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Department of History and Political Science

Department Mission

The Department of History and Political Science supports the University mission of liberal arts education in providing scholarship, academic programs, and extracurricular activities to help students better understand the diverse world in which they live, how that world developed, and how to be effective and responsible citizens of that world.

Programs of Study

The Department of History and Political Science offers a range of programs and courses geared toward the needs of majors, general education students, and candidates for teacher certification. Most department courses satisfy University General Education requirements in history and/or social sciences. Some courses fulfill General Education requirements in foreign cultures, diversity or global studies. The department offers majors in history, history education, political science, social sciences education and international studies. It offers minors in history, political science, international studies and public administration.

Options for Secondary Education Students

The Department of History and Political Sciences has designed its programs to align with the Illinois Content Area Standards for Educators established by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Standards of the National Council for Social Sciences (NCSS). Students who wish to become high school history teachers must seek certification in the area of social sciences with a disciplinary specialization in history. They must pass content examinations that cover a wide range of concepts from history and the social science disciplines. The department offers two majors intended to prepare students for certification under these policies: History Education (HIST ED) and Social Sciences Education (SOCSC). These two programs are similar in that both satisfy the Illinois Content Area Standards and lead to certification in social sciences with a history specialization. They differ from one another in emphasis. The history education major is designed to provide the strongest possible preparation in history. The social sciences education major provides a strong grounding in history but also allows students to develop a background in an additional social science discipline, either political science or sociology/anthropology. Interested students should discuss their options with advisors in the department. Regardless of which major they choose, students seeking secondary certification must also be admitted to the School of Education's Secondary Education Program. Students in the SOCSC and HIST ED majors must achieve an overall SXU GPA of 2.5 and complete all major courses, all general education courses and all professional education courses with a minimum grade of C to be admitted to the School of Education and student teaching. In addition, students must have a minimum SXU GPA of 2.5 in their major area of specialization at the time they apply to student teach. The major area of specialization includes all history, political science, sociology, anthropology and social science courses used to fulfill major requirements. Students considering these majors should be aware that they will face a competitive job market as prospective secondary social science teachers. Success depends upon strong mastery of the content area as demonstrated by superior grades in coursework, and upon the development of professional attitudes, skills and demeanor appropriate to teachers.

Faculty

M. Clark, Chair; K. Alaimo (on reassignment as Dean of Arts and Sciences); K. Benjamin; M. Costello; P.N. Kirstein; A. Lopez; G. Peck;  R. Taylor

Admission to Department

For admission as a major in one of the department's programs, a student must have completed at least six (6) credit hours in the intended major with a GPA of 2.5. The student must also have an overall GPA of 2.5. Interested students should apply for admission to the department chairperson. Once admitted to the department, students will be assigned an advisor with whom they should consult each semester about their course of study. Department majors and minors must earn a grade of C or better in all major courses, all general education courses and all professional education courses. Courses in which a student earns a grade of D will not count toward the fulfillment of department program requirements except by written permission from the department chair.

History and History Education Majors

The immediate objective in studying history is to gain an understanding of what happened in the past. Such an understanding is essential for comprehending how society has evolved, and for critically reflecting upon both the accomplishments and limitations of today's world. The study of history involves acquisition of knowledge and understanding, cultivation of perspective, and development of communication and critical-thinking skills. Learning to assess the credibility of evidence and to formulate interpretations based on evidence are central concerns in the study of history. Historical skills are useful in preparing for many professions. Majoring in history can help students prepare themselves for careers in secondary teaching and for graduate study. The major provides excellent preparation for students planning careers in law, government service and journalism. History students also find career opportunities in museums, libraries, archives, tourism and travel, historical preservation, business research and marketing. Finally, the study of history is an essential part of liberal education, encouraging critical and responsible citizenship and lifelong learning.

The department offers two major programs in history. The history (HIST) major is a 36 credit hour program that provides a general grounding in the historical discipline for students seeking a liberal education. The history education (HIST ED) major is a 48 credit hour program designed for students who wish to become history and social science teachers in Illinois public high schools. As well as providing a strong foundation of historical knowledge, this major focuses on concepts from related social science disciplines required for certification under the Illinois Content Area Standards for Educators. Prospective high school history teachers may also wish to consider the social sciences education (SOCSC) major. Please read the important section entitled "Options for Secondary Education Students" above.

