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History and Political Science

History and Political Science Programs

The History and Political Science Department offers a range of programs and courses geared toward the needs of majors, general education students and candidates for teacher licensure. Most department courses satisfy University general education requirements in history and/or social sciences. Some courses fulfill general education requirements in foreign culture, diversity or global studies. Please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog for more detailed information.

History Majors

As a student of history, you are an investigator of the past. Your mission is to gain a deeper appreciation of your community, city, country or world by learning about the struggles and achievements of those who came before you, asking, "How did this come to be?" Like creators of myth and legend, you look to the past to explain the present. Unlike them, you seek truth, not fiction. You must follow the evidence, finding clues to the past in books, newspapers, letters, living memories, digital sources and traditions passed down by word of mouth. You will learn what investigators before you have discovered and then add discoveries of your own.

What skills will I gain as a history major?

  • Research: You will learn to seek out information.
  • Discernibility: You will scrutinize evidence and test it for soundness.
  • Rhetoric: You will make arguments that stand up to scrutiny and learn to spot claims that are lacking evidence, illogical or false.
  • Communication: You will communicate with ease, speaking and writing more fluently.
  • Problem-Solving: You will become an experienced learner who is able to identify new problems and solve them.
  • Professionalism: You will be prepared to interact confidently with others in a global workplace.

Why study history at Saint Xavier?

  • SXU is a unique place to learn about history. We have been part of Chicago history for over 170 years. Generations of our graduates have gone on to be history makers in this city and beyond.
  • We offer you the resources of a great metropolitan area.
  • Our faculty include experts in the history of Illinois and the United States, Mexico and Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
  • We combine this breadth with the advantages of a small department. You will come to know your professors as individuals as they will with you.
  • We will discover what sparks your curiosity and guide you on your own quest for historical understanding.
  • You will work closely with your fellow students and form lifelong friendships.
  • Our University comes from a tradition of faith, service and value for the individual.
  • You will learn that historical choices are also ethical and moral ones and that knowledge must combine with purpose and principle.
  • You will become a more effective citizen and an asset to your community.

Political Science Majors

The study of politics is 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 better understand our own values and 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!

International Studies Major

International studies students explore the world outside the United States from a variety of perspectives, both culturally and scientifically. Drawing on the tools from many disciplines such as anthropology, politics, literature and history, international studies students investigate how different cultures, societies and peoples exist and interact. You will explore how our current world came to be, how different cultures organize their societies, and how the interactions of states affect our daily life. As an international studies student, you will develop cross-cultural awareness and the tools necessary to analyze and solve the increasingly global problems we face such as refugee relief, economic crises and climate change. You will discover how to be a global citizen and to make your way in the global marketplace.

What skills will I gain as an international studies major?

  • Knowledge: You will learn about different cultures, societies and global issues from a variety of perspectives.
  • Critical Thinking: You will learn how to question arguments, to challenge assumptions and evaluate evidence, and you will enhance your own skills at constructing sound arguments.
  • Communication: You will be better able to communicate arguments confidently, knowing that you both speak and write well.
  • Global Awareness: You will develop a more nuanced perspective of your place in the world, of how cultures interact, and how global problems should be addressed.
  • Problem-Solving: You will become a better problem-solver as you apply your diverse knowledge, critical thought and communication to new areas and issues.
  • Leadership: You develop skills to resolve conflicts and enhance cooperation in working with others, both in and out of class.
  • Experience: You will have opportunities to apply what you learn in internships, foreign study, simulations and independent research, demonstrating the experience employers seek.
  • Professionalism: Your experiences and learning will prepare you to interact confidently with others in local and global professional organizations.

Why pursue international studies at Saint Xavier University?

  • The international studies major combines easily with other majors like Spanish, political science or business, adding a global dimension to your education that is sought by many employers.
  • You will have many opportunities to learn outside the classroom through study abroad, foreign travel trips, simulations like the Model United Nations and internships.
  • A variety of student organizations present opportunities to develop leadership skills and collaborate with other students.
  • Saint Xavier offers a personal educational experience. Small class sizes and individual advising means that you will know your faculty, and they will know you.
  • Your studies can be adapted to fit your interests, curiosities and goals. We can help you discover and become who you want to be.
  • Through classes and collaborations with other students, you will develop a strong sense of community in studying political science at Saint Xavier, developing friendships and connections that will last long after you have graduated.
  • With greater global awareness and international experience, you will become a more effective citizen and an asset to your community.

Social Science Education Major

The social sciences education (SOCSC) major is designed for students seeking Illinois secondary licensure in the area of social sciences with a disciplinary specialization in history. It satisfies the Illinois Content Area Standards and requirements and is the ideal option for students who intend to teach history and other social sciences in Illinois public high schools.

History Minor

The history minor requires students to complete 18 credit hours in history, including world history and four additional history courses. Students should consult with a department faculty member when considering a minor.

Political Science Minor

The political science minor requires students to complete 18 credit hours in political science including: POLSC 101, POLSC 102, introductory courses, courses in political theory and more! Students should consult with a department faculty member when considering a minor.

International Studies Minor

Students must complete 18 credit-hours for the international studies minor 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

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

Public Administration Minor

Students must complete 18 credit-hours in the public administration minor as follows:

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

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