Our academic program is designed to help engineering students get the most out of their limited opportunity for courses in the humanities and social sciences. Through seminars averaging only 12 students and an interdisciplinary curriculum based on literature, philosophy, and the arts, The Herbst Program of Humanities encourages a flexibility of mind which engineers, like other skilled professionals, require in a rapidly changing technological and social environment.
The Herbst Program offers courses at all levels of undergraduate study, and one may take a single course or all of the courses we offer. In each case, readings and assignments are selected with the goal of helping students learn to examine their own convictions, to consider seriously the views of others, and to engage in a conversation which leads away from the expression of rigid “points of view” and toward a responsible consideration of ideas. To paraphrase Socrates, students should know themselves better.
It is no surprise that students also learn to express their ideas though clear oral expression and lucid writing. Moreover, the small group setting creates a community of learning, and faculty and students enjoy and profit from getting to know one another on a first name basis. We encourage students to consider Herbst as a way of fulfilling all or part of their H&SS requirements.
By the end of a Herbst seminar, students should be able to: