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History and Political Thought

School of Arts and Sciences


  • History & Political Thought Major
  • 41 Units
  • Core Courses
  • 26 Units
  • HST 226: United States History
  • 3

This survey course of U.S. history from colonial times to the present will include the political, economic, social, and cultural development at each phase of the country's growth and progress through the study of colonization, independence, early nationhood, sectional strife culminating in the Civil War, reconstruction, economic expansion, prosperity, depression, imperialism, reforms, two world wars, and contemporary tensions.

  • HST 332: Ancient Greece and Rome
  • 3

The history of ancient Greece and Rome from the time of Homer to the fall of the Roman Empire will be examined in this course with particular emphasis on Greek and Roman politics, socio-economic life and structures, classical culture and philosophy, and the rise of Christianity. Prerequisite: HST 201 or HST 202 or CHST 201 or CHST 202.

  • HST 334: Medieval History
  • 3

The emergence of Europe from the early Middle Ages to the Italian Renaissance will be examined in this course including the feudal society, the Christian church, cities and commerce, art and learning, and the rise of kings and nation states. Particular attention will be given to Europe's Greek and Roman legacy as transmitted by the Byzantine and Islamic civilizations. Prerequisite: HST 201 or HST 202 or CHST 201 or CHST 202. Offered alternate years.

  • HST 336: The Renaissance and the Reformation
  • 3

Europe from the 14th to the 17th century, the transitional period between medieval and modern history, will be examined in this course including the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, the Lutheran Reformation, the Calvinist and Anglican Reformations, and the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation. Prerequisite: HST 201 or HST 202 or CHST 201 or CHST 202. Offered alternate years.

  • HST 338: Modern European History
  • 3

This course integrates various political, social, economic, and cultural phases of Europe's history from the 18th century to the present, including the French Revolution, industrialization, imperialism, the unification of Italy and Germany, communism, fascism; the two world wars, and the Cold War. It will also trace the major scientific, literary, and artistic developments through this era.

  • POL 321: Political Thought I: Ancient to Early Modern
  • 3

This course will analyze the nuances and trace the development of Western political thought from classical Greece to 17th century northern Europe with attention given to the questions facing every generation concerning the nature of political association and the good society. Students will become familiar with each major political thinker, the context in which they wrote, and influence upon the history of ideas.


  • POL 322: Political Thought II: The Enlightenment
  • 3

This course will analyze the nuances and trace the development of Western political thought from the early Enlightenment (17th century) to the present with attention given to the questions facing every generation concerning the nature of political association and the good society. Students will become familiar with each major political thinker, the context in which they wrote, and their influence upon the history of ideas.

  • Language requirement:
  • LAT 101 *: Fundamentals of Latin I *
  • 4

This course will study the fundamentals of the Latin language including morphology, syntax, and vocabulary for reading simple passages of Latin prose and poetry.

  • LAT 102 *: Fundamentals of Latin II *
  • 4

A continuation of LAT 101. Prerequisite: LAT 101 or equivalent.

  • Additional Courses
  • 15 Units
  • Choose 15 units from the following:
  • HST/POL 240: Race and Politics in America
  • 3

An exploration of racial and ethnic political issues and movements and thinkers in America. Special attention will be given to ways in which various religious traditions affected the rhetoric and goals of political movements during this period. There will also be focused discussion of the ways in which issues in public and parochial schooling affected race relations in America. Students from all majors are welcome to enroll in this course.

  • HST/ANT 314: Native Peoples of North America
  • 3

An anthropological overview of native North American societies from pre-Columbian times to the present will be the focus of this course, utilizing a culture area approach and including an emphasis on the native people of California.

  • HST/POL 320: Strategic Thought
  • 3

This course is a reading-intensive overview of the development of military thought. The readings will cover works of major thinkers in military strategy such as Carl von Clausewitz, A.T. Mahan, and B. H. Liddell Hart. Students will explore the theoretical and applicable dimensions of the concept of strategy, while understanding the development of ideas in their historical context.

  • HST/SOC 322: Social Movements and Collective Action
  • 3

This course will analyze the role of social movements and collective action in society by examining each as a key component in understanding how, why, and when change takes place in society, as well as who participates in this change and with what effectiveness.

  • HST 361: History of Propaganda and Persuasion
  • 3

This course will provide an academic approach to the decidedly non-academic and pervasive modes of communication that have shaped the modern world with attention being paid to wartime propaganda in the two world wars, political campaigns in America, and product advertising in market economics. Offered alternate years.

