Humanities & Social Science Requirement

All students pursuing the bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree in SEAS must take a minimum of six courses (18 credits) in non-technical areas of study, with the exception of students in the systems engineering program,* who must take a minimum of 5 courses (15 credits) in non-technical courses. Of these six courses, at least two (6 credits) must be from the Critical Analysis in Social Science list and at least one course (3 credits) from the Critical Analysis in Humanities list of the University General Education Requirement. The remaining three courses (9 credits) must be chosen from an approved list satisfying specific departmental requirements. A full list of courses by major is available below.  Non-technical areas of study cannot include courses in scientific disciplines or mathematics, or courses focusing on technology.


When a foreign language 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 program.

*Students in the systems engineering program must complete all required university general education humanities or social science requirements within this minimum.

University General Education Requirement

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 student must use the current list of approved courses when satisfying this requirement. This list is available in the University Bulletin.

Humanities and Social Science: Approved Courses and Requirements