Programs of Study
- Political Science
- International Studies
- Public History Program
- Law & Justice Concentration
- Other Minors
- Senior Research and Honors Thesis
- Technology Fluency
Although each major has its own specific coursework and goals, all majors can expect to receive the following:
- The ability to apply historical analysis to the problems and challenges of the modern world
- The ability to understand and work with the many cultures of today's diverse but interconnected societies
- The important lifetime skills of research, analysis, critical thinking and communication
- The programs, experiences and opportunities that will facilitate the choice and pursuit of meaningful careers in the workplace or further graduate study
- Perhaps most of all, the ability to be an independent, life-long learner – a skill on which all employers place an enormously high premium.
The Department of History & Political Science offers three different undergraduate majors (History, Political Science and International Studies) as well as a program in Public History and a concentration in Law & Justice. Each has its own specific coursework, goals and career directions, but all teach students to apply systematic analysis to the problems of today's world, to understand and work with the many cultures of today's diverse but interconnected societies, and to perform effective research, analysis, critical thinking and communication. All offer as well the programs, experiences and opportunities that will facilitate the choice and pursuit of meaningful careers.
All majors must take a sequence of core courses required by that particular program. History majors take the core of Methods of History (HIS 334), Senior Research (HIS 498/9) and Senior Seminar (HIS 495). Majors apply the methods of historical research and analysis to an ongoing analysis of current events across the globe, while working as well on oral communication and career direction.
Political Science majors (in all its subfields) and those concentrating in Law & Justice take a core of American Political Systems (POL 100), the Political Ideas Seminar (POL 205), Contemporary American Policy and Politics (POL 203) , International (POL 210) or Modern Political Systems (POL 204), a methods course (LEG 401) and a thesis course (POL 498/9). The Political Science major and Law & Justice concentration provide a solid foundation if you for a variety of careers including those in government, business, law, or teaching.
International Studies majors take a core of Modern Western Civilization (HIS 102), The World in the 20th Century (HIS 103), Modern Political Systems (POL 204), International Politics (POL 210) either Methods of Historical Research (HIS 334) or Research Design and Methods (POL 334), and Senior Research (HIS 498/9 or POL498/9). Graduates acquire a global perspective as well as good skills in research, writing and presentational skills, opening up diverse career possibilities.
A minor in History or Public History requires 18 hours of coursework: HIS 334 and five elective courses planned in consultation with the department head.
A minor in Political Science requires 21 hours: POL 100, POL 205, ENG 111 and four elective courses planned with a political science professor and approved by the department head. At least two of the elective courses must be at the 300 level.
A minor in International Studies requires 18 hours: HIS 103, POL 210, HIS 334 OR POL 334, and three electives approved by the department head.
A minor in Criminal Justice requires 21 hours as specified in the Meredith College Catalog.
Major in History
The History major is intended for those students who have a broad interest in the different periods and areas of history: Ancient, Medieval and Modern; American, European and Global. It also affords excellent preparation for graduate study and should be the major of choice for students seeking social studies licensure in middle grades or 9-12. Graduates with this degree have also found successful careers in business, law, journalism, government, the foreign service and a variety of other areas.
The history major consists of at least eleven courses (31 hours) in history. Although no course has a prerequisite, it does make some sense to take the broader introductory courses before moving on to the more specialized upper level courses.
Core Courses: (15 Hours)
1) HIS 101 Emergence of Western Civilization (every semester and in summer school) or HIS 102 Modern Western Civilization (every semester and in summer school)
2) HIS 214 American History to 1876 (every fall and in summer school) or HIS 215 American History since 1876 (every spring)
3) Any course in Non-Western History:
- HIS 103 The World in the 20th Century (every semester)
- HIS 200 Introduction to Latin American History (varies, consult department head)
- HIS 224 Introduction to Asian History (every fall)
- HIS 281 Introduction to African History (every fall)
- HIS 282 The Modern Middle East (spring, even years)
- HIS 310 Modern China (spring, odd years)
- HIS 312 India Past & Present (spring, odd)
- Any other appropriate history course offered in the department or taken at another institution – consider the many offerings at NC State especially.
