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Update on the HASS Requirements Changes

Further developments on changes to the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences requirement have been released.

According to Professor Jeffrey S. Ravel, the chair of the HASS governance subcommittee, the new system will take effect starting next fall. It will only affect the Class of 2014 and subsequent classes.

Students will still have the same communication and concentration requirements; the difference is that of the eight HASS classes required for graduation, the three “distribution” classes will be chosen from three categories: Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Unlike the current system where there are over 100 classes in the HASS-D categories, almost all HASS subjects will fit under the three categories, and the number of classes that can be taken to satisfy the requirements will expand to over 600. Thus, the new system will allow more flexibility in scheduling, and students will be able to take more classes that they are interested in taking.

Starting in fall 2010, the Registrar’s office will implement two parallel systems. One will be for the class of 2014, under the new requirements; all current students at MIT will remain under the older system of three classes chosen from five categories. No switching between systems will be allowed, and once the class of 2013 graduates the HASS-D designation will be removed.

Another focus of the HASS subcommittee are the First-Year Focus classes: about 10 to 12 classes with approximately 100 students each. First-Year Focus classes would become one of the required 8 HASS classes. Discussions about the First-Year Focus classes will take place this spring, and a recommendation is expected by spring of 2014.

The HASS subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program. The student representatives are Adam Bockelie ’11 and Sukrit Ranjan ’10, according to http://web.mit.edu/committees/hrs/.

— Joy Lee