement. All other aspects of the HASS Requirement remain unchanged. There is also no impact on the Communication Requirement.

The Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (DUE) is collaborating with the Subcommittee, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Information Services & Technology, to implement the revised distribution requirement. The goal is to ensure that current students continue to pursue HASS-D subjects without any impact from this change and that incoming students have all the information and support they need to make informed choices in developing an academic plan.

For more information about the revised distribution requirement, please visit the HASS Requirement web site


Topics: Education, teaching, academics, Students

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