All undergraduate students must have an area of focus in their HASS studies that is accomplished by completing an approved 12-credit depth concentration, known as an Integrative Pathways.
Objectives and Outcomes:
- An Integrative Pathway provides consistency to what could otherwise be an unfocused array of courses in the HASS Core.
- An Integrative Pathway augments intellectual coherence to course selection in the form of disciplinary or interdisciplinary themes.
- An Integrative Pathway can enhance or enrich a major. For example, a Computer Science major following the Artificial Intelligence pathway or a Biomedical Engineering major following the Public Health pathway.
- Integrative Pathways guide students toward a specific selection of courses, aiding students in deciding between wide ranges of course options.
- Integrative Pathways can be selected to meet several HASS requirements concurrently. For example, a course that is required in the selected pathway may be both a HASS Inquiry course and Communication Intensive, thus satisfying multiple requirements simultaneously.
- If courses are chosen wisely, many Integrative Pathways can be transformed into minors with just one additional course.
- Integrative Pathways may lead students to discover an area of interest and courses for the Integrative Pathways can be a significant part of a major.
Guidelines and Policies:
- The first course in your Pathway may be a HASS Inquiry course.
- You will declare your HASS Pathway in SIS, and the requirements will populate in DegreeWorks.
- No course within the Pathway sequence may be taken as Pass/No Credit.
- Some Pathways have the option of becoming a HASS Minor with one additional course.
- Students may switch pathways if it is feasible to complete the new pathway's requirements before graduation.
Students may switch pathways as long as it is feasible to complete the requirements of the new pathway before graduation. Students should work with their advisors to ensure timely completion of the pathway requirement.
Students who are considering switching pathways may find it useful to consult this page showing possible pathways that begin from each HASS Inquiry course.
Students who are considering switching pathways may find that they are unable to satisfy any of the Course 1 options for the new pathway (e.g., if all of the Course 1 options are HASS Inquiry courses, and the student already took a different HASS Inquiry course). In such cases, the student may still be able to follow the new pathway if it includes a “non-HI gateway course”. These courses offer an alternative entry point into a pathway for students who cannot take any of the Course 1 options. If a student enters a pathway through a non-HI gateway course, he or she must take 8 additional credits (for a total of 12) to complete the pathway.
Note: These guidelines apply to first-year students only. The guidelines for transfer students can be found below.
Courses that transfer in as named courses that are part of a pathway will be counted toward the pathway requirement. Courses that transfer in as HASS electives may be eligible to count toward a pathway only if the topic matches. Requests for approval will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of HASS.
For first-year students, a maximum of 8 credits from AP courses and transfer courses combined can be applied toward a pathway.
Students who wish to apply transfer credits toward a pathway should keep in mind that the pathway requirement is specified in terms of number of credits (12), not number of courses. If a 3-credit transfer course is applied toward a pathway, the student must take an additional 9 credits within that pathway to satisfy the requirement.
First-year students who enter with sophomore status based on AP and/or transfer credits must follow the new HASS Core as outlined in the catalog.
The pathway requirement must be completed before graduation. It is recommended that students aim to complete their pathway by the end of their fifth semester, although the target completion date will vary across programs. Students should work with their advisors to ensure timely completion of the pathway requirement.
No. Students may not create their own pathway. Students wishing to add breadth beyond an existing pathway to their HASS studies are advised to use their additional HASS courses for this purpose.
First-year students must take a HASS Inquiry (HI) course as part of the HASS Core, but they have the option of satisfying this requirement within or outside of the pathway. Most pathways contain one or more HI courses, but others do not. For the latter, students must take an HI course outside of their pathway. Transfer students should consult with their academic advisor for questions related to the HI requirement.
Students must take a CI course and a 4000-level HASS course as part of the HASS Core, but have the option of satisfying these requirements within or outside of the pathway. Most pathways contain one or more CI courses, but a few do not. For the latter, students must take a CI course outside of their pathway. The same holds true for 4000-level courses.
Yes. For most pathways, students can complete a HASS minor with one additional course. Please see the list of pathways for additional information about compatible minors for each pathway.
Where to find the Integrative Pathways:
- The course requirements for each Pathway are laid out in the Academic Catalog. Pathway options vary depending on your Cohort’s Catalog.
- Are you looking at the correct Catalog? Ensure that you are looking at the correct catalog by looking in the upper right-hand corner. It should reflect the year that you started taking classes at RPI (EX: Rensselaer Catalog 2023-2024).
- Once in your Catalog, select the Programs link on the left side navigation (toward the bottom).
- Next, scroll down to Integrative Pathways. You can also use the keyboard shortcut - Ctrl+F - to search any webpage.
Please note that interest in a Pathway does not guarantee access to completing the pathway; be sure to check for course availability, course restrictions, and available seats. Please, meet with your Academic Advisor for additional support!