Department of History & Politics
Through the global study of past and present civilizations, the study of history and politics presents students with the collective memory and knowledge of the world. By offering context and perspective, these disciplines teach an appreciation of the past, an understanding of the present, a respect for other cultures and the ability to shape the future. Students will learn to read critically, think logically, write effectively, and conduct research.
As integral parts of a liberal arts education, history and politics provide students with the intellectual background and skills that prepare them for teacher certification; graduate study; law school; and careers in education, business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Departmental Honors: History
Qualified students may apply for departmental honors in their junior year to the department chair. Criteria include intellectual curiosity, academic ability, and commitment. Honors students, if successful, will present their research in a public forum. Qualified students may apply for departmental honors in their junior year to the Department Chair. Criteria include intellectual curiosity, academic ability, and commitment. Honors students, if successful, will present their research in a public forum.
Politics, Law, and History Minor
See description and requirements in the Interdisciplinary Minors section of the catalog.
New Jersey Teaching Credentials
The New Jersey certifications below are available for students earning the B.A. in History:
- Early Childhood Education (P–3) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
- Elementary Education (K–6) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement, & with option for Social Studies Middle School Endorsement
- Teacher of Social Studies (K–12) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
- Teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
For Teacher of Social Studies (K-12) certification, students may be required to complete additional courses in political science, sociology, geography, economics, and anthropology.
For required professional courses in education, please refer to the School of Education section of the catalog.
A survey of political, social, economic, cultural, and diplomatic developments that shaped the United States through Reconstruction. Offered each fall. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
A survey of political, social, economic, cultural, and diplomatic developments that shaped the United States from Reconstruction to the present. Offered each spring. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
This course will examine world history from prehistory to 1500. It will survey the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious developments of major civilizations and explore the links between and among these civilizations. Offered each fall.
This course will examine world history from 1500 to the present. It will survey the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious developments of major civilizations and explore the links between and among these civilizations. Offered each spring.
This course surveys African American history from 1619 to the present. It focuses on African American experiences and contributions to U.S. history and society. It examines slavery and emancipation; slave culture and resistance; Black abolitionists and free Black communities; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. It investigates Jim Crow and responses by Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, William Monroe Trotter, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey. It explores the Harlem Renaissance; the impact of both world wars on African Americans; and Black internationalism. It surveys the civil rights and Black power movements and organizations such as the NAACP, Nation of Islam, CORE, SCLC, SNCC, and Black Panthers. Finally, it considers the debate over reparations and affirmative action, as well as Black Lives Matter and the continuing pursuit for equality.
A study of women in American society from colonial times to the present, with emphasis on movements and individuals who furthered women’s political, economic, social and intellectual emancipation. Applicable to Women’s Studies minor.
A survey of Asia since the mid-19th century with emphasis on imperialism; nationalism; decolonization, emergent nations; and political, social, and cultural developments. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and the International Relations concentration.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300, or permission of the instructor.
This course covers African history from the beginnings of modern humans to the late-20th century. Major themes will include religion, trade, colonialism, resistance, and independence.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300, or permission of the instructor
Designed for history majors and minors, this course introduces majors and minors to the historians’ methods and skills, historiography, and key issues in the history profession. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing are required. To satisfy the HST300 requirement, students must earn a C- or better in HST300 and on the research paper in HST300. Offered each semester.
This course explores the causes, course, consequences, and aftermath of the American Revolution, including the U.S. Constitution and early republic. Social, political, ideological, economic, military, and constitutional themes will be explored. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
This course explores the causes, courses, and consequences of the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, from 1820 to 1877. Social, political, cultural, economic, and military themes will be explored. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
This course examines political, social, cultural, and economic developments in U.S. history from the 1890s to 1945—from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt. Topics include the 1890s, Progressive Era, 1920s Jazz Age, Great Depression, New Deal, reform movements, and homefronts during both world wars. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and to the American Studies minor.
This course will examine social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and foreign policy themes in America since 1945. Topics include the postwar liberal consensus and the rise of the new right, McCarthyism, the Beat Generation, the Sixties, the New Left, the counterculture, presidential administrations, Watergate, the Cold War, Vietnam, and social movements—including the civil rights, antiwar, student, and women’s movements. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and to the American Studies minor.
This course will use biography to explore the theme of social justice, social reform, and social activism in U.S. history. Students will read and discuss biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories and learn about rebels, reformers, and radicals; their ideas, strategies, and activism; and their efforts to establish peace, freedom, justice, and equality in America. This course will place these biographies within the broad social, political and economic justice movements in which they participated. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
This course examines the ideas, methods, and activism of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin L. King Jr. It focuses on the nonviolent liberation movements associated with Gandhi and King and their roles in the Indian civil rights movement in South Africa, India’s independence movement, and the African American civil rights movement. It surveys other nonviolent peace, justice, and resistance movements around the world. Readings include memoirs, biographies, documents, songs, photos, and films. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and to the Politics, Law, and History minor.
