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 first-year students 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 first-year students the opportunity for meaningful interaction with 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 first-year students. Instructors will not grant overrides for upperclass students to take an INQR course.
  • Transfer students should consult their Academic Advisor for questions about the HASS Inquiry and Integrative Pathway requirements.


Common Questions

You can use the links at the bottom of this page to find what will be available in the upcoming semester, along with their Course Description. 

In SIS, you can also use Class Search to search for courses by their Attribute Type: Screenshot of where to search by attribute in Class Search


No. Your HASS Inquiry course does not need to apply to your Pathway. 

The HASS Inquiry course is part of the HASS Core, and you may satisfy this requirement within -OR- outside of a chosen Pathway. Pay close attention to the requirements outlined in your Cohort's Catalog year. Some Pathways require an intro-level course, which may be a HASS Inquiry Course. 


* Transfer students should consult their Academic Advisor for questions about the HASS Inquiry and Integrative Pathway requirements.


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. 


If your HASS Inquiry course will not be used to fulfill your Pathway or CI requirements, then yes, you may apply PNC to your HASS Inquiry.


No. The HASS Inquiry requirement cannot be fulfilled by transfer courses, including AP or IB credits. It must be taken and completed at RPI. 

Please note: while Principles of Economics (ECON-1200) is cross-listed as INQR-1200, it will not fulfill the HASS Inquiry requirement when transferred to RPI. It will transfer to RPI as ECON-1200, not INQR-1200. ECON-1200 as a transferred course may still be applied to relevant Pathways, Minors, and the HASS Core. 


The Communication Intensive Requirement must also be completed at RPI. 


Students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year will complete their HASS Inquiry requirements by taking Principles of Economics (INQR-1200). 

Transfer students should consult their Academic Advisor for questions about the HASS Inquiry and Integrative Pathway requirements.


Learn more about the HASS Inquiry and your HASS Core by visiting the Core Curriculum in the Catalog

Screenshot showing the Core Curriculum in the Catalog


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.

Learn more about HASS Integrative Pathways 



HASS Inquiry Courses and Descriptions  

Fall 2024   (Spring 2025 will be published by Oct 2024)

Fall 2023    Spring 2024



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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