History and Political Science is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts major. The interdisciplinary emphasis deepens understanding of the nature and development of human institutions and behavior. In particular, students gain a historical perspective which is vital to a comprehensive understanding of contemporary social and political issues. Courses in the major also increase the student’s awareness of strategies available for dealing effectively with these issues.
Bachelors in Professional Studies in North America 2017. History and Political Science is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts major. The interdisciplinary emphasis deepens understanding of the nature and development of human institutions and behavior. In particular, students gain a historical perspective which is vital to a comprehensive understanding of contemporary social and political issues. Courses in the major also increase the student’s awareness of strategies available for dealing effectively with these issues.
The program emphasizes development of skills useful in various occupations as well as in graduate school. Course work stresses development of verbal and written communication skills and analytical thinking. Small class sizes allow faculty members to frequently use innovative teaching methods, including simulations and collaborative learning.
While breadth of knowledge in the major is emphasized, students also concentrate in an area of their choice. Concentrations are offered in these areas: History, International Relations, Political Science, and Thematic. A certificate for secondary teaching in Social Studies is also available.
Concentrations History and Political Science
Concentration in History
Five courses in history, two of which must be at the 300 level, and two additional courses in political science. Students fulfilling a humanities focus in the history concentration may substitute two courses in classics, art history, music history, literature, philosophy, or religion studies for Sociology 120 and Economics 101 or 102 (see Course Requirements tab).
Concentration in Political Science
Five courses in political science, to include work in American government and international politics, with at least three of the five courses taken at the 300 level. Two additional courses in history.
This option is available for students who wish to design their own program in area studies, such as European studies or American studies, or in a policy area of particular interest. The program is designed with a department adviser and includes seven additional courses, at least two of which are taken at the 300 level.
Course Requirements History and Political Science
ECO 101: Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECO 102: Introduction to Microeconomics*
One of the following three
HIS 110: Ancient and Mediterranean World
HIS 111: Medieval and Early Modern Europe
HIS 112: Modern European History
One of the following three:
HIS 124: American History to 1865
HIS 125: American History 1865-1945
HIS 126: American History Since 1945
HIS/PS 399: Senior Thesis
PS 110 Introduction to Political Science
PS 120: American Government
SOC 120: Introduction to Sociology*
All majors are encouraged to take
HIS/PS 355: Internship
SOC 280: Qualitative Methods and Social Research
In addition to the requirements above, one of the following concentrations will be completed: History, Political Science, or a Thematic Concentration. See the "Concentrations" tab to view the requirements for these concentrations.
*Note: For the history concentration, the requirements in Economics (ECO 101 or ECO 102) and Sociology (SOC 120) may be replaced with two humanities courses for those who seek a humanities-oriented major.
Student Learning Goals History and Political Science
Goal #1: Acquisition and comprehension of content knowledge
Students have a broad understanding of the significant developments in Western European and American History
Students have knowledge of political institutions, processes, and theories and knowledge of fields in political science, including American government, political theory, and international studies
Goal #2: Attainment of skills: written communication, oral communication, research, critical thinking and analysis
Students are able to write with clarity and precision in various forms and in a manner which reflects acquired knowledge
Students are able to speak effectively in a discussion group and present their work to audiences, using technological innovation where appropriate
Students are able to effectively utilize a variety of sources – primary and secondary—and show mastery of research techniques
Utilizing these skills, students will be able to formulate and defend a thesis, consider conflicting evidence and interpretations, critically examine sources, analyze change over time, and apply evidence
Goal #3: Obtain an awareness of and appreciation for diversity
Students gain a knowledge of and appreciation for issues related to race, class, gender and ethnicity in historical and political context
Students will learn from others who are different than themselves, thereby engaging in a robust exchange of ideas that works to broaden their perspectives, promote thinking skills, enhance leadership and personal skills, and promote democratic values
Career Opportunities History and Political Science
History and Political Science is an excellent introduction to the study of law. Virtually all Wilson alumnae who have applied to law schools have been accepted. Career choices include: politics or government service, social service, publishing, librarianship, teaching, museum work, journalism, business, or criminal justice. Some careers require graduate study. Wilson has an excellent record in graduate school placements. Students are assisted in planning their academic programs to meet the needs of advanced degree programs.