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HPS Curriculum

About the HPS Core Curriculum

In LBC, we refer to the social sciences and humanities curriculum as "history, philosophy, and sociology of science" or "HPS." HPS is another word for the emerging field of Science and Technology Studies. The Briggs history, philosophy, and sociology of science core curriculum is one of the major factors that helps define the Briggs experience. Based on bridging the two cultures (science and the humanities), HPS courses look at the natural sciences in relation to (and interaction with) society. Briggs faculty help students in HPS courses to examine important real-world issues while learning new skills and methods of inquiry.

In our HPS classes, students learn how to analyze the way scientists think about questions in their own discipline and how scholars in other fields evaluate the methods and conclusions of science. These required HPS classes have the result that all students graduate from Lyman Briggs College with stronger skills for success in professional school or graduate work in the social, biological, and physical sciences or in the humanities.

The HPS Core Curriculum Within LBC

LBC students have the opportunity to take HPS courses in four overlapping substantive areas: science, technology, the environment, and medicine. In such courses, LBC students examine numerous empirical, conceptual, and theoretical issues related to these substantive areas, using historical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives and methods.

Students are advised to complete the following sequence of HPS courses in the LBC curriculum:

  • One LB 133 Introduction to HPS
  • Two LB 300 (or LB 400) HPS courses
  • One LB 492 Capstone course

All freshmen should take LB 133 (Introduction to History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science). In this course, LBC students are introduced to key questions and issues in HPS. Each semester many sections of this course are taught by faculty from various disciplinary backgrounds. Successful completion of LB 133 satisfies MSU's Tier I writing requirement. The HPS Faculty recently created a Writing Studio program to provide additional opportunities for freshmen in LB 133 (Introduction to HPS) to improve their writing skills early in their undergraduate career.

All LBC students must also complete two 300-or 400-level LBC classes. Again, the substantive and disciplinary focus varies greatly among courses, allowing students to choose among a wonderful degree of intellectual diversity. All 300- and 400-level LBC courses expand upon the key HPS themes introduced in LB 133. Finally, LB 492 (Senior Seminar) is a capstone experience where students further integrate what they learned in their biological and physical sciences courses with what they learned in their HPS courses. In addition, successful completion of LB 492 and the two 300- or 400-level LB courses satisfies MSU's Tier II writing requirement.

Introducing the New HPS Curriculum in Fall 2017

Check out our flyer (PDF):
HPS New Curriculum flyer

Study AbroadDr. Bellon talking to group of students on Study Abroad trip Students who take full advantage of our HPS curriculum...
  • Are more capable intellectuals with basic theoretical and substantive understanding
  • Have more marketable career skills such as analytical reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving and formal writing
  • Are more empowered citizens who may be more active and effective participants in relevant public debates of the 21st century and will likely be better scientists