Breadth and Depth

At Lehigh each student has to take a breadth and depth curriculum. This means that each student has to take up to 13 credits in either humanities or social sciences so that we are able to have more in-depth knowledge on work we are interested in besides engineering. This curriculum also helps makes us more well rounded. You might be wondering how we fit this in well below is a nice detailed way to understand the vast world of the breadth and depth :

HSS electives (listed as the advanced requirement below) are the same for all engineers, so they are explained in the college section of the catalog instead of the engineering programs. The College of Arts and Sciences designates courses into different areas: (HU) humanities, (SS) social science, (MA) math, (NS) natural science, or (ND) not designated. Courses that are listed as Humanities (HU) or Social Science (SS) will count towards the engineering requirements as long as they are more than 1 credit (either 2, 3, or 4 credits)


Humanities/Social Sciences (HSS) Requirement for all Accredited Engineering Majors

Basic Requirement: English and Economics. Three courses totaling a minimum of ten credit hours: Students must complete English 1 (or 3), English 2 (or 5, or 11) and Economics 1. Students with advanced placements in English 1 usually take English 11 to complete the English requirements.

All engineers must complete the basic requirements, which are straight forward. They do not generate much confusion.
Advanced Requirement: Breadth and Depth. 13 credits in courses designated as HU (humanities) or SS (social science), with the following restrictions:

The above statement means that you must complete at least 13 credits of (HU) or (SS) beyond the basic courses, if you complete more than 13 credits to satisfy all the rules, the extra credits will become free electives. It is not easy to hit exactly 13 credits, nor should you try. You should take what interests you. In any case you will have to complete at least 4 courses to satisfy the advanced requirement.

  1. Depth: At least eight credits must be in a common discipline and from the same department or program. At least three of these credits must be at the 100-level or above, or at the intermediate level or above for a single modern foreign language.


This means that you need at least 8 credits in a single area like PSYC, PHIL, REL, SPAN, etc. Note that cross-disciplinary programs like the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) have courses that are cross-listed with other programs. A 4 credit GCP course that is cross-listed with a REL course like REL 148 (GCP 148) coupled with a 4 credit HIST course like HIST 12 (GCP 12) meets the 8 credit requirement because each course is a GCP course. It does not matter that HIST and REL are different departments. Note that you could register for the HIST and REL sections and it will still satisfy the requirement because both are cross-listed with GCP.

The second part of this rule states that at least 3 credits of the 8 credit depth must be at the 100 level or above (unless it is a language in which case, for example, SPAN 11 or higher counts equivalent to a 100 level). Taking HIST 12 and REL 148 fully satisfies requirement 1.

  1. Breadth: At least three credits in a discipline different from, and not cross-listed with, the discipline employed to satisfy the concentration requirement above.

You need at least 3 credits in an area different from the courses in requirement 1. If the courses used to satisfy requirement 1 are cross-listed, the courses used in requirement 2 cannot be from the cross-listed area. For example, if REL is the depth area and REL 146 (ASIA 146) is one of the depth courses, you cannot choose an ASIA course to satisfy the breadth because one of the depth courses is cross-listed with ASIA.

Carrying this further, if GCP 148 (REL 148) and GCP 12 (HIST 12) are used to satisfy the depth in the GCP area, then the breadth cannot be another History or Religion course because both areas are cross-listed with depth courses.

  1. At least three credits must be designated as HU.

This rule insures that you have a course that is labeled (HU). Basically, at least one 3- or 4-credit course (or two, 2-credit courses) that is (are) used to satisfy depth or breadth must be (HU). If you approach this intelligently, you will not have to take an extra course. For example if PSYC is your depth area, there are no PSYC courses that are currently labeled (HU). Therefore, if you choose your breadth course that satisfies rule 2 and it is (HU), it will satisfy this rule.

Note that all 13 advanced credits can be (HU). Since the basic HSS courses require everyone to take ECO 1, all students have an (SS) course. So there is no rule that you must have at least 3 credits of (SS).

I hope this helped clear out any confusion because I really was confused.

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