Requirements for the History Major

Departmental Requirements
(9 credit hours count toward University General Education requirements in history and social sciences.)
36
Required Courses: 15
  HIST 101 World History to 1500 3
  HIST 102 World History since 1500 3
  SOCSC 101 World Geography 3
  HIST 200 Introduction to the Discipline of History (prerequisite: 6 credit hours in History) 3
  HIST 395 Senior Seminar (prerequisite: HIST 200 and one 300-level course in History) 3
Elective Courses with the Following Distribution:
(Note: At least two electives must be taken at the 300 level.)
21
  HIST American history course 3
  HIST European history course 3
  HIST Non-Western history course 3
  HIST Four additional history courses 12

Requirements for the History Education Major

(See Item 1 under "Explanations and Recommendations" below)

Departmental Requirements
(12 credit hours count toward University General Education requirements in history and social sciences.)
48
History Core 21
  HIST 101 World History to 1500 3
  HIST 102 World History since 1500 3
  HIST 103 United States History to 1877 3
  HIST 104 United States History since 1877 3
  HIST 200 Introduction to the Discipline of History (prerequisite: 6 hours in History) 3
  HIST 230 Illinois History 3
  HIST 395 Senior Seminar (prerequisite: HIST 200 and one 300-level course in History) 3
Elective Courses with the Following Distribution:
(Note: At least one elective must be taken at the 300 level.)
12
  HIST U.S. history course 3
  HIST Non-Western history course 3
  HIST European history course 3
  HIST Elective (one 200 or 300-level course in history) 3
Social Sciences Concentration 15
  SOCSC 101 World Geography 3
  SOCSC 105 Economics for the Social Sciences 3
  POLSC 101 American Government 3
  POLSC 102 World Politics 3
  SOCSC 203 Thinking in the Social Sciences 3

Explanations and Recommendations

  1. Students who complete the requirements of the history education major in the Department of History and Political Science and who also complete the requirements of the secondary education program in the School of Education will qualify for the B.A. in History Education with eligibility for Illinois secondary certification. Students in the history education major who choose not to complete the requirements of the secondary education program may continue in the major and graduate without penalty. Such students will receive the B.A. in History rather than History Education and will not be eligible for Illinois secondary certification.
  2. Select HIST courses may count toward satisfying the 6 credit hour University General Education requirement in foreign cultures, diversity or global studies. Students should consult the course types information on Self-Service.
  3. Selection of history electives should be made in consultation with a department advisor. These electives should be distributed in a manner that achieves broad geographical, chronological, thematic, methodological and comparative coverage.
  4. The study of a foreign language is highly recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study in history at either the M.A. level or the Ph.D. level.

Political Science Major

The study of politics is, at base, the study of how social values are defined and distributed. Who can vote? Who makes policy decisions? Will we go to war? Have universal health coverage? Subsidize loans for college students? These are all distributional, and hence political, questions. As Harold Laswell put it, politics is about "Who gets what, when and how?" Political science focuses on both institutions and behaviors to explain how social power is distributed, and how that power is used to distribute other goods.

The study of political science is vital to a liberal arts education. Through a critical encounter with political structures and processes, we learn to think critically, to develop and evaluate arguments and to remain open to new ideas. Through reflection on significant events, ideas, movements and passions that have shaped the political world, we come to understand better our own values, to refine our beliefs.

Majoring in political science prepares students for careers in public administration, politics, journalism, education, non-governmental organizations, public relations and business. It is an excellent major for those considering law school.

The political science program offers students a well-rounded undergraduate education within the discipline. Courses are offered in all the major sub fields of the discipline: U.S. government, international relations, comparative politics and political philosophy. Students are also encouraged to consider internship opportunities sponsored by the department.

Requirements for the Political Science Major

Departmental Requirements
(3 creditr-hours count toward University General Education requirements in Social Sciences.)
30
Required Courses 12
  POLSC 101 U.S. Government 3
  POLSC 102 World Politics 3
  POLSC 250 Scope and Methods (prerequisite: 6 credit hours in Political Science) 3
  POLSC 350 Senior Seminar (prerequisite: POLSC 250 and one 300-level Political Science) 3
Elective Courses with the Following Distribution:
(Note: At least two electives must be taken at the 300 level.)
18
  POLSC Political Theory course 3
  POLSC Comparative Politics course 3
  POLSC Public Administration/Public Policy Course

3

  POLSC Electoral Politics 3
  POLSC Two additional courses in political science 6

Explanations and Recommendations

  1. Select POLSC courses may count towards satisfying the University General Education requirements in foreign cultures, diversity or global studies. Students should consult course type information on Self-Service.
  2. Students are encouraged to take their University elective courses in related fields such as economics, history or sociology. Students are encouraged to consider a minor program to enrich their major.
  3. Internship opportunities are also available to majors.

International Studies Major

This major is intended to foster a specifically international orientation. It is primarily designed to acquaint students with the history, culture, institutions and political process in countries and regions outside of the United States. The program is organized to provide a foundation for understanding global issues within an international context and to enable students to concentrate in a region of particular interest. The major includes three components: an international studies core of general requirements, an international studies context drawn from the humanities and social sciences, and a regional area focus. In addition, the major requires students to demonstrate competence in a foreign language. The major is particularly useful for students who plan to live abroad or who seek careers in business, government, teaching and journalism. Majors are encouraged to consider study abroad programs; department faculty will assist students in planning such experiences.

Requirements for the International Studies Major (36)

International Studies Core
18
(12 credit hours count towards University General Education requirements in history and social sciences.)
ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
HIST 101 World History to 1500
HIST 102 World History Since 1500
POLSC 102 World Politics
SOCSC 101 World Geography
TBD Senior Seminar in relevant discipline
   
International Context
(3 courses, at least one drawn from each of the two areas below)
Global Politics and Economics
BUS 300 International Business
BUS 411 International Economics
HIST 221 American Foreign Relations
HIST 204 Hiroshima and the Nuclear Age
POLSC 224 Contemporary Democracy
POLSC 228 Politics of Developing Areas
POLSC 334 War, Peace and Alliances
POLSC 336 Global Money and Power
Cultural Encounters
ANTH 214 Language, Culture and Society
ANTH 245 Third World in Global Context
ANTH 309 Gender and Globalization
ENGL 330 Folklore
HIST 364 Environmental History
RELST 252 Third World Religious Views
RELST 240 The Religious Other
   
Area Specialization 9
(3 courses from one regional area listed below)
Additional courses may be offered as special topics courses; consult an advisor
Africa  
ENGL 333 Modern African Literature
HIST 241 World of the Indian Ocean
HIST 242 History of Africa
HIST 351 Colonial Legacy in Africa
POLSC 230 African Politics
Asia  
HIST 241 World of the Indian Ocean
HIST 244 History of East Asia
HIST 245 History of Modern Japan
RELST 241 Hindu Tradition
RELST 242 Buddhist Tradition
RELST 244 East Asian Religious Traditions
Europe  
ART 121 Classical and Medieval Art
ART 122 Art of the Renaissance through the Enlightenment
HIST 206 Europe in the Middle Ages
HIST 208 Modern Europe, 1789-Present
HIST 211 Women in Modern European History
HIST 251 Topics in European History
HIST 320 European Enlightenment
HIST 321 Old Regime and French Revolution
FRNCH 231-232 Introduction to French Culture and Civilization
POLSH 261 Introduction to Polish Culture and Civilization
POLSH 263 Introduction to Polish Literature
SPAN 307 Golden Age of Poetry
SPAN 313 Romanticism and Post Romanticism
SPAN 314 Realism at the Turn of the Century
SPAN 319 Cervantes’ Don Quixote
Latin America  
ANTH 250 Modern Latin America
ART 244 Latin American Cinema
ART 245 Latin American Visual Culture
HIST 240 Latin American History
HIST 247 History of Mexico
POLSC 225 Latin American Politics
SPAN 321-232 Introduction to Hispanic Culture and Civilization
SPAN 312 Literary Responses to Armed Conflicts of the 20th Century
SPAN 315 Imaginary Caribbean: Literature of Cuba and Puerto Rico
SPAN 316 Latin American Responses to Colonization
SPAN 317 Narrative and Spectacle of the Mexican Revolution
SPAN 391-392 Selected Topics in Hispanic Cultures and Civilization
Middle East  
ANTH 265 People and Cultures of the Middle East
ENGL 233 Middle Eastern Literature
HIST 241 World of the Indian Ocean
HIST 243 History of the Middle East
POLSC 230 Middle East Politics
RELST 247 The Jewish Tradition
RELST 249 The Islamic Tradition

Explanations and Recommendations

  1. Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to four semesters of college study is required. This can be fulfilled either through examination, or by taking 12 credit hours of a foreign language.
  2. Courses taken to fulfill various components of the major and the language requirement also fulfill the University General Education requirements wherever applicable, such has history, social sciences and global studies.
  3. Students are required to meet all prerequisites for the senior seminar in which they enroll and should consult their advisor early in their program to plan accordingly.
  4. Majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester in a study abroad program. Every effort will be made to ensure that hours taken at a foreign university transfer back to Saint Xavier University.

Social Science and Social Science Education Major

The social sciences education (SOCSC) major is designed for students seeking Illinois secondary certification in the area of social sciences with a disciplinary specialization in history. It satisfies the same Illinois Content Area Standards and requirements as the history education (HIST ED) major (see above) but provides additional strong preparation in a particular social science discipline. As such, it is ideal for students who intend to teach history in Illinois public high schools but who would like to enhance their competitiveness for positions that emphasize teaching in the social sciences as well. Social Sciences Education majors take a social sciences core and a history concentration and choose a disciplinary specialty in either political science or sociology/anthropology. Prospective students should note that while this is a large major with 51 credit hours, 12 hours of major courses will double-count to fulfill University General Education requirements in history (6 credit hours) and social sciences (6 credit hours). Other courses in the major may fulfill University General Education requirements in foreign cultures, diversity or global studies. Students seeking Illinois certification through this major must also apply for admission to the School of Education program in secondary education. Please read the important section entitled "Options for Secondary Education Students" above.

