The HSA Curriculum

“It obviously becomes a matter of great import that scientists and engineers be equipped to administer with intelligence the power and responsibility that are being forced upon them. This requires that their technical education be strongly reinforced with the philosophical, humanistic, and social disciplines.”

— Harvey Mudd College Curriculum Study, 1958

The program in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts is structured to promote breadth of understanding as well as the in-depth study of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary area of special interest.

Each student takes HSA10 – Critical Inquiry, a seminar course geared toward developing writing and analytical skills, in the spring of the first year. As is shown in the curricular concept map (PDF), a minimum of ten additional HSA courses are required for graduation. At least four of these are in the student’s chosen area of concentration; courses from five disciplines of the student’s choice (typically one of the concentration courses and four others) satisfy the distribution requirement; and two courses are electives. At least one course beyond HSA 10 must include substantial writing.

To integrate the study of the humanities, social sciences, and arts into the life of the Harvey Mudd community, the department requires that at least five of the ten courses beyond HSA 10 are taken with departmental faculty. With only a single prescribed course (HSA 10), and a dozen topical variations of that course to choose from, the program affords students substantial flexibility to pursue their individual interests and to experiment with new areas of study.

Study abroad is common and easily fits within the HSA program requirements, as does work in music, the visual arts, and other creative endeavors.

For further details, see the HSA Requirements for Graduation.