HASS Inquiry Course (INQR)


School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) faculty believe that the first-year experience is an exhilarating time when students begin to ask compelling questions about their future and the future of the world. At Rensselaer, we confront complex issues by collaborating across disciplines to address the key challenges and opportunities of our time. 

The faculty have developed a suite of courses known as HASS Inquiry. These courses are designed to help you develop cross-cultural empathy and a multiplicity of perspectives that can be brought to bear on the key questions facing society today.  The HASS Inquiry courses are a required component of your HASS Core curriculum. 


Objectives and Outcomes:  

HASS Inquiry courses are designed to give you the opportunity for meaningful interaction with your instructors through seminar-style discussion sections, Community Read discussions, and forums for dialogue and debate. Many HASS Inquiry courses act as introductory courses to the Integrative Pathways. 


Areas of Focus

Central to our curriculum is a teaching philosophy that utilizes engaged learning strategies to add depth to a student’s awareness about themselves and the world. Our primary areas of pedagogic focus include the following:

  • Critical Thinking and Critical Wisdom
  • Writing and Communications
  • Personal Instructional Attention
  • Teamwork and Group Work
  • Community Building and Awareness
  • A Focus on Diversity
  • Effective Use of Instructional Technology


Guidelines and Policies: 

  • The HASS Inquiry course must be completed within your first two semesters.  
  • INQR courses are restricted to those with a sophomore, junior, or senior status. Instructors will not grant overrides for upperclass students to take an INQR course.  
  • The INQR course may fulfill both your 1st Pathway course and/or your Communication Intensive (CI) Requirement. 
  • You cannot Pass/No Credit this course if it is part of your Integrative Pathway, or if it will be used to fulfill your HASS Communication Intensive Requirement.   


How Inquiry Courses can apply to Integrative Pathways 

As students take their HASS Inquiry course and other courses at Rensselaer, their interests may evolve. A student may have taken a HASS Inquiry course intending to follow one Integrative Pathway and then discover a new pathway of interest. The list of courses in the side navigation includes the pathways associated (Associated Pathways) with each Inquiry course.


HASS Inquiry Courses and Descriptions  


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

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