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Undergraduate Programs

The course work in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) department reveals the cultural, philosophical, ethical, social, political, environmental, international, and global contexts, past and present, which impact the practice and application of science and engineering in today’s world. HASS students will engage in life-long learning and recognize the value of doing so by acquiring the broad education necessary to:

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

Core Requirements

Global Politics and Society Minor

Culture, Creativity and Communication Minor

Music, Engineering and Recording Arts Minor

Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor

All Mines students must complete a 19-credit-hour curriculum in the Humanities and Social Sciences, ranging from freshman through senior levels of course work. These courses are offered by the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) department and by the Department of Economics and Business (EB).

The 10-credit humanities and social sciences core curriculum consists of

  • Nature & Human Values (HASS 100) – 3 credits
  • Global Studies (HASS 200) – 3 credits
  • Principles of Economics (EBGN 201) – 3 credits – through 22-23 Catalog. Starting AY 23-24 Engineering Economics EBGN 321 – 3 credits – will replace EBGN 201.

The remaining 9 credits, 3 courses, must be chosen from the Humanities and Social Sciences General Education restricted electives, listed in the HASS section of the catalog.

CCCS Pre-Approved Classes

CCCS Courses that Meet Midlevel H&SS requirements

The humanities and social science requirement can be a source of confusion: this requirement has had many names over the years and may be called different things by different departments: HASS credit, H&SS, HASS/EBGN electives, Distributed Humanities and Social Sciences, and most recently Culture & Society (CAS). The other source of confusion is that not all EBGN courses may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Here are the rules:

  • The three courses must be chosen from the approved courses listed in the HASS section of the catalog.
  • At least one of the three courses must be taken in HASS.
  • At least one of the 3 courses must be an approved 400-level course.
  • No 100-level courses may be used for these restricted electives (except foreign language courses).
  • AP and/or IB credit may not be applied to the restricted electives (except foreign languages).
HASS offers five minor programs. Students who complete an HASS minor usually will automatically satisfy their Humanities & Social Sciences General Education Restricted Electives Requirement. They will also need to use their free elective hours to complete a minor. Minors are a minimum of 18 credit-hours. Students should consult minor advisors for specific requirements. HASS Minors Flyer


  • No more than half of the credits to be applied towards an HASS minor may be transfer credits. All transfer credits must be approved by the appropriate HASS Undergraduate Advisor.
  • Prior to completing the sophomore year, students wishing to declare an HASS Minor fill out an HASS Minor form and obtain approval from their minor advisor.
  • Students must also fill out a Minor/Area of Special Interest Declaration and obtain approval from their Mines advisor, from the head/director of their major department/division and from the HASS department head.


Given the diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary interests of Mines students, the Culture, Creativity, and Communication (CCC) program provides a flexible, interdisciplinary range of options so students can follow particular passions bolstered by distinctive, signature experiences. Program Director: Paula Farca pfarca@mines.edu    Testimonial The Culture, Creativity, Communication Minor and Program (CCC) help students stand out, adding unique distinction to their engineering degree and giving them a competitive edge. The CCC Minor bolsters advanced critical thinking, creative problem solving, and vital oral and written communication skills. Statements from CCC Students: “The CCC minor has given me the opportunity to flex my creative muscles in a way unlike any of my engineering classes. I have engaged with my classmates in deep discussion about the themes and craft of stories and spent every moment appreciating the art in the world around us. My communication skills have improved, my creativity has improved, and most importantly, I feel balanced in my life. Augmenting an engineering degree with a humanities minor sets me apart professionally and gives me a much-needed outlet for expressing myself.” (Allyson Cameron) “The CCC minor was a welcome change of pace for my Mines career. When everything you see on a day to day basis is math and algorithms, it can get a little drab. Taking the time away from purely analytical courses to focus on the arts really helped me de-stress and discover new passions.” (Aidan Naughton) “I feel as though my experience with the CCC program has fundamentally changed my time spent at Colorado School of Mines. Being able to explore and refine my interests outside of engineering has been fulfilling and transformative in ways I never expected, and I doubt that it would have been possible without the attentiveness of the department’s faculty.” (Paul Comeau)


The Culture, Creativity, Communication minor elevates student capacity for empathy, contextual understanding, intellectual versatility, creative cognition, and expressive clarity. This minor is designed for students who feel a passion for culture and the arts, and who yearn to explore diverse fields of literary studies, creative writing, and communication studies.


