Curriculum & Courses

Prefix Number Course Credit
Hours

History Core Courses

 
Students must choose three of these four courses:
HIS 110 Ancient World 3
HIS 120 Medieval World 3
HIS 161 Modern World 3
HIS 171 Contemporary World 3
HIS 201 US History to 1898 3
HIS 202 US History Since 1898 3
HIS 210 Methods of History 3
HIS   Five 300+ history courses 15
       

Political Science Core Courses

 
Students must choose one of these four courses:
HIS 110 Ancient World 3
HIS 120 Medieval World 3
HIS 161 Modern World 3
HIS 171 Contemporary World 3
HIS 210 Methods of History 3
POL 112 American Government 3
HIS 499 History Seminar (must take three times) 3
POL/COM  204 or 422 Introduction to Public Relations or Public Relations Skills 3
HIS/POL 300+ Any 300+ history or political science course 3
Students must choose one of these two options:
HIS  495 Internship 6
HIS  496/497 Senior Thesis Research and Senior Thesis Writing 6

Please note that along with the core curriculum, history major curriculum, and history political science major curriculum, students must complete a minor. (Humanities is often the minor associated with a history major, but students are able to create a minor of their own. Please talk to your advisor about doing so.)

       

History Minor Courses

 
Students must choose two of these four courses:
HIS 110 Ancient World 3
HIS 120 Medieval World 3
HIS 161 Modern World 3
HIS 171 Contemporary World 3
Students must choose one of these two courses:
HIS 201 US History to 1898 3
HIS 202 US History Since 1898 3
HIS   Three 300+ history courses 9
POL   Any political science elective 3

Geography Course Descriptions

GEO 201 World Geography (3 cr.)

A general survey of world geography with an exploration of political, physical, and cultural geographic themes. Students will learn the countries of the world, basic geographical forms, climate, and how to use maps effectively. (Directed study)

GEO/POL 320 Modern Global Issues (3 cr.)

A broad study of the current global issues of political, economic, cultural, and environmental significance that face the United States and the world. Special attention will be given to understanding the geographical significance of those issues. (Directed study)

History Course Descriptions

HIS 110 Ancient World (3 cr.)

A survey of global societies including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas from prehistory to around AD 500. There will be a focus on the birth of civilization and its struggle for existence.

HIS 120 Medieval World (3 cr.)

A survey of global societies including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas which existed in the thousand year period between the ancient and modern eras (c. AD 500 - 1500). Attention will be given to the massive and creative developments of this period.

HIS 161 Modern World (3 cr.)

A survey of global societies including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas from the Renaissance through the first half of the 20th Century and the beginning of the Cold War (1500-1945). Particular focus will be given to issues of Imperialism, Nationalism, and Industrialism.

HIS 171 Contemporary World (3 cr.)

A survey of global history in the 20th and 21st centuries with emphases on the legacy of the world wars, the Cold War, and the rise of the post-colonial Third World. This course will study the impact of modernization and globalization of nationalist and extremist responses, including the issue of modern terrorism.

HIS 201 US History to 1898 (3 cr.)

A survey of social, political, economic, religious, and cultural institutions from Pre-Columbian America through the Gilded Age.

HIS 202 US History Since 1898 (3 cr.)

A survey of the social, political, cultural, and economic developments in the United States with special attention given to the emergence of the United States as a world power.

HIS 210 Methods of History (3 cr.)

An introduction to the field of history with an overview of historical theory and methods. Students will learn how to analyze primary and secondary sources, to incorporate historiography into their research and writing, and to utilize the Chicago Manual of Style. Assessment will be based on the research, writing, and presentation of a conference-style paper. This course is designed to enhance student effectiveness in subsequent upper-division history courses and thesis writing. Students are expected to take this course during their sophomore year.

HIS 300 History of the Northern Plains (3 cr.)

A regional study of the Northern Plains with primary coverage of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas and some coverage of surrounding states and cities such as Chicago. This course begins with the Plains Indians around 1800 and continues to the present. Techniques in regional and local history will be investigated.

HIS 310 Ancient Greece (3 cr.)

This course covers the political, social, economic, and cultural history of ancient Greece from the Dark Ages through the Classical and Hellenistic eras until Roman conquest. (Directed study will be offered through the department)

HIS/REL 315 Early Church History (3 cr.)

This course covers the history of the early church from the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Council of Nicaea in 325. It concentrates on the major figures, issues, and heresies of the early Christian movement.

HIS 320 Roman Republic and Empire (3 cr.)

This course covers Roman political, social, economic, and cultural history from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire.

HIS 335 Medieval Europe (3 cr.)

A study of Medieval Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the eve of the Reformation. Emphases will be placed on the development of medieval culture, the rise of the Christian Church and nation-states, and the famines, plagues, and wars that challenged society. (Directed study will be offered through the department)

HIS/REL 336 Introduction to the Muslim World (3 cr.)

An introduction to the foundations of Islam: Muhammad, the Qur’an, and the sources of Islamic faith. The course includes an overview of the spread of Islam from its early beginnings to the present. The course also examines Muslim beliefs and practices and the diversity of ways of being Muslim in the world today. Student research explores various forms of life and piety in selected locations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Attention is paid to the area of Christian-Muslim relations with the goal of fostering better understanding between the two communities.

HIS 355 Modern Africa (3 cr.)

A study of African history since the early 19th century with a concentration on the impact of European imperialism and the rise of New Africa after independence. Emphases will include an examination of imperialism, nationalism, socialism, and ethnic rivalry.

HIS 360 Modern Latin America (3 cr.)

A study of Latin American history since independence, including an examination of the Caudillo era, the rise of Marxism, the challenge of democracy, and American intervention. (Directed study)

HIS 361 American Women’s History (3 cr.)

A survey of American women’s history from before European contact to the present, with a special emphasis on women’s evolving experiences of work and family.

HIS 362 U.S. Foreign Policy (3 cr.)

This course traces the evolution of the U.S. foreign policy and its required government institutions from the Revolution to its present role as a world leader. Politics and diplomacy are combined with a focus on the social and economic issues that inevitably become intertwined.

HIS 363 African American History (3 cr.)

A survey of African American history from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present, with a special emphasis on the black struggle for freedom.

HIS 364 American Environmental History (3 cr.)

A survey of American environmental history from before European contact to the present, with a special emphasis on the relationship between economic development and environmental vitality.

HIS 405 Colonial and Revolutionary America (3 cr.)

A study of the origins and expansion of colonial America in the 17th-18th centuries, as well as an examination of the American Revolution, early confederation, and constitutional conventions. (Directed study)

HIS 417 American Civil War (3 cr.)

Traces the main political, social, and military events in American history from the war with Mexico in 1846-1847 through the crises of the 1850s culminating in the Civil War from 1861-1865.

HIS/POL 418 Modern American Presidency (3 cr.)

A study of the chief executive of the United States from McKinley to the present, with a special emphasis on the evolution of the office due to the social factors and individuals who shaped it. Course will examine the impact of presidents on government structures through their domestic and foreign policies.

HIS 420 Contemporary America (3 cr.)

A study of American history since 1945, with emphases on the Cold War, the rise of technology and mass culture, and the crescendo and crises of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

HIS 422 The Vikings (3 cr.)

A study of Scandinavian culture and society from the Carolingian era migrations through the rise of the Christian monarchies. Emphases will be placed on political, military, economic, social, and cultural themes as well as the impact that Viking Scandinavians had on Europe, North America, and the Near East. (Directed study)

HIS 427 Medieval England (3 cr.)

Traces the major political, social, and administrative changes from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

HIS 430 British Empire (3 cr.)

A study of the British Empire with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries with regard to the expansion of empire, colonial government, nationalist responses, the impact of world wars, the collapse of empire, and the formation of commonwealth. 

HIS 435 Modern Britain (3 cr.)

A study of modern Britain from 1815 to the present. There will be an examination of Britain’s domestic transformation into a social welfare state, its cultural and intellectual achievements, its participation in world events, the climax and collapse of the British Empire, and Britain’s post-imperial legacy.

HIS 440 Modern Germany (3 cr.)

A study of Modern Germany from 1871 to the present with an emphasis on the political, economic, social, cultural, intellectual, and military achievements as well as its challenges for itself and the world during the Second Reich, Weimar Republic, Third Reich, and Bundesrepublik.

HIS 460 World War I (3 cr.)

This course covers the main political, economic, and military causes and developments of the Great War, 1914-1918. A study of the political and diplomatic tensions as well as the imperial and nationalist rivalries at the turn of the century and continues through the war to the Peace of Versailles. American or European emphases will be dependent on the instructor. 

HIS/POL 462 FDR: Depression and War (3 cr.)

A survey of the major events in American history during the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Emphasis will be on the Great Depression, the New Deal, and WWII. Course will include an examination of the political, social, military, and economic changes that make this era a turning point in American history.

HIS 465 World War II (3 cr.)

This course covers the main political, economic, and military causes and developments of World War II, 1939-1945. It begins with the failure of Versailles and the rise of Fascism, and continues through the war to the atomic age and beginning of the Cold War.

HIS/ENG 470 Vietnam Era (3 cr.)

This class centers on the American involvement in Southeast Asia from 1965 to 1972 through the disciplines of History and English. It also covers to a lesser degree the French colonial experience in Indo-China and the history of the united Vietnam after reunification in 1975. As an interdisciplinary course, the focus is not only on the historical narrative but on the literature of the period as well from American, South Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese sources. Film, music, and direct recollections of the U.S. Vietnam veterans are used in the course.

HIS/ENG 471 From the Beats to the Beatles (3 cr.)

This interdisciplinary course will examine American counterculture, political activism, and postmodern literature after 1945.

HIS 475 Special Topics (3 cr.)

Topics will vary and are determined by the instructor. This may be offered as a team-taught interdisciplinary course in conjunction with another discipline.

HIS 495 Internship (6 cr.)

HIS 496 Senior Thesis Research (3 cr.)

History seniors who do not complete an internship or student teaching are required to submit a senior thesis which is supervised through the History Department faculty. The thesis will involve extensive primary and secondary research on an approved topic, which will result in a written work that is appropriate for presentation or publication. The thesis will be researched and written over the span of the senior year, with the student conducting guided research during the fall semester of the senior year. The project’s progress must be approved by the full department. (Prerequisites: Senior status and completion of HIS 210)

HIS 497 Senior Thesis Writing (3 cr.)

History seniors who do not complete an internship or student teaching are required to submit a senior thesis, which is supervised through the History Department faculty. The thesis will involve extensive primary and secondary research on an approved topic, which will result in a written work that is appropriate for presentation or publication. The thesis will be researched and written over the span of the senior year, with the student producing a finished research paper during the spring semester of the senior year. The final paper must be completed and approved by the full department. (Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of HIS 496)

HIS 499 History Seminar (1 cr.)

Seminars will cover announced topics and can be taken as a stand-alone course or in conjunction with a lecture course of a similar topic. Seminars may be organized in either a reading or research format with the former requiring a formal annotated bibliography and the latter requiring an advanced research paper. Historiography and theory will be emphasized in either format. History majors are required to complete three seminars for graduation. Topics will vary and are determined by the instructor. This may be offered as a team-taught interdisciplinary course in conjunction with another discipline. May be repeated with different topics. (Prerequisite: HIS 210)

Political Science Course Descriptions

POL 112 American Government (3 cr.)

Covers the nature of the American federal system as it is structured under the American Constitution including the national, state, and local governments. It also studies the political processes through which our governmental system functions. 

POL/COM 204 Introduction to Public Relations (3 cr.)

A general overview of public relations as a four-step process. Process application as it relates to case studies in media relations, internal communications, community relations, public affairs, and crisis communications.

POL 210 Political Parties and Elections (3 cr.)

A foundational study of the major political parties of the United States and the electoral process at the local, state, and national levels. Coverage includes caucuses, primaries, conventions, platform building, lobbying, and campaigning, along with an investigation of the positions of current parties. Offered during election years.

POL/SPE 300 Argumentation and Debate (3 cr.)

This course is designed to improve critical thinking and argumentation skills. The student will learn to construct, apply, and rebut arguments through the discipline of academic debate. The student will develop the ability to apply these skills in a variety of communication situations (business, legal, personal). The course also prepares the student to direct and manage or judge a high school debate team.

POL/GEO 320 Modern Global Issues (3 cr.)

A broad study of the current global issues of political, economic, cultural, and environmental significance that face the United States and the world. Special attention will be given to understanding the geographic significance of those issues. (Directed study)

POL 330 Comparative Government (3 cr.)

A comparative study of foreign governmental systems in parallel or contrast to the American form of government with regard to their political and legal institutions and philosophies.

POL/HIS 362 U.S. Foreign Policy (3 cr.)

This course traces the evolution of the U.S. foreign policy and its required government institutions from the Revolution to its present role as a world leader. Politics and diplomacy are combined with a focus on the social and economic issues that inevitably become intertwined.

POL 410 American Law (3 cr.)

An advanced introduction to the American legal system with an in-depth exploration of the U.S. Constitution and the institutions and processes of the local, state, and federal courts. Emphases will be placed on major historical cases as well as major issues and cases facing the courts today. (Directed study) (Prerequisite: POL 112)

POL/HIS 418 Modern American Presidency (3 cr.)

A study of the chief executive of the United States from McKinley to the present, with a special emphasis on the evolution of the office due to the social factors and individuals who shaped it. Course will examine the impact of presidents on government structures through their domestic and foreign policies.

POL/COM 422 Public Relation Skills (3 cr.)

Instruction in the basic skills needed for public relations programming including strategic and organizational planning, special events planning, and persuasive writing. Includes sample analysis, writing projects, and actual events planning. 

POL/HIS 462 FDR: Depression and War (3 cr.)

A survey of the major events in American history during the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Emphasis will be on the Great Depression, the New Deal, and WWII. Course will include an examination of the political, social, military, and economic changes that make this era a turning point in American history.

POL 475 Special Topics (3 cr.)

Topics will vary and are determined by the instructor. All political science special topics will include a component that examines American political structures, theory, or policies.