The Department of History and Political Studies is designed to help all students develop an understanding of the complex factors that have produced the civilizations of the present and also aid students in becoming responsible Christian citizens. Especially because of our emphasis on systematic research and analysis, the History and Political Studies majors receive instruction in preparing for careers in education, business, government service, public relations, or library work, as well as graduate study in law, theology, history, or political science.
The department acknowledges that, in human affairs of the past, present and future, God is sovereign. With that foundational truth, students are aided in developing Christian philosophies of history and politics as parts of an overarching biblically-based world view.
The department offers two Bachelor of Arts degrees with five different areas of emphasis. Every course should help students integrate Christian faith and the academic fields.
Students desiring a major in Political Studies may choose from three available emphases: American Politics, Constitutional Law, or Political Theory. Although a capable person can get into law school with almost any major, the Constitutional Law emphasis constitutes excellent preparation for law school.
Students desiring a major in History may choose Church History or General History. Anyone seeking a History major and planning to attend seminary should choose the Church History emphasis. Anyone wanting to teach history should read the following paragraphs carefully.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires prospective teachers of history and social studies to prove their social science subject matter competence in one of two ways: (1) students take rigidly prescribed courses in a state-approved curriculum, or (2) students pass assessment examinations. Students currently desiring to obtain the credential to teach in junior and senior high schools should plan on taking the Social Studies assessment tests from the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) series. Information about these tests is available in the Department of Teacher Education and in the Department of History and Political Studies.
The senior capstone course for history majors is designed to prepare students for these state assessment tests. The next page shows a list of required courses for the General History major which provides foundational knowledge for teaching history. Students graduating with a B.A. in History must take an additional comprehensive discipline-specific assessment test during their senior year.
The Dept. of Teacher Education has arranged course requirements so that students can complete most of their teacher credential program during a fifth year of study--one semester of courses and a semester of student teaching. The only two courses that can be taken during the regular four-year program are ED300 Computer Basics for Educators and ED400 Foundations of Education.
The Department of History and Political Studies will grant credit-by-examination on the following conditions only: course credit and semester unit credit are granted for H211 and H212 - World History I and II (3,3), H241 or H242 - United States History (3), and POL220 - United States Government (3) when the student submits proof of earned test scores of 3 or above on the Advance Placement Examination or 50 or above on the College Level Examination Program test.
Students who have not taken either World History I or World History II may take a competency test which, if passed, will exempt them from the two-semester World History survey sequence. These students will then be required to take only one upper division history course to fulfill the General Education World History requirement. Students in state-approved teacher credentialing programs, however, must take the regular World History sequence. The test may only be taken once.