Students in the Culture, Creativity, Communication minor must complete 18 hours of coursework (3 courses beyond what is required). Students will take courses below as part of a pathway in Literature and Creative Writing, a pathway in Communication Studies, or an intellectually coherent pathway in both.


HASS 303 Workshop Foundations: The Art and Craft of Creative Writing HASS 300 Creative Writing: Fiction (to be called Intermediate Short Fiction Writing Workshop) HASS 301 Creative Writing: Poetry (to be called Intermediate Poetry Writing Workshop) HASS 305 American Literature: Colonial Period to the Present HASS 307 Explorations in Comparative Literature HASS 309 Literature and Society HASS 320 Ethics HASS 323 Introduction to Science Communication


HASS 400 Advanced Short Fiction Writing Workshop

HASS 401 Creative Writing: Poetry II (to be called Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop)

HASS 404 Women, Literature, and Society

HASS 406 Literature of War and Remembrance

HASS 407 Science in Literature

HASS 408 Life Stories

HASS 409 Shakespearean Drama

HASS 410 20th-Century Literature

HASS 411 Literatures of the African World

HASS 412 Literature and the Environment

HASS 415 Mass Media Studies

HASS 416 Film Studies

HASS 418 Narrating the Nation

HASS 419 Environmental Communication

HASS 423 Advanced Science Communication

HASS 425 Intercultural Communication

HASS 426 Scientific Controversies

HASS 4xx Risk Communication

HASS 433 Shakespeare and the Scientific Revolution

HASS 4xx Science, Democracy, and the Environment



As environmental challenges mount across the world, governmental agencies, policy makers, industry, and others will look to engineers and scientists to develop innovative solutions to meet these pressing demands. The Environment and Sustainability Studies Minor provides political, social, cultural, economic, and historical perspectives on modern environmental challenges and equips students with the critical and analytical tools required to address contemporary environmental challenges. The curriculum further encourages students to transcend disciplinary boundaries by providing opportunities to integrate and synthesize the many strands of knowledge that bear on environmental issues.  When combined with their technical, engineering, and/or scientific degrees, graduates will have added marketable skills, which can also be translated into environmental careers, or post-graduate programs. The Minor in Environment and Sustainability Studies requires 18 hours of coursework:

  • 15 credit hours of Humanities & Social Science (H&SS) electives, and
  • 3 credit hours of restricted environmental science and engineering electives*

*Faculty involved in the Environment and Sustainability Studies Minor will work with colleagues across campus to identify upper-division electives in environmental science and engineering that can fulfill this requirement. Students may also include up to 3 credit hours of Independent Study, with the approval of the ESS Director.


HASS Courses
HASS 323: Introduction to Science Communication 3.0
HASS: 412: Literature and the Environment 3.0
HASS 421: Environmental Philosophy 3.0
HASS 464: History of Energy and the Environment 3.0
HASS 419: Environmental Communication 3.0
HASS 423: Advanced Science Communication 3.0
HASS 427: Risk Communication 3.0
HASS 448: Global Environmental Issues 3.0
HASS 458: Natural Resources and Development 3.0
HASS 460: Geopolitics and Natural Resources 3.0
HASS 467: History of Earth and Environmental Sciences 3.0
HASS 468: Environmental Justice 3.0
HASS 484: US Water Politics and Policy 3.0
HASS 487: Environmental Politics and Policy 3.0
HASS 488: Global Water Politics and Policy 3.0
HASS 490: Energy and Society 3.0
HASS 491: Energy Politics 3.0
Economics and Business Courses (EBGN)
EBGN 310: Environmental and Resource Economics 3.0
EBGN 330: Energy Economics 3.0
EBGN 340: Energy and Environmental Policy 3.0
EBGN 342: Economic Development 3.0
EBGN 434: Property Rights and Natural Resources 3.0
EBGN435. Economics of Water Resources 3.0
EBGN 470: Environmental Economics 3.0
Engineering, Design, and Society (EDNS)
EDNS 315: Engineering for Social and Environmental Responsibility 3.0
EDNS 430: Corporate Social Responsibility 3.0
EDNS 477: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development 3.0
EDNS 477: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development 3.0
EDNS 478: Engineering and Social Justice 3.0
Geology and Geological Engineering (GEOC)
GEOC 407. Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate 3.0
Petroleum Engineering (PEGN)
PEGN 350: Sustainable Energy Systems 3.0
PEGN 430: Environmental Law and Sustainability 3.0
Restricted environmental science and engineering electives: Choose One
CBEN469/MTGN469: Fuel Cell Science and Technology 3.0
CEEN301. Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering: Water 3.0
CEEN302. Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering: Air and Waste Management 3.0
CEEN303. Environmental Engineering Laboratory 3.0
CEEN 381: Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering 3.0
CEEN 401: Life Cycle Assessment 3.0
CEEN 460: Molecular Microbial Ecology and the Environment 3.0
CEEN461. Fundamentals of Ecology 3.0
CEEN472. Onsite Water Reclamation and Reuse 3.0
CEEN475. Site Remediation Engineering 3.0
CEEN476. Pollution Prevention: Fundamentals and Practice 3.0
CEEN477. Sustainable Engineering Design 3.0
CEEN480. Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment 3.0
CEEN 482: Hydrology and Water Resources Laboratory 3.0
CEEN492. Environmental Law 3.0
EENG 390: Energy, Electricity, Renewable Energy, and Electric Power Grid 3.0
ENGY 320: Introduction to Renewable Energy 3.0
ENGY 340: Nuclear Energy 3.0
GEOC 408. Introduction to Oceanography 3.0
PHGN419 Principles of Solar Energy Systems 3.0


