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A group of about 20 students seated in the grass on campus listening to a lecture.

Humanities & Social Sciences

We help students become creative, sophisticated thinkers, active citizens, and effective leaders in the global community. In doing so, we provide learning experiences that, in addition to their intrinsic value, enrich a scientific and technical education.


The humanities and the social sciences teach students to foster creativity and to think critically about culture and society. The humanities include disciplines such as art and music, languages and literature, communication, history, religion, and philosophy. The social sciences include disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. At Rose-Hulman, the Humanities and Social Sciences Department helps students understand their lives and work in the light of global, social, and ethical contexts and traditions.

From our grads:

“When I went to grad school, there were a lot of people from a lot of different countries there, and so I had already gotten this perspective on the world and the ability to appreciate other cultures too.” - Fiona Shine, Biomedical Engineering, Minors in German and Language & Literature, 2014.

“In my job right now, I communicate with people on a daily basis, and I have to explain very complicated ideas to people who sometimes don't have technical backgrounds at all.” - Adam Esch, Computer Engineering, Minor in Language & Literature, 2012
“I've used my humanities education at Rose more than anything else outside. I have a philosophy minor from Rose and that critical thinking technique, that ability to always look at a situation or argument from different sides is something that is always with me whenever I'm making any kind of value judgement, any kind of major life decision, any kind of decision for my career, or for whom to vote.” - Thom Adams, Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Philosophy, 1990
“The humanities and social sciences are all about critical thinking; they’re about looking at things from an analytical perspective. Having a background in economics gives you the global view of how things work on a grand scale.” - Caleb Eiler, Economics and Applied Mathematics, 2013
“My double major in math and economics from Rose-Hulman gave me the perfect balance of technical knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to perform my job. As an actuary I use complex math skills to calculate prices for insurance, but it’s my background in economics that helps me advise others in applying my calculations to make important business decisions. Some other schools offer specific actuarial programs, but the broader education I received at Rose-Hulman has provided me with skills that other actuaries don’t have, making me a more valuable employee.” - Nicole Burton, Mathematics and Economics, 2011

Majors, Minors & Certificates

Economics Professor Kevin Christ meeting with two students in his office explaining an economics concept.


Studying economics at Rose-Hulman gives you the opportunity to gain valuable analytic and business skills that can enhance your career potential. Our highly mathematical approach to economics distinguishes our economics degree from other schools.
Rose-Hulman study abroad group posing outside the coliseum in Rome.

International Studies

The International Studies second major will add a global dimension to your engineering, science, or math degree. In an increasingly international marketplace, International Studies enriches your perspective, making you a more valued member of any organization.

Humanities and Social Science Minors

We offer a wide variety of great minors to supplement your STEM degree.
Human Skull


Students play ethnic drums.

East Asian Studies

Economics Professor Kevin Christ meeting with two students in his office explaining an economics concept.


Map showing European countries.

European Studies

Lone tree in an African savannah.


Photo of Turkish castle ruins visited by a student group.


Dr. Williams teaching a class.

Language and Literature

Dr. Garcia teaching a class.

Latin American Studies

Dr. Gardner teaching Spanish class.

Modern Languages -- German, Japanese, Spanish

Female student playing a cello.


Graphical representation of labyrinth leading to human skull.


Male students participate in mock presidential debate.

Political Science

Graphical representation of human brain, half line drawing, half circuit board.


Two male students and one female student in costumes perform on stage.



Student attending a Rose-Hulman career fair.

Insurance Actuary

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry. Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Actuaries will be needed to develop, price and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new, emerging risks. The median annual wage for actuaries was $100,610 in May 2016. -- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economist and Professor Dale Bremmer teaching a class.


Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends and evaluating economic issues. Most economists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in the federal government—are available for workers with a bachelor’s degree. The median annual wage for economists was $99,180 in 2015. –U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Alumnus and Federal Judge Robert Wilkins in his office.


Attorneys advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. Most work in private or corporate offices but some also work for federal, local, and state governments. All lawyers must have a law degree and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination. The median annual wage for lawyers was $115,820 in 2015.– U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Department News

Learn about the latest happenings, recent research, and more in Humanities and Social Sciences at Rose-Hulman.
humanities and social sciences

Writes of Passage

humanities and social sciences

Institute Named Tree Campus by Arbor Day Foundation

Rich House

Richard House

Dr. Rich House, head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, teaches English, with expertise in the areas of contemporary American literature, literary theory, and communication for engineers and scientists. He co-wrote The Engineering Communication Manual to help engineering students develop their technical communication skills and is one of the founders of Rose-Hulman's Home for Environmentally Responsible Engineering (HERE) program, a living-learning community for first-year students interested in sustainability and humanitarian engineering.
Campus map

Contact Us

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803
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