The Humanities and Social Sciences Department combines the essential skills of literacy, analytical thought, and persuasive communication with the central human questions and answers provided through philosophy, literature, history, and the social sciences. Students of the program, it is hoped, emerge as well-informed scholars of and contributors to a sustainable world.

Courses are designed to teach students how to think critically and creatively—along with the ability to communicate that learning. Students develop the tools to live satisfying and productive lives in responsible relationship to their social, political, and natural environments. Fundamental to the program is the belief that such broad-based, informed attitudes and understandings are best cultivated through exploration of a wide variety of disciplines, cultures, issues, and beliefs.