  • HST 403: Topics in Historical Editing
  • 1

In this course, students work with a professor to build and edit an academic history journal, emphasizing a special topic related to this type of work each year. Students will edit article submissions, book reviews, and forums. Students will also help generate content for the journal by either providing their own work or by encouraging submissions from the student body. The final product will be a printed academic journal to be distributed around the campus. May repeat 4 times for credit and 3 units may be used to fulfill major requirements.

  • HST 410: Mythology
  • 3

The reception of classical antiquity depends on both the stories the ancients told themselves, as well as their interpretation and reinscription in subsequent times and places. This course traces the debt moderns owe to the earliest recorded stories that shaped civilizations, both to appreciate the stories in their own historical context as well as consider the responses (both those that identify with antiquity and those that assume its alienation) of succeeding eras, culminating in critical consideration of contemporary cultural evocation of the classical tradition. Prerequisite: CHST 201 or CHST 202 or HST 201.

  • HST/POL 412: The U.S. Constitution
  • 3

This course will look at the origins of the American political system from the end of the Seven Years' War through the Louisiana Purchase and Marbury vs. Madison, with a focusing on government under the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, ratification controversies, the first political party system, and Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian approaches to government. Offered alternate years.

  • HST 421: Latin America
  • 3

Advanced themes in Latin American history, from the colonial period to the present, with special attention to historical events, people and ideas that affect modern issues in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, especially as these relate to Cold War-era conflicts, revolutions, immigration, international trade, and the U.S. involvement in regime change and the “war” on narcotics trafficking.

  • HST 416: Contemporary Global Issues
  • 3

This seminar course will be devoted to an in-depth examination of a major issue affecting the global community; exact topic to be determine by the instructor each semester. May repeat 4 times for credit and 12 units may be used to fulfill major/minor requirements.

  • HST 430: War and Society
  • 3

This course seeks to gain a greater understanding of human societies by exploring their relationship with warfare. Moreover, it seeks to understand how war-making and all of its composite factors (technology, culture, logistical needs, etc.) influence and change human society. Finally, it inquires into how various social and external factors help determine success or failure in warfare beyond the simple narration of tactics and command decisions.

  • HST 431: Women's History
  • 3

This course will begin with the early modern era in Europe and will look at the intense interaction between the peoples of many continents and nations over women, the West, and the culture which have their roots in this period of exchange, colonization, and struggle. Offered alternate years.

  • HST/SCI 455: History and Philosophy of Science
  • 3

This course will introduce the philosophic nature of science with a literary review of philosophic issues associated with the epistemological and historical development of science starting with ancient Greece through today. Prerequisite: CBIO 101 or consent of instructor.

  • HST 478: History of California
  • 3

The history of California from earliest times to the present with an emphasis on its Hispanic heritage will be the focus of this course.

  • HST 491: Advanced Topics in History
  • 3

This research-oriented course will allow advanced students to study one aspect of history in depth with a view towards either graduate study or a project for the President's Academic Showcase for Undergraduate Research. May repeat 4 times for credit and 12 units may be used to fulfill major/minor requirements.

  • POL 304: Grand Strategy
  • 3

This course will explore the aspect of statecraft in international relations known as “grand strategy” from a theoretical and historical perspective. This course traces how statesmen have or have not marshalled and coordinated the political, diplomatic, military, material, cultural, and moral resources available to a state, to achieve, or fail to achieve long-term objectives in the international environment during war and peace.

  • POL 333: Eastern Political Thought
  • 3

An exploration of East Asian political philosophy, focussing on, but not limited to ancient Chinese classical thinkers such as Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mozi, Mencius, Zhuangzi and Sun Tzu, and with more recent Japanese traditions, such as the Kyoto School of Nishida Kitarô.

  • POL 413: Religion and Politics in America
  • 3

The role of religion in American public life will be examined in this course with an emphasis on the interpretation and impact of the First Amendment and the concept of "separation of church and state" on religious and political life in the United States. Offered alternate years.

  • POL 490: Internship: Political Thought
  • 3

This course is an intense part- or full-time practical experience outside the classroom that is an integral part of a professional program and contributes significantly to the preparation of a student for entrance into a profession. Approximately forty (40) contact hours are required for each unit of credit. Each department may limited the maximum number of internship credit. Offered alternate years.

 *With approval from the department chair and dean of the school, a world language other than Latin may be substituted.
 **May repeat 4 times for credit and 3 units may be used to fulfill major requirements.
 ***May repeat 4 times for credit and 12 units may be used to fulfill major requirements.

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

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