Writing and Humanistic Studies

A photo of a woman and a beam of blue light in the dark.

(Photo courtesy of Nicholas Altenbernd. Used with permission.)

The MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies gives students the opportunity to learn the techniques, forms, and traditions of several kinds of writing, from basic expository prose to more advanced forms of non-fictional prose, fiction and poetry, science writing, scientific and technical communication and digital media.

Our faculty consists of novelists, essayists, poets, translators, biographers, historians, engineers, and scientists.

Program subjects are arranged by four areas: exposition and rhetoric, creative writing, science writing, and technical communication. In each area, introductory subjects lead to more specialized advanced subjects. Introductory subjects are designed for students with little experience in writing. Advanced subjects are for students who have mastered the elements of sentence and paragraph structure. A number of the advanced subjects use writing as a vehicle to explore humanistic and scientific issues in a broad cultural context.

The Graduate Program in Science Writing is a 12-month course of study leading to a Master of Science degree. Aimed at students who wish to write about science and technology for general readers, the program is built around an intensive two-semester advanced science-writing seminar. Links to other MIT programs and departments - such as the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships program, Comparative Media Studies, and the Program in Science, Technology and Society - provide rich resources for students who come to the Graduate Program in Science Writing from a variety of backgrounds.

Writing and Humanistic Studies Courses

Course # Course Title Level
21W.734J Writing with Shakespeare Undergraduate
21W.734J Writing About Literature Undergraduate
21W.739J Darwin and Design (Fall 2010) Undergraduate
21W.739J Darwin and Design (Fall 2003) Undergraduate
21W.741J Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies Undergraduate
21W.757 Writing and Reading Short Stories Undergraduate
21W.768 Games and Culture Undergraduate
21W.791 Network Cultures Undergraduate

Archived Writing and Humanistic Studies Courses

Some prior versions of courses listed above have been archived in OCW's DSpace@MIT repository for long-term access and preservation. Links to archived prior versions of a course may be found on that course's "Other Versions" tab.

Additionally, the Archived Writing and Humanistic Studies Courses page has links to every archived course from this department.