The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 56.0°F | Overcast

HASS to offer two new minors in fall

By Annabelle Boyd

Students will now be able to designate a minor in Theater Arts or Urban Studies and Planning, according to Ikey Spear, coordinator for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Office. These new minors were created last term by the Minors/Major/Concentration Committee in response to student interest, and will be open to all students in September.

Though only one year old, the minors program has already attracted 189 MIT students, including 56 students in the recently graduated Class of 1989. "Student response to the program has been very positive," Spear said.

According to Spear, because of the program's newness, few institutional policies have yet been established which officially encourage students to take advantage of the minor. "The main publicity for students to minor is still the field itself and word of mouth," she said.

"But the information is getting out," she added.

In addition to the two new areas, a student may minor in anthropology and archaeology; economics; foreign languages (French, German, Russian and Spanish); history; literature; music; philosophy; political science; psychology; science, technology and society; women's studies and writing.

Though students are minoring in all open areas, music and economics have proven the most popular, attracting 38 and 37 students respectively. Literature, psychology, political science and writing have approximately twenty students each. The French, German, Spanish and women's studies minors have also attracted substantial student attention.

To obtain a minor, a student must complete six subjects of a curriculum approved by the MMC Committee. Of the six subjects, at most five may count toward the eight-subject HASS requirement. Of these five, at most one may count toward the three-subject HASS distribution requirement. A minor must be declared at least two full terms before graduation.

The six subjects which compose the minor are arranged into three levels of study. First-level subjects offer training in an essential methodology or broad-ranging coverage of primary materials. Second-level subjects complement the first -- broad followed by narrow or the reverse -- and third-level subjects culminate the student's work in the field.

According to a report issued by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, the minor in HASS subjects differs from existing programs in important ways. The double major requires 450 units of credit for degrees in two distinct departments, forcing students to overload. Through the minor program, a student can gain in-depth experience in a field other than his major without overload, the CUP report stated.