This course examines U.S. foreign relations from the Spanish-American War to the present. Topics include American empire and global power, diplomacy and peace, intervention and regime change, the Cold War, the CIA and covert action, and interpretations of U.S. foreign policy. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major; to the International Relations Concentration; to the Politics, Law, and History minor; and to the American Studies minor.
This course examines American involvement in Vietnam and the history of modern Vietnam. Key themes include Vietnamese history, culture, and nationalism; the causes and consequences of the Vietnam War; the antiwar movement; Vietnam veterans; and Vietnam War literature, film, music, and art. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major; to the International Relations concentration; to the Politics, Law, and History minor; and to the American Studies minor.
This course explores the United States and the 9/11 era from political, military, social, cultural, constitutional, and ethical perspectives. It will survey key themes in the contemporary Middle East and the U.S role in the region’s modern history. Topics include the 9/11 attack, America’s 9/11 wars (in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and the War on Terror), the occupation of Iraq, surveillance, torture, Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo, drone warfare, antiwar dissent, the impact on American Muslims, and literature and film. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and International Relations concentration; and to the Politics, Law, and History minor.
This course examines the Mediterranean basin as an arena of intercultural exchange among the Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim worlds. It also explores the economic, religious, and political boundaries that defined the Mediterranean and its interaction with those of different faiths and cultures. Topics will include the Crusades, the culture of Islamic Spain, the Holy Land as shared and contested space, Jews in the Mediterranean, and Ottoman expansion in the Mediterranean.
This course follows the rise of the Atlantic world from 1400-1850. Central themes include culture, labor and production, trade and exchange, and empire.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300 or permisson of the instructor.
Using a comparative approach, this course examines the imperial experience in world history. Case studies, among others, include the Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire, Mongol Empire, Ming Empire, and British Empire. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and International Relations concentration.
This course surveys the histories of Latin American peoples from early Iberian colonialism to roughly 1830. Central themes include labor and production, gender, trade and exchange, religion, and politics.
This course surveys the histories of people of Latin America from the Independence Wars to the present. Central themes include labor, law, gender, race, nationalism, and political change. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and International Relations concentration.
This course surveys the histories of people of Mexico from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Central themes include labor, law, gender, race, nationalism, religion, and art.
This course explores major political, social, cultural, and economic developments in the Middle East since World War I. It examines Islam; the Sunni-Shiite split; European colonialism and imperial legacies; and Arab nationalism and nation-states. It considers traditionalism and modernization; women and gender; and the impact of oil on society and politics. It surveys Ataturk and secularism in Turkey; Nasser and the radicalization of Arab politics; the Algerian War of Independence; and the Baath Party in Syria and Iraq. It considers the Arab-Israeli conflict; the Islamic Revolution in Iran; and 9/11 and its consequences. Attention will be paid to the links between the history of the Middle East and current events. Pre/
Corequisite(s): HST300 or permission of the instructor.
A study of the political, religious, and cultural developments and changes that emerged in Europe from 1350 to 1650.
This course examines major themes and transformations in European politics, society, and culture from the French Revolution to World War I. Topics include the French Revolution, Napoleonic Europe, industrialization, nationalism, romanticism, democratization, secularization, imperialism, social thought, and modernism.
This course examines political, social, cultural, and economic developments in Europe since 1914. Topics include the First World War; political ideologies; the Russian Revolution and Soviet Russia; fascist Italy and Nazi Germany; the Second World War and holocaust; Cold War divisions and dissidents; politics and society; the Sixties; and the 1989 revolutions and collapse of communism, populism, and ethnic and religious minorities. Course credit may be applied to the Political Science major and International Relations concentration and the Politics, Law, and History minor.
An advanced course designed to examine a particular period or topic. The course may be repeated when different topics are offered. Course may be offered for 1-3 credits. Pre/
Corequisite(s): HST300 or permission of the instructor.
Coursework earned in conjunction with international travel, normally as part of a GCU-sponsored international study trip. Students will complete substantial academic assignments as determined by the instructor. Course fees do not include trip costs. Offered on application and with approval of department.
Offered to history majors who wish to enhance their academic training in private or public institutions. A substantial project is required. Offered on application.
Prerequisite(s): Junior or senior status and approval of the department.
Students will work under the supervision of a faculty member to develop and complete an independent, written research project. Offered on application. The course may be repeated once with a different research topic.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of two 300-level history electives and permission of instructor and department chair.
Students in HST475 will research and write a substantial research paper that serves as the capstone course and exit exam from the department. To satisfy the HST475 requirement for the History major, students must earn a minimum of a C- (70%) on the research paper AND earn a minimum of a C- (70%) in the course. Offered each spring semester.
Prerequisite(s): HST300, and junior or senior status.
