About the Committee

The Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement (SHR) is a permanent subcommittee of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP). Its membership includes one faculty chair from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS); and in addition, one faculty member from each of the five Schools; two undergraduates; and the following ex officiis, nonvoting members: the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of SHASS, or their designated representatives. The Registrar's Office provides administrative support.

It is the responsibility of SHR to govern the HASS Requirement as laid out in the motion approved by the Faculty on May 20, 2009. This includes two high-level goals in the CUP charge:

  • Support, encourage, and monitor the development of new innovative subjects and changes to the HASS Requirement; and
  • Ensure regular review of new and existing subjects to ascertain that the educational goals of the HASS Requirement are met while maintaining MIT’s high educational standards.

To that end, subject to final approval by the CUP, the SHR shall act with power to:

  • Monitor and revise policies associated with the HASS Requirement as necessary.
  • Establish criteria and guidelines for the designation of subjects that will satisfy the HASS Requirement and adjust them as appropriate; evaluate subject proposals from all Schools for HASS designation and assign to appropriate categories in accordance with criteria.
  • Establish criteria and guidelines for HASS Concentrations and adjust them as appropriate; review existing and approve new and modified Concentrations as needed.
  • Maintain the official lists of HASS subjects and HASS Concentrations.
  • Oversee individual student requests for exceptions or substitutions to the HASS Requirement, in collaboration with the CoC.
  • Periodically collect and analyze data on patterns of student fulfillment of the Requirement, assess the student experience with the Requirement, and monitor the administration of the Requirement. Propose changes as needed based on such review.
  • Interact and engage with departments and units in the development of innovative HASS curricula. Propose to the CUP limited educational experiments that SHR deems appropriate for assessing changes to the curriculum and educational policies and practices.