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Michigan State UniversityLyman Briggs College
HPS at LBC

The Lyman Briggs College was created in 1965 as an interdisciplinary program to bridge the cultures of the natural and physical sciences with the cultures of the social sciences and humanities. Since its inception, this integration of the two cultures is what best defines "the Briggs experience" and makes LBC one of the most unique undergraduate experiences in the United States.

In LBC, we refer to the social sciences and humanities curriculum as "history, philosophy, and sociology" or "HPS." LBC students have the opportunity to take HPS classes in four overlapping substantive areas: science, technology, the environment, and medicine. In such classes, 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. All freshmen should take LBC 133 (Introduction to History, Philosophy, and Sociology). In this class, LBC students are introduced to key questions and issues in HPS. Each semester, faculty from various disciplinary backgrounds teach several sections of this class. Successful completion of LBC 133 satisfies MSU's Tier I writing requirement. All Freshmen are encouraged to read the "Class Book," and participate in the "Class Book Debate" in the Fall and Spring semesters. The Class Book regularly deals with numerous HPS themes and is often a key component of most sections of LBC 133.

All LBC students must also complete two 300-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-level LBC classes expand upon the key HPS themes introduced in LBC 133. Finally, LBC 492 (Senior Seminar) is a capstone experience where students further integrate what they learned in their natural and physical sciences classes with what they learned in their HPS classes. In addition, successful completion of LBC 492 and the two 300- level LBC classes satisfies MSU's Tier II writing requirement.

After completing the full sequence of HPS courses, LBC graduates have a better historical, philosophical, and sociological understanding of science, technology, the environment, and medicine. Such students are more capable intellectuals (with basic theoretical and substantive understanding), have more marketable career skills (such as analytical reasoning and critical thinking), and are more empowered citizens (who may be more active and effective participants in relevant public debates of the 21st century).

 

Lyman Briggs students can also complete a major or minor in HPS: