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History-Political Science

Advisers — Professors BLASENHEIM, HENDRICKSON, LEE, LINDAU AND MURPHY

This major gives a student the opportunity to apply the perspectives of history and political science to an area of the world of his or her choosing.

Major Requirements

There are three ways to enter this major.

  • Students may take either History 104, 105 or 288 or Political Science 115 or 150.

  • In consultation with one of the History Department’s History-Political Science advisors, students may take one course in European history addressing a period up through the 18th century, and one course in European history addressing a period from the 18th century forward.     

  • Students may also enter the major by taking one course in each of two subfields in political science: in American Politics, 200; in Comparative Politics, 236; in International Relations, 209 or 225; in Political Theory, 242, 270, 292, or 298.  Students who choose this option should consult an adviser in the Political Science Department about the sequence of courses most appropriate to the chosen regional concentration.                                                   

Regional Concentration:

Each student must take at least four additional units in each department. A concentration in United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, or Africa/Middle East satisfies the requirement. Students are strongly advised to consult the advisors for the major in each department in choosing courses relevant to each region in order to make sure that they fulfill all requirements.  In Political Science, all four courses must come from those listed with the chosen regional concentration. In History: a minimum of three units of the four required units must be taken within the chosen region of concentration. A student who wishes to do so may propose, subject to the approval of the advisors and the chairs of each department, a coherent program for the study of another world region other than those listed here.

Language Requirement:

Regional concentrations outside the United States must include the second-year or the equivalent in a foreign language appropriate to the area.

Capstone Requirement:

In addition, each student must complete the Colloquium in History/Political Science (330) and one unit of advanced research (History 420), or a tutorial in political science in the subfield area in which most political science courses were taken for the major).

Thesis:

Any history–political science major may apply to write a thesis instead of taking the unit of advanced research, subject to the approval of both departments. A student must submit a proposal outlining the subject and identifying general sources by the beginning of Block 8 of the junior year, or, if a student is off campus in the junior year, the proposal may be submitted at the beginning of Block 1 of the senior year. The thesis should be interdisciplinary in nature and include the use of primary materials. The proposal should be submitted to both departments.

Students who maintain a 3.6 GBP in the major through Block 7 of senior year and who receive an A in the colloquium and an A in the capstone or thesis will be considered for Distinction in History/Political Science. Thesis students who wish to be considered for distinction must complete the thesis by the end of Block 7 of the senior year.

The majors’ advisors may approve credit toward the major for other special or advanced courses when appropriate to a student’s concentration. “Topics” courses in both history and political science are examples. Approval should be sought from history-political science advisors prior to taking such a course.