Humanities, Social Science Non-Technical Elective Requirement

Students in all majors in SEAS must complete non-technical courses. This requirement includes that at least two courses be from the Critical Analysis in Social Science list and one course from the Critical Analysis in Humanities list all of which can be found on the University General Education Requirement. The number of remaining non-technical courses varies by major and must be chosen from the approved list of SEAS non-technical courses or approved by a faculty advisor.

Non-technical courses cannot include courses in scientific disciplines or mathematics, or courses focusing on technology. Additionally, foreign language courses taken to satisfy the non-technical requirements must meet the following requirements: The foreign language studied may not be a native language of the student, unless the courses taken are literature courses. If the student has studied the language previously, he or she must first take a placement test given by the language department concerned and enroll in a course recommended by that department. An advisor must approve the course selection.

Additionally, when a foreign language course is taken as part of the humanities requirement, the following rules apply:

  • The foreign language studied may not be a native language of the student, unless the courses taken are literature courses.
  • If the student has studied the language previously, he or she must first take a placement test given by the language department concerned and enroll in a course recommended by that department.
  • The advisor must approve the course selection.

Embedded into the Humanities and Social Science Requirement for SEAS is the University General Education for Critical Analysis for Humanities (1 course) and Social Sciences (2 courses). However, this list is different from the SEAS Approved Humanities and Social Science list and students must use the current list of approved courses when satisfying this requirement. This list is available in the University Bulletin.

For CS and Systems Engineering students, the Humanities and Social Science (HSS) requirements are part of the forms listed below, which are located on the SEAS Forms page:

  • Computer Science (BA) – Elective Declaration Form – 2020-2021
  • Computer Science (BS) – Non-Technical Elective Declaration Form – 2020-2021
  • Systems Engineering – Systems Elective Declaration Form

Please use this list to select your non-technical electives.


For CS and Systems Engineering students, the Humanities and Social Science (HSS) requirements are part of the forms listed below, which are located on the SEAS Forms page. The list of approved HSS courses for both CS and Systems Engineering students is also available online.

  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BA) – CS (B.A.) Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2019-2020
  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BS) – CS (B.S.) Non-Technical Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2019-2020
  • HSS Form – Systems Engineering – Systems Elective Declaration Form

For CS and Systems Engineering students, the Humanities and Social Science (HSS) requirements are part of the forms listed below, which are located on the SEAS Forms page. The list of approved HSS courses for both CS and Systems Engineering students is also available online.

  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BA) – CS (B.A.) Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2018-2019
  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BS) – CS (B.S.) Non-Technical Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2018-2019
  • HSS Form – Systems Engineering – Systems Elective Declaration Form

For CS and Systems Engineering students, the Humanities and Social Science (HSS) requirements are part of the forms listed below, which are located on the SEAS Forms page. The  list of approved HSS courses for both CS and Systems Engineering students is also available online.

  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BA) – CS (B.A.) Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2017-2018
  • HSS Form – Computer Science (BS) – CS (B.S.) Non-Technical Elective Declaration Form – Fall 2017-2018
  • HSS Form – Systems Engineering – Systems Elective Declaration Form