4) HIS 334 Methods of Historical Research (every semester)
5) HIS 498/9 Honors Thesis/Senior Research (every semester)
Related Courses: (15 Hours)
At least fifteen more hours in history (usually five courses) chosen in consultation with the major advisor. These courses can be distributed in any way that makes sense to the student and her advisor, but there should be some plan to the distribution.
Courses from other institutions and from study abroad are also acceptable, subject to approval by a student's advisor and the department head. All majors should also consider an internship experience as part of these fifteen hours.
Please note that HIS 764 - The Teaching of Social Studies, while necessary for licensure, cannot count toward the required hours for the major.
Major in Political Science
The Political Science major consists of twelve courses (36 hours) in politics. There are 18 hours of core requirements and an additional 18 hours in Political Science from two different subfields.
Core Courses: (18 hours)
1) POL 100 American Political Systems
2) POL 205 Political Ideas Seminar
3) POL 210 International Politics or POL 210 Modern Political
4) POL 203 Contemporary American Policy and Politics
5) POL 334 or LEG 401 A Research Methods Course
6) POL 498 Senior Research or POL 498 Honors Thesis
Related Courses (18 hours in Political Science, including courses
from two different subfields listed below)
American Government Subfield
POL 340 State and Local Political Systems
POL 341 Colloquium on North Carolina Politics
POL 350 Congress and the Presidency
POL 207 Political Leadership Practicum (Meredith Votes Campaign)
Political Philosophy and Public Law Subfield
POL 300 Law and Society
POL 301 Constitutional Rights of Americans
POL 310 Gender Issues in Law and Politics
International Politics Subfield
POL 204 Modern Political Systems
POL 210 International Politics
POL 282 Modern Middle East
POL 309 Politics of the Vietnam War
POL 320 International Political Economy
POL 330 U.S. and the World
POL 370 Model United Nations
Public Policy and Public Administration Subfield
POL 305 Introduction to Public Administration
POL 331 Environmental Politics
Additional Courses not in a Subfield
POL 910 Independent Study
POL 920 Directed Individual Study
POL 930 Political Science Internship
Special Studies Course with Advisor Approval
Major in International Studies
The International Studies Major is ideal for students who wish to take an interdisciplinary approach to the world that lies beyond America. Building upon a core of at least 18 hours in history & political science, each student consults with her advisor to choose an additional 17-18 hours from courses in history and political science or other disciplines that offer insight into the contemporary global community. Each student should strive for fluency in one target language.
This flexibility offers several advantages. Because many of the core and related courses will also count towards General Education and/or other programs, International Studies can be a sound and efficient base for adding a second major or minor. It fits especially well with International Business and with majors in Foreign Languages and Literatures. It is also the perfect major for students who intend study abroad, because virtually all courses taken abroad will count toward this major and the student will return with as many credit hours as she would have had she stayed at Meredith. All International Studies majors should plan to study abroad. Majors should also consider the U.N. Semester at Drew University, the International Relations semester at American University, and the many specialized courses available at NCSU.
International Studies majors regularly go on to graduate school, and to jobs in international business, in travel and tourism, in the foreign service, in non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and in many other areas.
Core Courses: (18-19 Hours)
1) HIS 102 Modern Western Civilization
2) HIS 103 The World in the 20th Century
3) POL 204 Modern Political Systems
4) POL 210 International Politics
5) HIS 334 Methods of Historical Research or
POL 334 Research Design and Methods
6) HIS 498/9 Honors Thesis/Senior Research or POL 498/9 Honors Thesis/Senior Research
Related Courses: (17-18 hours)
NOTE: The student must select related courses to form a distinct focus based on a global theme (such as geography, ecology and population, or globalization, sovereignty and conflict); a particular area of field specialization (such as French, Business, or Religion); or a particular region (such as Asia or Latin America). Each student’s proposed group of related courses must be approved by her advisor and department head within two semesters of the declaration of the major. The departments very strongly recommend that each student achieve fluency in at least one target language and also that each student plan to study abroad. This is a partial list only. Other courses can count with departmental approval.
