HASS Core Requirements
Background: Regardless of a student’s major
(or dual-major), all Rensselaer undergraduates must satisfy
core requirements in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social
Sciences (the HASS Core Requirements) and School of Science
(the Math/Science Core Requirements) to meet their graduation
requirements. This document provides guidance on how to satisfy
the HASS Core Requirements. Additionally, a link to a
requirements checklist is available at the bottom of this
In general, all Rensselaer undergraduates must complete
(with a passing grade) 24 credits of HASS courses. This is
typically accomplished by taking a combination of six 4-credit
courses. Achieving the 24-credit total is slightly different
for students in majors in the School of Engineering (see note
1) and the School of Architecture (see note 2).
Note 1: Engineering majors must complete 22 credits of HASS
courses in addition to a three-course sequence of 2-credit
professional development (PD) courses entitled PD1, PD2, and
PD3. PD2 counts as 2-credits toward the HASS Core.
Note 2:Architecture majors must complete 20 credits of HASS
courses. Four credits of the HASS core requirements are
embedded within the Architectural Genealogy sequence: ARCH 4100
and ARCH 4110.
Specifics of the Requirement
Distribution Requirement: Students must
complete a minimum of 8 credits of courses within the
Humanities, and at least 8 credits of courses within the Social
Sciences (see Table below). The remaining 8 credits are
satisfied by any combination of Humanities, Social Sciences, or
interdisciplinary courses (courses with the designation IHSS).
Note that IHSS courses can be counted as either humanities or
social science courses.
|Humanities and Social Science Course Departmental
|ARTS (Arts; Music)
||COGS (Cognitive Science)
|COMM (Communication & Media)
|STSH (Science & Technology)
|IHSS (Interdisciplinary HASS)
||IHSS (Interdisciplinary HASS)
Depth Requirement: Students must take at
least two courses with the same course departmental prefix
designation, one of which is above the 1000 level. Examples:
PSYC 1200 + PSYC 2220; WRIT 2310 + WRIT 2320; ECON 1200 + ECON
Communication Intensive Requirement:
Students must take at least two courses designated as
Communication Intensive or “CI”. One CI course must be taken in
the HASS core and one in the student’s major. Courses
designated as CI are accessed via the SIS homepage or through
COMMUNICATION INTENSIVE COURSE LISTING
4000-level Requirement: : Students must
take at least one 4000-level HASS course.
- A maximum of three 1000-level courses can be counted
toward the HASS core requirement. Any additional 1000-level
HASS courses will be counted as “Free Electives”.
- A maximum of 8 transfer or AP credits can be counted
toward the HASS Core.