Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Program Description

As the 21st century unfolds, individuals, communities, and nations face major challenges in energy, natural resources, and the environment. While these challenges demand practical ingenuity from engineers and applied scientists, solutions must also take into account social, political, economic, cultural, ethical, and global contexts. Mines students, as citizens and future professionals, confront a rapidly changing society that demands core technical skills complemented by flexible intelligence, original thought, and cultural sensitivity.

Starting in January 2017 the Liberal Arts and International Studies (LAIS) Division became the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Division.

Courses in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Division (HASS) expand students' professional and personal capacities by providing opportunities to explore the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Our curricula encourage the development of critical thinking skills that will help students make more informed choices as national and world citizens - promoting more complex understandings of justice, equality, culture, history, development, and sustainability. Students, for example, study ethical reasoning, compare and contrast different economies and cultures, develop arguments from data, and interrogate globalization. HASS courses also foster creativity by offering opportunities for self-discovery. Students conduct literary analyses, improve communication skills, play music, learn media theory, and write poetry. These experiences foster intellectual agility, personal maturity, and respect for the complexity of our world.

Undergraduate Humanities and Social Science

Educational Objectives

In addition to contributing to the educational objectives described in the Mines Graduate Profile and the ABET Accreditation Criteria, the coursework in the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is designed to help Mines develop in students the ability to engage in life-long learning and recognize the value of doing so by acquiring the broad education necessary to

  1. Understand the impact of engineering solutions in contemporary, global, international, societal, political, and ethical contexts;
  2. Understand the role of Humanities and Social Sciences in identifying, formulating, and solving engineering problems;
  3. Prepare to live and work in a complex world;
  4. Understand the meaning and implications of “stewardship of the Earth”; and
  5. Communicate effectively in writing and orally.

Music (LIMU)

Courses in Music do not count toward the Humanities,Arts, & Social Sciences General Education restricted elective requirement, but may be taken for Free Elective credit only.  A maximum of 3.0 semester hours of concert band, chorus, physical education, athletics or other activity credit combined may be used toward free elective credit in a degree granting program.

Foreign Language (LIFL)

Typically, several foreign languages are taught through the Division. In order to gain basic proficiency from their foreign language study, students are encouraged to enroll for at least two semesters in whatever language(s) they elect to take. No student is permitted to take a foreign language that is either his/her native language or second language.

Undergraduate Minors

At the undergraduate level, Humanities,Arts, & Social Sciences offers minors in Culture, Creativity, and Communication; Environment and Sustainability Studies; Global Politics and Society; Music, Audio Engineering, and Recording Arts; and an Individualized Undergraduate minor. See the minor tab for details.

Graduate Degree and Programs

At the graduate level, Humanities,Arts, & Social Sciences offers a 30-hour degree. It also offers Graduate Certificates and Graduate Minors in Natural Resources and Energy Policy (NREP). See the Graduate catalog for details.

Hennebach Program in the Humanities

The Hennebach Program in the Humanities, supported by a major endowment from Ralph Hennebach (CSM Class of 1941), sponsors a regular series of Visiting Professors and the general enhancement of the Humanities on campus. Recent visiting professors have included scholars in Classics, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, Ethics, History, Literature, Philosophy, and Social Theory as well as the interdisciplinary fields of Environmental Policy, and Science, Technology, and Society Studies. The Program is dedicated to enriching the lives of both students and faculty through teaching and research, with visiting scholars offering courses, giving lectures, conducting workshops, and collaborating on projects. In addition, the Hennebach Program is exploring opportunities for meeting the needs of Undergraduate students who would especially benefit from more focused study in the Humanities that would appropriately complement technical degree curricula.

Primary Contact

Jody Lowther


Hussein A. Amery , Department Head

Elizabeth Van Wie Davis

Jon Leydens

Kenneth Osgood

Associate Professors

Tina L. Gianquitto

Kathleen J. Hancock

James D. Straker

Assistant Professors

Adrianne Kroepsch

Qin Zhu

Teaching Professors

Cortney Holles

Jonathan Cullison

Paula A. Farca

Robert Klimek, Music Program Director

Toni Lefton, Director, University Honors and Scholars Programs

Sandy Woodson, Undergraduate Advisor

Teaching Associate Professors

Melanie Brandt, Director of McBride Program

Eliza Buhrer

Maggie Greenwood

Joseph Horan, Associate Department Head

Derrick Hudson

Shannon Davies Mancus

Seth Tucker, Director of Hennenbach

Teaching Assistant Professor

Rachel Osgood

Professors Emeriti

Carl Mitcham

W. John Cieslewicz

T. Graham Hereford

Barbara M. Olds

Eul-Soo Pang

Anton G. Pegis

Thomas Philipose, University professor emeriti

Arthur B. Sacks

Associate Professors Emeriti

Betty J. Cannon

Kathleen H. Ochs

Laura J. Pang

Karen B. Wiley

Teaching Professor Emeriti

James Jesudason