Oct 06, 2022  
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 
    
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023

Core Curriculum


Rensselaer graduates are creative and critical thinkers, who are capable communicators and lifelong learners with global-, multicultural-, and self-awareness. The aim of the Rensselaer education is to produce leaders who are inventive and enterprising problem solvers engaged in global challenges. This aim is met by an educational program combining a concentration in a discipline (major), exposure across Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Science disciplines (HASS and Math/Science Core), and additional curricular and co-curricular experiences.

The overarching outcomes of the Rensselaer Education are as follows:

Students will, as Educated Persons

  • Be able to demonstrate competence in critical thinking and creative thinking.
  • Be able to effectively communicate visually, orally, and in written form across a variety of media.  
  • Be able to demonstrate preparedness to be lifelong learners.
  • Be able to demonstrate global-, multicultural-, and self-awareness.

and

Students will, with respect to The Rensselaer Distinction

  • Be able to demonstrate disciplinary expertise.
  • Be able to interact and collaborate with others across disciplines.
  • Be able to demonstrate capacity for leadership and inventive and enterprising problem solving in global challenges.
  • Be able to demonstrate preparedness to be public-spirited, professional, ethical, and environmentally responsible individuals with a scientific and technological perspective.

 

The HASS Core 

As part of their B.S. degree program, all Rensselaer undergraduates take a selection of HASS courses referred to as the HASS Core.  

HASS CORE OUTCOMES

Students will be able to:

  • provide “big picture” as well as community-scale perspective, advancing students’ understanding of how the contemporary, globalized world works, and of the positioning and perspectives of different social groups.
  • provide both a historical perspective and a sense of how change has been and can be brought about.
  • introduce, expose, and cultivate diverse communication skills and critical perspectives on communication, encouraging students to continually evaluate rhetorical forms and styles of argument, supporting data, and media representations.
  • develop a critical perspective and awareness.

The HASS Core consists of:

  • A total of 24 credits of HASS courses.
    • Engineering majors must complete 20 credits of HASS courses in addition to the credits earned associated with the three-course sequence of professional development (PD) courses entitled PD1 (either ENGR 1010 or as part of ENGR 2050), PD2, and PD3 (ENGR 4010). 
    • Architecture majors must complete 20 credits of HASS courses. Four credits of the HASS core requirements are embedded within the Architectural Genealogy and Cloud Atlas: ARCH 4100 and ARCH 4110.
    • A maximum of 12 credits at the 1000-level can be counted toward the HASS Core.
    • A maximum of 8 AP or transfer credits can be counted toward the HASS Core. (See footnotes 1 and 3 below)
    • A maximum of 8 credits can be designated as P/NC.
  • An approved 12-credit area-of-focus known as an Integrative Pathway, which is designed to add depth and coherence to the HASS Core, enhance students’ majors, and optimize students’ degree curriculum. Students can choose from a list of either disciplinary or interdisciplinary Pathways.
    • Courses counting toward the Pathway may not be designated as P/NC.
    • Transfer students may apply up to 12 transfer credits toward a pathway.
    • Transfer students entering below sophomore status must follow the same HASS core as students entering via freshman admission.
    • Transfer students entering at or above sophomore status have two additional pathway options available to them:
      • Transfer Student Social Science Pathway
      • Transfer Student Arts and Humanities Pathway 
  • One four-credit 4000-level course (see footnote 2 below)
  • One HASS Communication Intensive course
    • Students may not use AP, IB, or Cambridge A-level credit, or transfer credit from another university to satisfy the HASS communication intensive (CI) requirement.  This applies to all transfer courses, including those taken before entering RPI and those taken after entering RPI (e.g., during break, while studying abroad). 
    • Exception: Transfer students may use credits taken at their prior institution to satisfy the HASS CI requirement provided that the course satisfies RPI’s CI standards. Students should send documentation to HASS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs verifying that the course meets these standards.
    • Students should take their HASS Communication Intensive course during their first three semesters.
    • P/NC designation may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • One HASS Inquiry course
    • Students who enroll at Rensselaer as first-year students are required to take a HASS Inquiry course during their first year. These courses cultivate a deep appreciation of the ethical and moral imperatives that are the foundation of integrative knowledge that spans the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Students learn the habits of mind that illuminate contemporary global issues from a diversity of perspectives using an interdisciplinary, integrative, and collaborative approach.  For a listing of HASS Inquiry courses visit: https://info.rpi.edu/hass-inquiry.
    • Transfer students who enter RPI at or above the sophomore level are not required to take a HASS Inquiry course.
  • Breadth
    • Students should take at least one course from the humanities and one course from the social sciences. 
    • Completion of a HASS Inquiry course (typically an IHSS course), in addition to the previously stated HASS Core requirements, satisfies the breadth requirement.

