Core Courses

Core-Courses.jpg All Caltech undergraduates—no matter their area of concentration—can choose from a wide variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences to meet Caltech's core requirements for an undergraduate degree.

Since Caltech's inception, a strong foundation in the humanities and social sciences has been a priority. Coursework in HSS helps students communicate more effectively, formulate logical and persuasive arguments, and understand the social, political, and cultural environment in which they live, making them better able to assess what our society needs from its citizens and scientists. In 2020, the HSS faculty adopted statements of the philosophy and goals of the social sciences and humanities core at Caltech.

Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements

To qualify for a bachelor of science degree at Caltech, students in all options must complete satisfactorily 108 units in the HSS division. These must include

  • introductory and advanced courses in the humanities (art, English, film, history, history and philosophy of science, humanities, music, or philosophy) and
  • introductory and advanced courses in the social sciences (anthropology; business, economics, and management; economics; law; political science; psychology; social science).

For more details about Institute's core requirements—including which courses do or do not meet the requirements—as well as the humanities and social sciences requirements, see the Caltech catalog from the year in which you began your studies at Caltech and refer to Caltech's Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes.

To learn more about the classes that are currently offered in the division, see the online listing of HSS courses and the current course schedule.