Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Quad

History and Political Science

History and Political Science Programs

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 licensure. Most department courses satify University general education requirements in history and/or social sciences. Some courses fulfill general education requirements in foreign culture, diversity of global studies.

History 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.

Political Science Majors

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.

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.

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. It is ideal for students who intend to teach history and other social sciences in Illinois public high schools.

History Minor

Students must complete 18 credit-hours in history including HIST 101 and 102 (World History) and four additional history courses. Students should consult with a department faculty member when considering a minor.

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

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

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

Public Administration Minor

Students must complete 18 credit-hours 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.