Humanities & Social Sciences
The humanities and social sciences department — which includes U.S. and world history, philosophy and religion, contemporary global issues, economics, and psychology — emphasizes critical thinking, clear oral and written expression, and active participation in classroom discussions.
History courses offer opportunities to examine many regions of our rapidly shrinking world. Students who intend to pursue a thorough course of history at Hotchkiss are encouraged to study other countries in addition to the U.S.
Prep and lower mid humanities history courses pay particular attention to note taking, writing, research, and reading skills. Lower mid history humanities is devoted to the study of U.S. history. Courses for upper mids and seniors allow students to advance their knowledge and study the history of particular countries and regions.
The Philosophy and Religion program is committed to the importance of thinking hard about one’s own and others’ most fundamental values and beliefs. Growth in such thinking comes through critical conversation – with philosophers and religious thinkers (past and present), with forms of life very different from one’s own, with long-established traditions and their keenest critics, and with classmates and teachers. Each of our courses invites students to join actively in this conversation. All our courses ask you, the student, to think for yourself: questioning received opinion, learning from outlooks that challenge your assumptions, and trying out your own ideas.
The Humanities Program
Students in the Humanities Program — a required series of interdisciplinary courses for preps and lower mids — grapple with concepts and questions through the study of literature, art, history, philosophy and religion.