Humanities, Social Science, and Non-Technical Elective Requirement

All SEAS students must complete the Humanities and Social Science/Non-Technical Elective Requirement (HSSNT). Included in this requirement are the University’s General Education Requirement for Social Science and Humanities electives: two courses from the Critical Thinking in Social Science list and one course from the Critical Thinking in Humanities list.

The remaining number of humanities, social science, or non-technical courses a student takes will vary by major and must be chosen from the SEAS Approved List of Non-Technical Elective coursesNon-technical courses cannot include courses in scientific disciplines, mathematics, or courses focusing on technology. 

You can review your HSSNT requirements and your progress toward them by referencing the “SEAS - Humanities and Social Sciences Electives” section at the bottom of your DegreeMAP.

 

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 – 2021-2022

  • Computer Science (BS) – Non-Technical Elective Declaration Form – 2021-2022

  • 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:

  • 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

SEAS Non-Technical Course List

University Critical Courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences List

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes. AP, IB and transfer courses may satisfy HSSNT requirements (either University General Education or SEAS Non-Technical Elective Courses, so you should be sure to submit all your scores and transcripts. You can compare the GW AP Equivalents page to the HSSNT worksheet for your major to see where things fall.

No, there is no double counting for HSSNT courses. The SEAS-approved list includes the University General Education for Humanities and Social Science elective courses, but any given class will only count once. For example, if your major requires a total of 6 HSSNT courses, then you will need to take 6 separate classes (unless you have applicable AP/IB/transfer credits).

Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy their two Critical Thinking in the Social Science and one Critical Thinking in the Humanities requirements before taking their SEAS-approved HSSNT classes. Because there are limited University General Education course options available and tend to fill up fast, it can be difficult to schedule all of them all in your last year which may delay graduation.

You can find the "Course Search" tab in the GW Schedule of Classes to find appropriate sections. Make sure the "Term" field is set to the upcoming semester and then use the "Course Attribute" field to find what you need. "CASS" is the attribute for Critical Analysis in the Social Sciences, and "CAH" is for Critical Analysis in the Humanities. Enter the code you want and hit "Search" to find courses in that semester that meet the corresponding requirement.

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 a student has studied the language previously, the student must first take a placement test given by the language department and enroll in a course recommended by the respective language department.
  • The courses must be approved by the student's faculty advisor.