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Pages: Social Sciences

At MIT, we apply the same rigor to macroeconomics that we apply to engineering. Our approach to the social sciences helps you build the technical and intellectual skills needed to effect change in business, policy, and beyond. Here are a few of our favorite examples of how the social sciences take shape at MIT.

Feeding your inner entrepreneur

While it’s not rare for MIT alumni to start their own companies—our alums have founded more than 30,000 of them—students often start businesses while living on campus. With free legal counsel and innovative courses taught by industry experts, MIT is a dynamic environment for budding business leaders.

Example: the four MIT undergrads who founded the world’s first robotics-powered restaurant, Spyce. After receiving funding and mentorship from MIT’s Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator, known today as MIT delta v, Spyce opened its doors in downtown Boston in May 2018.

A new approach to social science

MIT’s mission is to meet the world’s great challenges with effective solutions—a feat which requires the combination of cultural, political, social awareness, and advanced technical skills. Last year, MIT debuted a research program for undergrads that explores the intersection between the social and the technical.

CS+HASS SuperUROP is a year-long research program that gives MIT undergrads a chance to apply computer science to social science research. In its first year, this interdisciplinary program lead to projects like “Using Big Data to Measure Government Transparency Online,” by Mikayla Murphy ’18 and “Real-Time Audio Synchronization,” by Smriti Pramanick ’18.

Work with world-renowned economists

At the MIT Sloan School of Management, you have the chance to work with professors like economists Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson, who recently published a book about how to jumpstart the American economy by investing in science.

Examining justice

In Bernardo Zacka’s class 17.01, students explore human values and the many ways of imagining a just society. Students may arrive in this class expecting to learn about a straightforward roadmap to justice, says Zacka, but they emerge with a more complex, nuanced and useful map — one that shows how power operates, as well as the many forms that justice and injustice can take.

Learn more

Intrigued? You can learn more and see how you’d fit in each program by visiting their respective websites:

Take an MIT class and try it yourself

The best way to get to know MIT’s approach to social science is to take one of our classes—and with MITx, it’s as easy as logging in online. Consider enrolling in MIT’s new free online course about the future of work. The course will look at the impact of globalization and new technologies such as AI and robotics, and develop plans of action for improving the job and career opportunities for today and tomorrow’s workforce.