The GPS Minor (18 credit hours) prepares engineers and scientists with the knowledge and experience they need to tackle complex global issues and become leaders in their professional and personal lives, within their own countries and in the global community. Drawing primarily from the social sciences, our classes link theories with real-world problems, while enhancing students’ analytical and communication skills.  Courses provide the political, social, and historical contexts to better understand world regions, particularly ones with significant natural resource endowments. Topics include war, trade, energy, corruption, and religion. Fitting the Mines’ mission, our courses bring a stronger focus to natural resources and energy issues than similar programs at other universities. Program Director: Kathleen Hancock



AT LEAST one of the following courses

  • 460 Geopolitics of Natural Resources
  • 344 International Relations


The remaining  6 to 15 credit hours (depending on how many courses you take from the required list) must come from the following courses. AT LEAST one must be a 400-level class.  Students may also use Study Abroad Programs to meet some elective requirements; contact the Director for more information.

  • 337 Asia: Politics & Society
  • 339 Middle East: Politics & Society
  • 341 Africa: Politics & Society
  • 411 Literatures of the African World
  • 437 Asian Development
  • 439 Middle East Development
  • 441 African Development
  • 442 Natural Resources & War in Africa
  • 456 Power and Politics in Eurasia
  • 307 Explorations in Comparative Literature
  • 375 Engineering Cultures (EGGN)
  • 431 Religion & Security
  • 448 Global Environmental Issues
  • 452 Corruption and Development
  • 475 Engineering Cultures in the Developing World (EGGN)
  • 490 Energy and Society
  • 486 Science and Technology Policy
  • 488 Water Politics and Policy
  • 491 Energy Politics
  • 492 Energy & Security Policy

HASS offers some foreign language courses that may be substituted for up to two of the electives.



The Music, Engineering and Recording Arts Minor (MERA) is 18-credit designed for students interested in the crossover field between music and related technical skills.  Technical emphasis within this minor creates an opportunity for students to experience and understand the impact of their specific majors upon both music as an art form and music as an industry.  Students will explore, study and research the refinements and developments that technology has created in the field of recording, production, performance, sound reinforcement and product design, as well as the interplay between the arts and technology. The discovery of the connections between current music and sound engineering practices is stressed.  The final outcome is a skilled and informed studio musician/ technician in present day studio conditions. Interim Program Director: Jonathan Cullison


Students desiring a Music Technology Minor (MTM) must complete 18 hours of courses, as follows: 1.  Four required music courses (12 credit-hours):

  • HASS 324 Audio/Acoustical Engineering and Science
  • HASS 327 Music Technology
  • HASS 315 Music Traditions of the Western World
  • HASS 330 Music Technology Capstone

2.  One 400 level required course (3 credit hours):

  • HASS 429 – Real World Recording Seminar (Preq.  HASS 315, HASS 327 or permission of instructor)

3.  Three additional credit-hours:

  1. HASS 326 Music Theory (3 credit-hours)
  2. Performance Enhancement (total of 3 credit-hours):
    1. Participation in 2 semesters of any LIMU ensemble (1 credit each) (Choir/Orchestra/Band/Jazz Band)
    2. Participation in 1 semester of LIMU 189A – Individual Music Instruction (1 credit hour)

Individualized minors are available to students who want to earn a HASS minor, but whose interests do not align with “established” curricula. Many students who intend to pursue careers in medicine or law will design a course of study that helps them prepare for the MCAT or LSAT. Other students take coursework from semesters abroad and combine them with relevant classes from Mines. Whatever the context and content, students work with the Program Director to develop a coherent sequence of courses that will enable them to achieve their academic goals. With the Director, each student will develop a statement/rationale for the sequence of courses selected.