Political Science (PO)
Political Science courses provide students with the tools needed for a life of social activism and the pursuit of social justice and social welfare, within the framework of a comprehensive education in politics. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship or similar practical political activity.
An introductory course in statistical methods of data analysis relevant to the social sciences, intended to develop students as informed and critical consumers of social science research with an emphasis on application to criminological and sociological issues. MA103 prepares students for this course, and students are strongly advised to take MA103 to fulfill their Bridge General Education requirement for quantitative analysis. This course is cross-listed with SO201.
Course materials present politics as a value allocation process constrained by the institutions and processes of American government. Major topics include the institutions of the federal government, civil liberties and civil rights, and elections. Particular focus is directed toward specific issues and problems at the discretion of the instructor and as the electoral and political cycles warrant. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor and the Politics, Law, and History minor.
This course examines politics at the state and local level, with a focus on New Jersey. The course covers general problems of federalism and specific issues drawn from a variety of topics including, but not limited to, law enforcement, taxation, local development/land use, and local election campaigns. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor and the Politics, Law, and History minor.
This course surveys political thought from the Renaissance to the present. Students will read and discuss major political thinkers and evolving articulations of liberalism, conservatism, utilitarianism, republicanism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, and other political ideas. Feminist, religious, and environmentalist contributions to contemporary political debate will be explored.
This course surveys major theories, concepts, issues, and events in international relations. Topics include international relations theories; international organizations; international law; global war, peace, and security; terrorism and counterterrorism; international political economy; human rights; migration, global health; the environment; and past and current issues and challenges in world politics. Students will explore case studies and current issues and conflicts in the global arena.
This course prepares students to conduct their own research on various aspects of political systems, institutions or processes. Includes literature review, research design, research questions and hypotheses, quantitative and qualitative methods, data collection, drawing conclusions, and presentation of results in a research paper and orally. To satisfy the PO275 requirement for the political science major, students must earn a minimum of a C- (70%) on the research paper and earn a minimum of a C- (70%) in the course.
This course examines the organization, decision-making, and operation of the U.S. Congress and its relationship with the executive and judicial branches. It examines the leadership structure, committee system, legislative process, rules and procedures, and investigative powers of the House and Senate.
This course examines the powers, responsibilities, and operation of the presidency and executive branch in both domestic and international affairs. It explores the executive’s relationship with the legislative and judicial branches, the bureaucracy, public opinion, and political parties. It also considers how the presidency has evolved and increased its power over time.
This course considers the role of the U.S. Constitution within the U.S. legal system, with a particular emphasis on its relationship to criminal justice. We cover history, legal skills, and principles that govern constitutional law and then focus on Equal Protection under the U.S. Constitution. The course explores interpretation and evaluation of the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments. In regard to each of these, we seek a firm understanding of constitutional law and relevant theory in addition to comprehension of the social context of the law. Topical issues and contemporary debates will be covered throughout the semester with a focus on knowledge, application, and evaluation of the law.
This course explores U.S. political parties and presidential and congressional elections. It examines the evolution of major political parties, significant third-party movements, the nomination and election process, campaigns, interest groups, public opinion, and party machinery and activities.
This course examines state and local government and politics in New Jersey. Topics include the New Jersey Constitution; state government (governor, legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy); local government; independent authorities; lobbying and special interests; voters, elections, and parties; taxation and spending; elections; and New Jersey’s role in the federal system.
This course offers a comparative study of global politics within select nations and regions of the world. It examines political institutions and systems; political ideologies, policies, models, and developments; and political, economic, and social issues and challenges.
This course will analyze the concepts of political criminality and terrorism. It will cover both the international and domestic activities of those who use terror as a political weapon. Included will be an examination of radical terrorist groups from both left and right. State-sponsored terrorism, death squads, citizen subjugation and genocide will also be explored. Homegrown activities within our society are included with a goal toward developing strategies for prevention and control.
This course will offer an in-depth exploration and analysis of a topic in political science. The course may be repeated when different topics are offered.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.
tudents will complete this internship in a policy-making, legislative, campaign, constituency, or interest group setting. In addition to performing tasks assigned by their onsite supervisor, students will keep a daily journal, write a reflection paper, and complete a research project related to the internship. May be taken for 1-12 credits at a time and may be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credits, with a maximum of 3 credits of Internship applied toward the required 36 credits in political science. For 1 credit, complete 40 hours onsite.
Prerequisite(s): Junior or senior standing, 12 credits of political science, and permission of the instructor.
This seminar is the capstone course for political science majors. Students will design, research, and write a major research paper and give an oral presentation based on this paper. To satisfy the PO475 requirement for the political science major, students must earn a minimum of a C- (70%) on the research paper and earn a minimum of a C- (70%) in the course.
Prerequisite(s): PO275 with a C- or higher.
Scott H. Bennett, Professor of History; Chair, Department of History and Politics
Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
M.A., College of New Jersey
M.A., Florida State University
B.A., University of Central Florida