FAQ

How many classes are required for a Concentration in Literature?

A Literature Concentration requires three subjects that form a coherent group, including one subject from the Seminar tier. Certain subjects in Writing and Humanistic Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and History can also qualify as part of a Literature Concentration.

Can I minor in Literature?

Yes. The Minor Program in Literature consists of six subjects chosen from offerings in the Introductory, Intermediate, and Seminar tiers. (Two Samplings subjects – up to four total – may be combined to count as one Intermediate subject.) The minor aims to enhance a student’s appreciation of major narrative, poetic, and dramatic texts in relation to the cultures that produced them and to lay a foundation for advanced study. Students designate a minor by completing an Application for a Minor form by the end of the sophomore year.

Can I major in Literature?

Yes. There are three kinds of Literature Majors at MIT: Full Major, Joint Major, and Double Major. The Full Major is equivalent to the curricula of literary studies at major liberal arts universities. The Joint Major is designed to combine study in literature with substantial work in an engineering of science field.

Can I both concentrate and have a minor in Literature?

Yes. Students with an established or growing interest in Literature are encouraged to do so.

What's the series of informal meetings where poems are read and discussed?

Yes, the Literature Section has been hosting a series called “Pleasures of Poetry” every year at lunchtime during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP). All are welcome.

I've heard about a student book club that was established recently. Is Literature the host of this group?

Yes, along with the Humanities Libraries, Literature sponsors the MIT Student Literary Society, which meets regularly throughout the academic year as a forum for students to read and discuss books of interest to the group.

Is the HASS Office the same thing as the Literature Section?

No. The HASS Education Office is the place to seek help with all MIT General Institute Requirements in the Humanities. It is located across the hall from Literature in Building 14.

Is the Writing Program the same thing as the Literature Section?

 No, there are eight Humanities Sections organized under the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies is a close cousin of the Literature Section but has a separate faculty and curriculum.