History & Political Science:
- (HIS 200) Introduction to Latin America
- (HIS 224) Introduction to Modern Asia
- (HIS 281) Introduction to African History
- (HIS/POL 282) Modern Middle East
- (HIS 285) Women in Global Perspective
- (HIS 302) Modern British History
- (HIS 306) Russia in the 20th Century
- (HIS 308) Twentieth Century Europe
- (HIS 310) Modern China
- (HIS 312) India Past & Present
- (HIS 319) Contemporary American History
- (HIS/POL 330) U.S. and the World
- (HIS/POL 930) Internship
- (POL 205) Political Ideas Seminar
- (POL 309) Politics of the Vietnam War
- (POL 320) International Political Economy
- (POL 331) Environmental Politics
- (POL 370) Model United Nations
- (ART 280) Topics in Art & Architecture
- (ART 222) Western Art History
- (ART 323) Topics in Art History
- (BIO 326) Principles of Ecology
- (BUS 300) Principles of Management
- (BUS 360) Principles of Marketing
- (BUS 369) International Marketing
- (BUS 310) International Business
- (CHI 101) Elementary Chinese
- (COM 390) Intercultural Communication
- (DAN 155-6) African Dance & World Technique
- (DAN 359) Dance History
- (ECO 100) Macroeconomic Principles
- (ECO 334) International Economics
- (ENG 335) 20th Century World Literature
- (ENG 350) Modern Drama
- (ENG 371) 20th Century Prose After 1945
- (FRE 300) Life and Study Abroad
- (FRE 302) French Language and Culture
- (FRE 304) French Civilization
- (FRE 308) Francophone Literature
- (FRE 309) French Women Writers
- (FRE 365) Discoveries in French Literature II
- (GEO 203) Geographic Information Systems
- (GEO 205) World Regional Geography
- (GEO 326) Environmental Resources
- (GER 300) Life and Study Abroad
- (GER 302) German Language and Culture
- (IDS 245) Housing Issues
- (IDS 280) China Today
- (ITA 101-2, 205) Elementary and Intermediate Italian
- (MUS 214) Music Appreciation
- (MUS 215) Music Literature
- (MUS 216) World Music
- (PSY 410) Social Psychology
- (RES 102) World Religions
- (RES 254) Intro to Asian Religions
- (RES 285) Religion & Literature
- (SOC 260) Cultural Anthropology
- (SOC 335) Race & Ethnic Relations
- (SOC 430) Population Dynamics
- (SPA 300) Life and Study Abroad
- (SPA 302) Spanish Language and Culture
- (SPA 303) Civilization of Spain
- (SPA 304) Spanish American Civilization
- (SPA 308) Readings in Hispanic Literature
- (SPA 351, 352, 353) Poetry, Theatre, Short Fiction
- (SWK 330) Social Welfare Policy
- (THE 317) Modern & Contemporary Theatre
GP courses: student and advisor can select and approve any that fit her plan.
And any other relevant catalog or special studies courses as approved by advisor.
Our Public History program provides the most complete undergraduate preparation in the region for careers in museums, historic sites, public archives, and historic preservation. Its success is built upon an interdisciplinary curriculum that affords students exactly the skill set that our external review board has defined as most attractive to potential employers. Our location in Raleigh places us at the heart of archives, museums and historic sites in North Carolina. And the proof is in the pudding: since 2005, 11 of our 12 graduates have found meaningful employment in the field, while 8 have added Master’s Degrees along the way. Recent graduates hold significant positions at many local sites: Director of Museum Education and Interns at the N.C. Museum of History; Assistant Site Managers at Historic Oak View Mordecai Historic Park, and Stagville Plantation; Archivists at the N.C. Division of Archives and History and at the Archives of the Reagan National Library. Recent graduates are attending Master’s programs at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of British Columbia. If you love history but not the classroom, this program is for you. The key is to build your History major and, where possible your general education courses and electives around the requirements of the Public History minor and to undertake at least one internship planned carefully with Dr. Fountain.