 

Humanities

Code

Social Sciences

Code

Arts

ARTS

Cognitive Science

COGS

Communication

COMM

Economics

ECON

Languages

LANG

Games and Simulation Arts & Sciences

GSAS

Literature

LITR

Interdisciplinary Studies

IHSS

Games and Simulation Arts & Sciences

GSAS

Psychological Science

PSYC

Interdisciplinary Studies

IHSS

Science, Technology, & Society

STSO

Philosophy

PHIL

 

 

Science, Technology, & Society

STSO

 

 

Writing

WRIT

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. The transfer credit limit may be waived for transfer students if courses were taken at the previous institution, however, the limit for AP credits still applies.
  2. Students who transfer into Rensselaer can satisfy this through a three- or four-credit course at their prior institution or a four-credit course at Rensselaer.
  3. Students enrolled at Rensselaer who wish to take a HASS course for credit at another accredited institution must obtain prior approval for the course from the HASS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Applicants must furnish a catalog description of the proposed course and syllabus, and a completed copy of Rensselaer’s Transfer Credit Approval Form to the HASS Student Services Hub on the 4th floor of the Sage building.

 

The Math/Science Core

As part of their B.S. degree program, all Rensselaer undergraduates are required to take a program of courses in physical, life, and computational sciences that is referred to as the Math/Science Core. 

MATH/SCIENCE CORE OUTCOMES

Students will be able to:

  • develop scholarly habits of curiosity, inquiry, skepticism, and data-based decision making.
  • use a scientific and technological perspective in all of their fields of study.

The Math/Science Core consists of:

  • A total of 24 credits of Math and Science courses.
    • Any courses with the following courses codes may meet the Math/Science core requirements: ASTR, BCBP, BIOL, CHEM, CSCI, ERTH, IENV, ISCI, MATH, MATP, PHYS.
    • At least 8 credits must be in mathematics (MATH or MATP).
    • Architecture majors must complete 20 credits of Math/Science courses. Four additional credits of the Math/Science core requirements are embedded within the Architecture Curriculum. No Architecture courses will count toward meeting the Math/Science core requirements for non-Architecture students.
    • Management majors must complete 20 credits of Math/Science courses. Four additional credits of the Math/Science core requirements are embedded within the Management Curriculum. No Management courses will count toward meeting the Math/Science core requirements for non-Management students.
    • Each major program may put additional restrictions on the courses that count toward the Math/Science Core.
    • Students with majors in the School of Science must take BIOL 1010/1015 (Introduction to Biology), or an approved alternate life sciences course, MATH 1010 (Calculus I), MATH XXXX (a second 4-credit Mathematics course chosen from MATH XXXX or MATP XXXX), and PHYS 1100 (Physics I). A course from at least one other science discipline is also required.
    • A maximum of 8 credits in the Math/Science core can be designated as P/NC. No courses specifically required by name (or groups of courses designated by name) may be taken P/NC. No courses graded S/U may be used to satisfy the Math/Science core.
    • Students entering Rensselaer as first-year students may transfer up to two math and science courses (up to 8 credit hours) toward satisfying their Math/Science core requirement. Other science and mathematics courses may be transferred as free electives. However, students who have taken Advanced Placement or the International Baccalaureate higher level exams may be granted credit for all mathematics and science courses for which they have the scores to earn credit (up to the Institute maximum of 20 credits).
    • Students transferring from an accredited college or university may be permitted to transfer additional credits toward satisfying the Math/Science core at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Science for Academic Affairs.
  • Enrolled students who wish to take a math or science course at another accredited institution must obtain prior approval from the Associate Dean of Science for Academic Affairs. Applicants must furnish a catalog description of the proposed course and a completed copy of Rensselaer’s Transfer Credit Approval Form to the School of Science Advising Hub on the 1st floor of the Jonsson-Rowland Science Center.