Humanities and Social Sciences (prior to Sept. 2011)

These are the humanities and social science requirements that apply to all CoE undergraduates who entered the CoE prior to September 2011. For students who entered in September 2011 or after, please check the CoE Bulletin.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements offer a variety of academic choices for all students working toward an undergraduate Engineering degree. It is designed to provide the students with social, cultural, political and economic background crucial to fulfilling the College of Engineering’s purpose of “preparing our graduates to begin a lifetime of technical and professional creativity and leadership in their chosen field”.

To provide a breadth of education, each program in the College identifies a certain number of credit hours of elective courses (a minimum of 16) concerned with cultures and relationships–generally identified as humanities and social sciences. Students are encouraged to select a cluster theme for their humanities/social science electives. This is a unifying theme (such as psychology, economics, or history) that focuses the student’s HU/SS electives.


The specific requirements for all students are listed below:

  1. Humanities (6 credit hours):
    At least two courses totaling at least six credit hours.
  2. At least one 300- level or above humanities or social science course, totaling at least three credits. This requirement may, of course, overlap requirement I.
  3. The remaining credit hours may be satisfied with elective courses in either humanities or social sciences.

Definitions and Exceptions:

These requirements can often be satisfied by a number of courses from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA), or in part by Advanced Placement, A levels or IB credit or by courses taken at another university. For purposes of this College of Engineering requirement a course is defined as being a humanities or social science as follows:

  1. Any course that is designated as “HU” or “SS” by the College of Literature, Science and Arts meets this requirement as humanities or a social science, respectively.
  2. Language courses, except those designated in (3), are counted as humanities. However, advanced placement credit, A levels, IB or University of  Michigan placement credit for language courses at the 100-level and below are not to be used to satisfy this requirement. These may be counted instead as General Electives.
  3. Courses that are designated  as “BS”, “CE”, “MSA”, “NS”, “QR”, “experiential”, “directed reading or independent study”, or course titles that include the terms or partial phrases “composition”, “conversations:”, “intro composition”, “math”, “outreach”, “performance”, “physics”, “practice”, “practicum”,  “statistics”, “studio”, “tutor” may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
  4. For the purposes of this requirement, courses not covered by items 1, 2 & 3 above will be defined as humanities courses if they are offered by the following departments or divisions:
    • American Culture
    • Architecture (non-studio)
    • Art (non-studio)
    • Classical Archaeology
    • Classical Studies
    • Comparative Literature
    • Dance (non-performance)
    • Great Books
    • History of Art
    • Asian, English, Germanic, Romance (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) and Slavic Languages and Literatures
    • Music (non-performance)
    • Music History and Musicology
    • Philosophy
    • Religion
    • Screen Arts and Culture
    • Theatre and Drama (non-performance)

Similarly, courses not covered by items 1, 2 & 3 above will be defined as social sciences if they are offered by the following departments:

  • Afro-American and African Studies
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Communication Studies
  • Armenian, Judaic, Latin American and Caribbean, Latina/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, Native American, Near Eastern, Russian and East European Studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Women’s Studies

General Electives

General electives may be selected from the offerings of any regular academic unit of the University and from the Pilot Program, with the following exceptions:

  • Courses that require tutoring of other students enrolled in courses are limited to a maximum of 3 credits, with the exception of Physics 333 & Physics 334 which are both allowed for a maximum of 6 credits;
  • All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Engineering will accept credits earned in 200-, 300- and 400-level courses in military, naval, or air science.
  • Tutorial courses are not acceptable for credit of grade points but will be included on the student’s official record.