"The past is not behind us; in fact it isn't even past". Although most people at MIT look to the future, we can't tell where we're going without knowing where we've been. MIT's historians examine nearly the entire range of human experience in order to provide perspective on the present.
You can explore a wide range of subjects in small classes featuring close interaction with outstanding scholars and teachers. History at MIT does not look like a high school survey; instead of memorizing names and dates, you learn to think critically about important issues and to develop a rich, empathetic understanding of our ancestors. Texts, visuals and aural media, lectures and discussions work together to make vivid the experience of men and women who have lived here before us.
The study of History teaches different ways to think critically about the past, present and future of the world. When paired with an MIT background in science and engineering, a major or minor in history can lead to a variety of employment and graduate school opportunities. Some of our graduates have gone on to do advanced work in History at the nation's top programs, but others have undertaken graduate work in other academic fields in the Humanities and elsewhere, or gone on to graduate work and careers in fields such as law or business. Those interested in post-undergraduate opportunities for History students should consult Careers for History Majors, a web site compiled by the American Historical Association.
The requirements to major in History are:
I. Four Required Subjects (39 Units)
- One 21H Seminar Subject
- 21H.390 Seminar in Historical Methods (Junior Year)
- 21H.ThT Thesis Tutorial
- 21H. ThU Thesis
II. Six Restricted Electives (90-120 Units)
- Seven 21H subjects are to be selected in consultation with a major advisor. These must include subjects drawn from two geographical areas, as well as one pre-modern (before 1700) and one modern subject.
III. Second HASS Discipline
- Three related subjects from a second HASS field.
It is also possible to complete a 21E (Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Engineering) or 21S (Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Science) major.
These options allow you to pursue detailed study in History and a field in Engineering or the Sciences.
For further information about 21E and 21S majors contact:
Chuck Munger 324-5134
The Minor Program in History consists of six subjects, which must include:
- At least one 21H subject that is designated HASS-D*
- At least one 21H elective seminar
- Three undergraduate elective or seminar subjects from the History curriculum
- 21H.390 Seminar in Historical Methods (offered only in the Spring)
- At least two temporal periods - one pre-modern (before 1700) and one modern - to be covered by the five subjects other than 21H.390
Contact Professor Elizabeth Wood for more information.
*Special Note: HASS-D requirement are applicable to student of the Classes of 2012 and 2013. The HASS-D Subjects will carry the HASS-D designation until Fall 2013, but will also carry the new designations of HASS-A,
HASS-H or HASS-S effective Fall 2010.
A concentrator is required to take three subjects in history. One but not more than two shall be selected from the 21H HASS-D* designated offerings. There are no geographical distribution requirements. At least two of these subjects must be taken at MIT. For a History concentration contact Profs. Jeff Ravel, Hiromu Nagahara, Pauline Maier and Chris Leighton (spring.)
For Studies concentration, consult the following advisors: African and African Diaspora Studies - Prof. Christopher Capozzola; American Studies - Prof. Craig Wilder; Ancient/Medieval Studies- Prof. Will Broadhead; Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies – Prof. Manduhai Buyandelger; Middle Eastern Studies – Prof. Philip Khoury; Russian and Eurasian Studies - Prof. Elizabeth Wood.
*Special Note: HASS-D requirement are applicable to student of the Classes of 2012 and 2013. The HASS-D subjects will carry the HASS-D designation until Fall 2013, but will also carry the new designations of HASS-A, HASS-H or HASS-S effective Fall 2010.