As with all minors, students must complete 18 credit hours of coursework. At least ½ of the classes must be completed at Mines (vs. transferred in). No more than one course at the 200-level is permitted, and at least one course must be at the 400-level.

Example: Pre-law (course choices depend on focus, e.g., patent, environmental, etc.)

HASS202 Technical Communication
HASS220 Introduction to Philosophy
HASS317 Acting, Locution, & Public Performance
HASS320 Ethics
HASS366 Divided States of America
HASS425 Intercultural Communications
HASS468 Environmental Justice
HASS483 Intellectual Property for Engineers & Artists
HASS485 Constitutional Law and Politics
HASS486 Science and Technology Policy
HASS487 Environmental Politics and Policy
HASS488 Water Politics and Policy
HASS491 Energy Politics
EBGN 434 Property Rights and Natural Resources
EBGN474 Inventing Patenting and Licensing
EDNS430 Corporate Social Responsibility
PEGN430 Environmental Law and Sustainability
CEEN492 Environmental Law
MNGN335 Communities and Natural Resource Development

Program Director: Professor Sandy Woodson (swoodson@mines.edu)

Music at Mines adds a layer of creative expression and camaraderie—taking students beyond their study of earth, energy and environment. Offered through HASS, students may chose from academic courses in music theory (HASS 326), music composition and music history, or participation in one of Mines’ talented and award-winning performance groups.


Participation in the band or chorus group ( or any LIMU class) can count for up to 3 hours of free elective credit. If a course has the HASS prefix (Such as Music Theory or Music Technology), it can be used for the H&SS graduation credit.  Facilities for the music program include rehearsal rooms and a computer lab equipped with Pro Tools, Finale, and similar software for student use.


The Colorado School of Mines Band was established over 50 years ago and has a rich tradition of performing for the school and the community. The traditional Mines Marching Band with red and black plaid shirts, jeans, hiking boots, and hard hats represents a unique image among university bands. Band members play for the annual Mines Little Theatre musicals and in other small ensembles for different occasions during the year.  During the spring semester, the band presents two major performances in the concert hall.


Both Jazz Band and Strings are offered during fall and spring semesters — providing additional options for aspiring musicians and performers to showcase their skills. Both groups perform at least once a semester.


The Colorado School of Mines Concert Choir presents a variety of music in concerts on and off campus. This 75-voice choir is showcased in two annual on-campus performances.


Our Acappella Singers, an audition-only vocal chamber group, are subdivided into four performing groups that regularly present programs for both the Mines and local communities.


Music Leadership Scholarships are available in band and chorus for talented and qualified freshmen through seniors. Criteria considered in awarding music scholarships are a solid record of academic achievement, prior and current musical experience, performance on an audition tape, and financial need. Scholarships range from $500 to $2,000 for the academic year. Work-study funds are also available in music for qualified students.

Pictures of our students performing in Poland, Dublin, Rome and Florence.


For more information regarding scholarships contact:

For more information regarding scholarships contact:

Jonathan Cullison


Jonathan Cullison
Program Director


  • Symphonic Band
  • Marching Band
  • Pep Band
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • String Orchestra
  • Winter Percussion
  • Jazz Band
  • Chinese Band
  • Concert Choir
  • Harmonic Miners
  • Melodic Miners
  • Madrigal Singers


  • Music Theory
  • Music Composition / Arranging
  • Music Traditions / History
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music Technology


  • Voice
  • Strings
  • Winds
  • Piano / Organ
  • Harpsichord
  • Percussion
  • Guitar Bass
  • Improvisation

Although Mines does not offer a full range of foreign language study, HASS does provide a modest array of foreign language courses at the beginning levels (advanced students should see the undergraduate advisor for their options). Incoming students should enroll in the courses which most closely matches their language skill level. Placement tests are also available, but currently, there are no tests-for-credit. Students may not take a “foreign” language in his/her native or second language.

Regularly offered foreign language courses include German, French and Spanish.