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About HGS


Consistent with the College’s Mission and Strategic Plan, HGS aims to create a holistic educational experience that enables students to become literate, intentional and empowered global citizens who are well-versed, not only in specifically recognized fields, but also in interdisciplinary dialogue. Through varied offerings in Anthropology, Africana Studies, American Studies, World Languages, History, International Studies, English and Literary Studies, Political Science, Philosophy and the HGS Contract Major,  the School seeks to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the complex cultural, political, and imaginative dimensions of human existence.

Learning Goals/Objectives

At the heart of School’s curriculum is a commitment to a liberal arts education. This curriculum is designed to help students:

  • Communicate effectively in writing and speaking
  • Think, read, write, analyze, and make presentations with developed critical skills
  • Understand and appreciate cultural differences
  • Understand trends in and problems facing the global community
  • Understand major philosophical, political, literary and social thought and become familiar with primary sources in these areas
  • Conduct research using a variety of methods and sources
  • Participate in civic and political life
  • Speak another language
  • Understand intercultural and international complexities
  • Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary analysis in problem solving
  • Apply classroom and co-op experiences to new professional, personal and cultural environments
  • Understand historical change

The Curriculum of HGS

HGS students are urged to consult with their HGS faculty academic advisors prior to registering for classes, meet with them regularly for advice and assistance in fulfilling requirements for majors and minors, and report on their academic progress. Names of faculty advisors and their advisees are posted both electronically to students each semester and are displayed outside the HGS office in the B-Wing.

The Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate curriculum consists of a series of carefully designed and intellectually stimulating academic connections. These include a core curriculum, seven disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors, and over a dozen minors. Students may select a single major, a double major, or combine a major with a minor.

School Core


World Language Proficiency Requirement (Language other than English)

All HGS students must provide proof of proficiency in a world language other than English at the “intermediate low level” or complete up to three 4-credit courses in one of the languages offered in the School’s curriculum. Language instruction are offered in Spanish, Italian, and French and subject to availability of faculty resources and sufficient enrollment in other languages. Most of these languages are offered regularly. The language program utilizes a modern computerized language lab.

For more information on the world language requirement and proficiency testing procedures, visit the Language Requirement and Testing page on the HGS website.

Co-Curricular Programs

HGS Co-Curricular activities include a series of events designed to supplement and enhance classroom/academic learning and to educate and inform the internal and external communities of the College. Many are offered through the following programs:

  1. Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
    Events and activities planned and organized by this Center are focused on the history of the Holocaust and prevention of genocide and human rights violations. Prominent activists, political leaders, and academics are invited to speak at these events.
  2. Film Series
    The School sponsors a number of feature films and documentaries that are relevant for the understanding of certain historical, cultural, literary, and/or political issues. Each film is placed in a special academic, social, and intellectual context and is presented with a commentary and analysis by the faculty sponsor.

General Education Courses Required for all Students at Ramapo

  • Readings in Humanities
    Readings in Humanities is a cornerstone of the College’s General Education program and is offered in multiple sections each semester by HGS. Readings in Humanities courses include philosophical and literary works from the ancient period to the present.
  • Critical Reading and Writing II (formerly College English)
    The goal of this course is to help students read critically and write with clarity and precision. College English is also a fundamental component of the College’s General Education curriculum and is offered in multiple sections each semester by HGS.