Core Courses: (13-15 Hours)
HIS 214 or HIS 215 (American History to 1876) or (American History since 1876)
HIS 300 (Introduction to Public History)
HIS 930 (Public History Internship) (1-3 hours)
HIS 334 (Methods of Historical Research)
HIS 333 or HIS 343 (History of the South) or (North Carolina History)
Related Courses: (6 Hours) with approval of program director.
NOTE: None of the electives chosen may also count toward the History major.
HIS 250: Introduction to Archaeology
HIS 270: Introduction to Native American History
HIS 314 Colonial America
HIS 317 Civil War and Reconstruction
HIS 333 History of the South
HIS 343 History of North Carolina
POL 340 State and Local Political Systems
ART 221/2 Survey of Western Art
ART 130 Photography
BUS 300 Principles of Management
BUS 360 Principles of Marketing
CIS 156 Web Site Management and Design
FMD 315 History of Costume
ECO 101 Microeconomic Principles
EDU 234 Educational Psychology
EDU 232 Foundations of American Education
EDU 358 Social Studies in the Elementary School
ENG 206 Survey of American Lit
ENG 330 African American Writers
ENG 245 Introduction to Journalism
ENG 247 Copy-editing
ENG 250 Document Design
ID 142 History of Architectural Interiors
SOC 260 Cultural Anthropology
SOC 376 Oppressed Groups and Social Justice
COM 230 Video Production
COM 260 Interpersonal Communication
COM 350 Business & Professional Communication
REL 383 Religion in US History
And other appropriate courses as approved by program director.
All students in the program should plan to undertake at least one off-campus internship for academic course credit. An internship will help each student clarify her career choices, gain valuable skills, and establish important contacts to help secure employment after graduation. Consult departmental advisors for help in making a good choice among the many possibilities available around Raleigh and Research Triangle Park. We have recently placed interns at the Museum of History, the Duke Homestead Historic Site, the State Capitol and Legislature, several bilingual non-profit organizations, many local law firms, a dozen political campaigns -- even on the mission to study Blackbeard's sunken Queen Anne's Revenge
The Law and Justice Concentration is meant to introduce students to the study of law and legal issues and to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for further legal education and for legal careers, as well as for careers in public advocacy, lobbying and secondary education.
The major consists of twelve courses (36 hours) in politics. There are 27 hours of core requirements and an additional 9 hours within the concentration
Core Courses: (27 hours)
- (POL 100) American Political Systems
- (POL 205) Political Ideas Seminar
- (POL 210) International Politics or (POL 204) Modern Political Systems
- (POL 203) Contemporary American Policy and Politics
- (POL 300) Law and Society
- (POL 301) Constitution and Rights of Americans
- (ENG 358) Professional Writing
- (POL 499) Senior Research or (POL 498) Honors Thesis
- (LEG 401) Legal Research
Related Courses: (9 Hours)
(Partial list only. Other courses can count with departmental approval.)
(POL 305) Introduction to Public Administration
(ECO 100) Macroeconomic Principles
(ECO 101) Microeconomic Principles
(COM 225) Public Speaking
(COM 380) Communications Ethics
(LEG 400) Legal Survey or (BUS 340) Business Law & Ethics
(PHI 210) Critical Thinking
(SOC 336) Criminology
(SOC 437) Corrections
Special Studies Course with Advisor Approval
Senior Research and Honors Theses
All majors will ordinarily write a Senior Research Project (History 499) or, for Honors Students and Teaching Fellows, an Honors Thesis (History 498) during one semester of their senior year. In history, this work is done under the direction of a faculty member with appropriate expertise and is worth three credit hours. Students should work with their advisor to identify a viable topic and sources during the semester before they undertake the project. All majors will also present the results of their work to some combination of faculty, majors and other guests.
Fluency goes beyond the acquisition of specific skills. Fluency encompasses the appropriate application of technology concepts/skills and provides a migration path toward lifelong learning. Through fluency, our students will develop the self confidence and curiosity that promotes the desire and ability to acquire, adapt, and apply information technology throughout their lives. The department has specific technology fluency plans for History majors (including Public History and History-focused International Studies majors) and Political Science majors (including Law and Justice and Political Science-focused International Studies majors.)