Course offerings in the Politics & History department allow students to explore both general and specialized topics in the areas of politics and history.  From classical political theory and international law, to civil rights movements and advanced research methods, our small class sizes ensure individualized attention from instructors and engaging discussion with your classmates in seminars.  Instructors within the major pride themselves on teaching issues of particular interest to individual students, and to this end, directed studies can be tailored to a student’s specific interests.

First- and second year students begin the major through a unique interdisciplinary introduction to the issues of politics and history in a series of courses arranged around enduring themes. Journeys examines the various ways individuals and peoples have travelled, both physically and spiritually, across time and landscapes. Conflicts analyzes the sources and resolution of struggle among various peoples. Natures dissects the different ways people have understood human nature, the nature of society, and of course the idea of nature itself. Knowledges critiques the ways people have understood how and what they know, and how they have put that knowledge to creative and destructive uses. These seminars are capped by a second-year course in political and historical methods that prepares students for upper-division work.

Students are also well prepared through a rigorous senior year research sequence for admission to graduate education in political science, international affairs, or history. A student’s analytical and intellectual skills will also be applied through a practical internship in a variety of possible settings: political campaigns, local museums, government offices and public-service ventures among others.

Beyond our unique curriculum, we prepare students to be active and contributing members of the fields they elect to join.  For students interested in the law, we have a pre-law advising program. For those interested in professions in the diplomatic corps and government service at the local, state or national level, they may be eligible to participate in a Semester in Washington Program that combines an in-depth look at how the government works in the nation’s capital with an internship at one of hundreds of Washington’s governmental and political organizations.

For more information about the Politics and History curriculum, contact Dr. Emerald Archer, Chair, at