The objective of a minor is to provide a depth of understanding and expertise to an area outside of, or complementary to, a student's major. This depth and expertise must be sufficient to enable the student to appreciate the complexities and issues that are central to the minor, and to perform at a level sufficient to solve realistic problems and/or to make a contribution to the field. A number of programs in science, engineering, architecture, management, and the humanities, arts, and social sciences offer minors. Several interdisciplinary minors are also available.
Students who successfully complete minors will have their fields of study specified on their transcripts as part of their Bachelor of Science degrees, thus giving public recognition of this focused work. Minors may be pursued within the following framework.
- Students may not minor in the area of their major. For example, a student majoring in civil and environmental engineering may not pursue a minor in civil and environmental systems. In addition, if a student is pursuing a composite (joint) degree (such as the SB in Computer Science and Molecular Biology, the SB in Mathematical Economics, or the SB in Mathematics with Computer Science), they may not pursue a minor in either field of that program. The Committee on Curricula (COC) has the authority to determine whether a specific combination is permissible.
- At the discretion of a student's major department, subjects taken for a minor may count toward departmental program requirements, provided the student's combination of programs is permitted by the COC.
The general guidelines for a minor program are as follows:
- Minors consist of five to seven subjects, with a typical program comprising six. A minor may include subjects that count toward General Institute Requirements (GIRs).
- Subjects taken under the junior-senior P/D/F grading option cannot be used for a minor program.
- At the discretion of the minor advisor, approved transfer credit may be used to fulfill a portion of the minor program. MIT subjects, including those taken through cross-registration, must comprise at least half of the minor program.
- A student may earn no more than two minors, which are awarded only when the student receives the SB degree, and which must be associated with a specific degree. This two-minor maximum applies even if the student receives a double major.
- The student should apply for a minor by the end of the sophomore year, but no later than Add Date one full term preceding the one in which the SB degree is awarded. The student must complete an application form for a minor in consultation with the appropriate minor advisor. Note that application and completion forms vary among programs.
Minors are currently available in the fields listed below.
More information on departmental minors appears under the departments' undergraduate program descriptions.
African and African Diaspora Studies 1, 2
Ancient and Medieval Studies 1, 2
Applied International Studies 1, 2
Archaeology and Materials
Art, Culture, and Technology 1
Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies 1, 2
Atmospheric Chemistry 2
Biomedical Engineering 2
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Civil and Environmental Systems
Comparative Media Studies 1
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Energy Studies 2
Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2
Environment and Sustainability 2
Environmental Engineering Science
History of Architecture, Art, and Design 1
International Development 1
Latin American and Latino/a Studies 1, 2
Materials Science and Engineering
Middle Eastern Studies 1, 2
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Political Science 1
Polymers and Soft Matter 2
Public Policy 1, 2
Russian and Eurasian Studies 1, 2
Science, Technology, and Society 1
Statistics and Data Science 2
Toxicology and Environmental Health
Urban Studies and Planning 1
Women's and Gender Studies 1, 2
These programs are HASS minors, which may be built on the concentration component of the HASS General Institute Requirement. Of the six subjects required for a HASS minor, at most five may count toward the eight-subject HASS Requirement. Of these five, at most one may count toward satisfying the distribution component of the HASS Requirement.
These programs are described under Interdisciplinary Programs.
For additional information, instructions, and applications, students should contact the undergraduate office in their field of interest, or the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming in Room 7-104. Information about HASS minors is available in the Office of the Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (Room 4-240) or on the SHASS website.