Woodbury at sunrise.The purpose of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) electives is to broaden the engineering education. In environmental engineering, appreciation and knowledge of the social, historical, political, and economic context of environmental problems is critically important. The EVEN faculty recommends you select a sequence of courses that complement and broaden your education in environmental engineering and that you avoid random selection of unrelated introductory courses. See below for some specific courses that may interest environmental engineering students.

The Environmental Engineering Program follows the College of Engineering and Applied Science H&SS requirements. A total of 15 credit hours of H&SS electives is required for graduation. At least six of the required credit hours must be at the upper division level (3000- or 4000-level courses). In addition, a communication course is required to improve writing and oral presentation skills.

H&SS courses must be selected from the College’s approved course lists. Instructor consent must be obtained on a petition form if prerequisites are not met. Permission must be obtained from the relevant department if courses have other restrictions.

Approved courses that might be of interest to environmental engineers include:

  • ARSC 3001-3 Social Engagement and Human Rights: The South Africa Model (Restricted to juniors and seniors)
  • ANTH 4330 Human ecology: Archaeological Aspects (prereq: ANTH 2200)
  • ATLS 2000 The meaning of Information Technology
  • BAKR 1500 Colorado: History, Ecology, and Environment
  • BAKR 1600 Creating a Sustainable Future
  • COMM 2400-3 Discourse, Culture and Identities
  • COMM 3410-3 Intercultural Communication (recommended prereqs: COMM 1210 and 1600, restricted to juniors and seniors)
  • ECEN 3070 Edges of Science (prereqs., MATH 1020/1070 /2510 or PSYC 3101 or SOCY 2061/4061 or equivalent)
  • ECON 3535 Natural Resources Economics (prereq: ECON 1000 or 2010, restricted to nonmajors)
  • ECON 3545 Environmental Economics (prereq: ECON 1000 or 2010, restricted to nonmajors)
  • ECON 4626-3 Economics of Inequality and Discrimination (prereq: ECON 3070)
  • ENVS 3621 Energy Policy and Society
  • GEOG 1982 World Regional Geography
  • GEOG 1992 Human Geographies
  • GEOG 3402 Natural Hazards
  • GRMN/HUMN 1701 Nature and Environment in German Literature and Thought
  • INVS 1000 Responding to Social and Environmental Problems Through Service Learning
  • INVS 4302/PSCI 4732 Critical Thinking in Development (prereqs: PSCI 2012/IAFS 1000, ECON 2010-2020, and 1 UD PSCI course)
  • MCDB 1030 Molecules, Plagues and People
  • PHIL 1400 Philosophy and the Sciences
  • PHIL/ENVS 3140 Environmental Ethics (prereqs: PHIL 1100, 1200, 2200, 3100 or 3200, or sophomore standing)
  • PHIL 3160 Bioethics (prereq: 6 hours of philosophy course work; restricted to sophomores/juniors/seniors)
  • PHIL 3410 History of Science: Ancients to Newton (prereq: 6 hours of philosophy course work; restricted to soph/juniors/seniors)
  • PHIL 3430 History of Science: Newton to Einstein (prereq: 6 hours of philosophy course work; restricted to soph/juniors/seniors)
  • PHYS 3000 Science and Public Policy (recommended prereq., completion of core science requirement)
  • PSCI 2223-3 Introduction to International Relations
  • PSCI 3064 Environmental Political Theory (recommended prereq: PSCI 2004)
  • PSCI 3082-3 Political Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa (prereqs PSCI 2012 or IAFS 1000; restricted to soph/juniors/seniors)
  • PSCI 4012 Global Development (prereqs: PSCI 2012, ECON 2020, IAFS 1000, or one upper-division PSCI course)
  • SEWL 2000 America, the Environment, and the Global Economy
  • SOCY 2077 Environment and Society
  • SOCY 4007 Global Human Ecology (sometimes restricted to sociology majors)
  • SOCY/ENVS 4027 Inequality, Democracy and the Environment (restricted to juniors/seniors)
  • HUEN or EHON courses, offered by the Herbst Program in the Humanities, and designed especially for engineers.  A list of current offerings can be found here.

You may petition the College of Engineering and Applied Science for approval of an H&SS course not on the list of previously approved courses. It is strongly suggested the petition be approved before enrolling in the course. The College encourages meaningful grouping of courses in related subjects and may approve courses that are not on the list if they form a coherent plan of study. Prior approval has already been granted for groups of four courses that would count toward a minor in certain fields, listed here. The following courses may be of interest to environmental engineers and might be approved for inclusion in such a grouping (you must petition for approval!)

  • ANTH 4150 Human Ecology: Biological Aspects (prereqs: ANTH 2010 and 2020, or EBIO 1210 and 1220)
  • ATLS 3519 Sp Top: Building Interactive Technology
  • ECON 4999 Economics in Action: A Capstone Course (prereqs: ECON 3070 & 3080, JR or SR standing)
  • ENVS 3020 Advanced Writing in Environmental Studies (restricted to junior/senior ENVS majors)
  • ENVS 3621 Energy Policy and Society (recommended prereq: ENVS 3070)
  • ENVS 4100 Sp Topics in Environmental Policy
  • GEOG 1962 Geographies of Global Change
  • GEOG 1972 Environment and Culture
  • GEOG 3412 Conservation Practice and Resource Management (restricted to GEOG and ENVS majors)
  • GEOG 3422 Conservation Thought
  • GEOG 4430 Seminar: Conservation Trends (restricted to junior/senior GEOG/ENVS majors)
  • GEOG 4742 Environments and Peoples (recommended prereqs: GEOG 1982, 1992, 2002 or 2412; restricted to juniors/seniors)
  • GEOG 4812 Environment and Development in South America (recommended prereqs: GEOG 1982, 1992, 2002, 3812,3422, ANTH 3110 or PSCI 3032)
  • GEOG 4822 Environment and Development in China (recommended prereqs: GEOG 1982, 1992, 2002 or HIST 1608)
  • PHIL 2140 Environmental Justice
  • PSCI 4028 Special Topics: Political Theory and Environment additional courses from the required and recommended curricula for the Environmental Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences (http://envs.colorado.edu)
  • PSCI 3206 The Environment and Public Policy (Prereq: PSCI 1101. Restricted to students with 27-180 credits (sophomores, juniors or seniors) only).

The communication/writing requirement may be fulfilled by one of the following courses:

  • HUEN 1010 Humanities for Engineers: The Human Quest (restricted to freshmen)
  • HUEN 3100 Advanced Humanities for Engineers: The Human Quest Continues (prereq: junior standing & program approval)
  • PHYS 3050 Writing in Physics: Problem-Solving and Rhetoric (prereqs: PHYS 2130 or 2170 and lower-division core writing requirement)
  • WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society (restricted to junior/senior engineering/physical and biological science majors)
  • WRTG 3035 Technical Communication and Design (restricted to junior/senior majors in engineering, architecture & planning, physical, earth and life sciences)

Most foreign language courses will satisfy the humanities and social science requirements. 

Generally, courses in performance and fine arts production, mathematics, and natural sciences are not acceptable as H&SS electives. Some courses in the history of art, music, theatre, dance or film are acceptable. The following courses are specifically excluded from satisfying H&SS requirements:

  • courses in painting, sculpture, photography, film and other fine arts production
  • courses in musical instruments, band, choir, and other performance courses
  • courses in accounting, finance, personnel administration, and  other business practices
  • critical thinking courses in science departments

These courses may be taken as free electives (up to 3 credits).