Requirements for the Social Science and Social Science Education Major

(See Item 1 under "Explanations and Recommendations" below)

Departmental Requirements
(12 credit hours count toward University General Education requirements in history and social sciences.)
51
Social Science Core 15
  SOCSC 101 World Geography 3
  SOCSC 105 Economics for Social Sciences 3
  POLSC 101 American Government 3
  POLSC 102 World Politics 3
  SOCSC 203 Thinking in the Social Sciences 3
History Concentration
(Note: See item 3 under "Explanations and Recommendations" below.)
21
  HIST 101 World History to 1500 3
  HIST 102 World History since 1500 3
  HIST 103 United States History to 1877 3
  HIST 104 United States History since 1877 3
  HIST 230 Illinois History 3
  HIST Elective (one 200 or 300-level course in non-U.S. history) 3
  HIST Elective (one 200 or 300-level course in history) 3

Social Sciences Disciplinary Specialty
(Note: See item 3 under "Explanations and Recommendations" below.)
At least 3 elective courses (9 semester-hours) in political science or sociology/anthropology.

9
Methods
(Note: See item 4 under "Explanations and Recommendations" below.)
6
  HIST 200 Introduction to the Discipline of History (prerequisite: 6 credit hours in History) 3
OR POLSC 250 Scope and Methods of Political Science (prerequisite: 6 credit hours in Political Science)  
  HIST 395 Senior Seminar (prerequisite: HIST 200 and one 300-level History) 3
OR POLSC 350 Senior Seminar (prerequisite: POLSC 250 and one 300-level Political Science)  

Explanations and Recommendations

  1. Students who complete the requirements of the social sciences education major in the Department of History and Political Science and who also complete the requirements of the secondary education program in the School of Education will qualify for the B.A. in Social Sciences Education with eligibility for Illinois secondary certification. Students in the social sciences education major who choose not to complete the requirements of the Secondary Education program may continue in the major and graduate without penalty. Such students will receive the B.A. in Social Sciences rather than Social Sciences Education and will not be eligible for Illinois secondary certification.
  2. General Education Program requirements in foreign cultures, diversity or global studies may be satisfied by courses taken in the major. Students should consult course type information in Self-Service.
  3. At least one of the five electives in the history concentration and social sciences disciplinary specialty must be 300-level HIST or POLSC courses. The prerequisite for all 300-level HIST or POLSC courses is either HIST 200 or POLSC 250.
  4. Students must choose a disciplinary concentration in either Anthropology/Sociology or Political Science. Those who choose Anthropology/Sociology will also take, in sequential order, HIST 200, a 300-level HIST course, and HIST 395 (History senior seminar). Students who choose a disciplinary concentration in Political Science have the additional option of taking POLSC 250 instead of HIST 200. Those who complete POLSC 250 may subsequently take HIST 395 or POLSC 350 (Political Science senior seminar). However, they must first complete one 300-level course in history in order to take HIST 395 or one 300-level course in political science in order to take POLSC 350. Students contemplating the disciplinary concentration in Political Science therefore should discuss their options with their advisor.

Requirements for Minor Programs

Students should consult with a department faculty member when considering a minor.

History Minor

Students must complete 18 credit hours in history including HIST 101 and 102 (World History) and four additional history courses.

Political Science Minor

Students must complete 18 credit hours in political science including: POLSC 101, POLSC 102, one course in political theory and three additional political science courses.

International Studies Minor

Students must complete 18 credit hours including:

  1. ANTH 101: Cultural Anthropology 
  2. POLSC 102: World Politics
  3. SOCSCI 101: World Geography 
  4. One course from the major requirements section of the International Studies Major
  5. Two courses from one of the area concentrations listed under the International Studies Major

Public Administration Minor

Students must complete 18 credit hours as follows:

  1. Required Courses: (12 credit hours)
    1. POLSC 101: United States Government
    2. POLSC 208: Public Administration
    3. POLSC 301: Public Policy Analysis
    4. BUS 200: Principles of Economics-Macro
  2. Elective Courses: (6 credit hours) 
    Two courses from the following
    1. COMM 209: Small Group Communication
    2. COMM 235: Organizational Communication I
    3. COMM 244: Introduction to Public Relations
    4. COMM 335: Organizational Communication II (prerequisite is COMM 235)
    5. COMM 337: Leadership Communication
    6. Additional courses may meet requirements of the minor when approved by the Department

( ) = credit hours / / = classroom hours

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