Humanities & Social Science (HSS) Electives

It has been said that the purpose of a liberal education is to liberate the individual from the parochialism of direct personal experience. It is with that spirit the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board requires you to enrol in Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) courses.

In particular, you should choose courses that explore the central issues, thought processes and scholarly methods found in these disciplines. Please note HSS electives are a subset of Complementary Studies (CS) courses; they can be used to satisfy CS elective requirements.

The University’s Faculty of Arts & Science teaches a large number of humanities and social science courses. We encourage you to explore and develop your interests by choosing, when possible, courses that appeal to you.

Students are not permitted to take the following courses to fulfill HSS requirements:

  • Languages
  • Grammar
  • Mathematics (and probability)
  • Economics
  • Technique (e.g. art, music, video production)
  • Physical and life sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, computer science and psychology)

Please note that PHL245 and PHL246 cannot be used to fulfill HSS requirements.

A list of approved HSS courses is listed below. If you there is a course you would like the Faculty to consider for HSS and/or CS approval, please submit the course for consideration.

If you would like to take a course that is not on the list, you are not guaranteed credit for it. You must first receive approval from your department’s Academic Advisor or the Faculty.

The list changes from year to year, so courses that were approved in the past, may not be on the current list. It is your responsibility to ensure that you enrol in an approved course and that you determine whether or not you have completed the necessary prerequisites.

Acceptable HSS Courses

Not all courses listed on the HSS list are available every year. Review the current Arts & Science timetable and academic calendar and the timetable by Arts & Science sponsors/departments to see if the course you would like to enrol in is offered.

If you are interested in a special topics or individual studies course, please submit the course for consideration ( using the format mentioned above.

Students are responsible for determining their qualification for taking an HSS/CS course, including but not limited to pre-requisites and required permissions.

Faculty-approved HSS list as of Sept. 19, 2021 (PDF).

© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering