History, Politics and Global Affairs | Course Catalogue

2019-2020 Catalogue

The Politics and Global Affairs major prepares students to engage with systems of power both locally and globally in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. The major is a carefully structured course of study rooted in deep disciplinary knowledge in the fields of politics and history, rigorous methods, and an interdisciplinary approach to important questions of policy, practice, and public service. It is designed to meet a wide range of academic interests and professional goals. It combines academic inquiry with practical hands-on learning experiences to give students opportunity to develop leadership and advocacy skills and explore career options. With this major, students will graduate prepared to meet the demands of global citizenship and with the necessary tools for understanding and applying their values to a rapidly changing world. Students who major in this area acquire knowledge and skills that are applicable in a broad range of professional settings, with many pursuing careers in law, government, public policy, international organizations, non-profit organizations, international development, social work, journalism, business, and teaching. The specific content and methods of the major will prepare students for graduate study in law, politics, public policy, international affairs, political thought, and history.

Student Learning Objectives

  1. The student shall demonstrate knowledge of historical, cultural, social and geopolitical factors that shape human diversity.
  2. The student shall demonstrate awareness of the complexity and interconnectedness of local and international systems, processes, and institutions.
  3. The student shall analyze global issues and challenges from multi-disciplinary perspectives.
  4. The student shall apply knowledge, skills, and ethical reasoning to engage actively with diverse communities and real-world challenges locally and globally.
  5. The student shall acquire the methodological and communication skills commensurate with interdisciplinary scholarly research.
  6. The student shall demonstrate preparedness to enter graduate programs and/or to pursue careers in these areas of study and related fields.

Requirements for the Major: The major consists of between 48 and 60 hours of coursework, depending on the number of courses a student must take to complete the Cultural Competency requirement.

A. Foundation  (18 hours)

POL 115 American Politics 3 hours

POL 222 Comparative Politics 3 hours

POL 230 International Relations 3 hours

HIS 125 The Emergence of the Modern World 3 hours

HIS 135 US History Since 1877 3 hours

POL 332 Research Methods 3 hours

B. Professional Development and Integrative Experience (6 hours)

POL 207 Sophomore Professional Development Practicum 1 hour

POL 307 Junior Professional Development Practicum 1 hour

POL 407 Senior Professional Development Practicum 1 hour

POL 480 Senior Seminar 3 hours

C. Cultural Competency (0-12 hours; completion of the 212 level in one language or the 102 level in one language and two of the following)

TRA XXX Study Abroad

COM 216 Intercultural Communications 3 hours

ENG 205 Perspectives on World Literature 3 hours

FRN 300 Seminar in Francophone Studies 3 hours

HIS 267 Women in World History 3 hours

REL 225 Exploring the World Religions 3 hours

D. Concentrations (24 hours; 2 courses from each of first 3 categories and 2 courses from category 4 or 5)

1. Historical Perspectives

HIS 257 African-American History 3 hours

HIS 305 Empires and Diaspora 3 hours

HIS 342 Modern Europe 3 hours

HIS/POL 347 Modern Middle East 3 hours

HIS 348 Modern East Asia 3 hours

2. Leadership and Advocacy

POL 225 Gender and Politics 3 hours

POL 223 Ethics 3 hours

POL 240 Modern Political Ideologies 3 hours

POL 356 Activism and Political Organization 3 hours

POL 245 Model United Nations 1 hour (repeatable up to 3 hours)

3. Systems of Law and Governance

POL 300 Foundations of Political Thought 3 hours

POL 319 International Law 3 hours

POL 320 American Constitutional Development 3 hours

POL 330 State and Local Government 3 hours

POL 305 Democracy and Democratization in the Contemporary World 3 hours

4. Conflict Resolution and Strategy

POL 328 United States Foreign Policy 3 hours

HIS 342 20th C. American Wars 3 hours

POL 351 Nuclear Weapons and International Security 3 hours

POL 342 International Organizations 3 hours


5. Human Security

HIS 323 Genocide 3 hours

POL 335 the Developing World 3 hours

POL 348 Terror and Terrorism 3 hours

POL 306 Environmental Politics and Policy 3 hours

Students are strongly encouraged to add a minor or a second major. Suggestions include:

Political Science



Asian Studies




Religious Studies


Women’s Studies

Professional Development: Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and PDE 401 Professional Practice Seminar.

For Politics and Global Affairs majors, these opportunities occur within POL 207, 307, and 407, the Professional Development Practicum. Majors will enroll in these one-hour seminars the fall semester of their sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Integrative Experience: Each student will complete the HIS/POL 480 Senior Research Seminar. In this capstone course, majors will undertake a significant research-based project in which they make connections among the various parts of their course of study and employ sound methodology.

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