The History and Political Science Major allows students to explore the human experiences and the political movements that have created our world. An interdisciplinary, combined degree in History and Political Science sets students up for success by providing them with training in both the humanities and the social sciences. Working with their faculty advisor, majors get to customize their path to the degree, depending on their interests and career aspirations. Whatever classes they choose, they will graduate ready to be critical thinkers, thorough researchers, excellent communicators, and problem solvers. HPS majors often go into fields like law, politics, business, education, government, nonprofit work, or consulting, but there are no limits to what you can do with this versatile and adaptable major!“I sometimes like to think of the HPS program as a boot camp for critical thinking; the range of coursework in both political thought and historical backgrounds prepares a graduate of HPS to be intellectually nimble, a strong writer, and a critical thinker — skills that translate well no matter the industry.”
Jared Agtunong, 2017PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
The Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for History and Political Science grants undergraduate students the opportunity to earn both their Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science and a Social Science Teaching Credential in four years of coursework. This program blends subject matter preparation and teaching preparation by offering coursework in both areas concurrently and in a connected manner during their undergraduate years. The History and Political Science ITEP is specifically designed for undergraduates who have already decided that they want to be middle or high school teachers (no later than spring semester of their second year). This program follows standards established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. An application process is required; see the HPS Department for more information.
The Pre-Law Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to provide students a theoretical and practical introduction to the study of law and society. The minor includes course work in law, political science, sociology, business, history, and communication. The minor requires a total of 21 units. Courses should cover a minimum of three disciplines. A maximum of nine units may be used from the units used to complete the requirements of a major. This minor is specifically designed for students who have an interest in law school.
The History and Political Science Minor consists of 21 units in history or political science courses. Students may freely choose from among our many course offerings to meet the minor requirements. Students may count the classes they took for the Core Curriculum (HIST 156c or POLS 155c and HIST 203c or HIST 204c) toward the minor, meaning only five additional classes will complete the minor. This minor is an excellent way to stand out to future employers by demonstrating that the student achieved a well-rounded and interdisciplinary education.
Majors are encouraged to study abroad, and HPS majors with an interest in law or politics may choose to participate in a semester in Washington, D.C., though the American Studies Program. This program allows students to take classes in public policy or strategic communications while completing an internship experience on Capitol Hill. The classes and internship experience transfer over to the major requirements seamlessly, making it an exciting and practical way to complete the major requirements.
“The American Studies Program was an incredible experience that allowed me to put my book knowledge into practice. As a history/political science major, it was exciting to live in a place where some of my heroes once walked, worked, and transformed American history. Additionally, I was able to intern for a Representative in Congress, which gave me a front seat to how the legislature process functions. The classes offered, challenged me to not only be a better thinker and synthesizer of policy, but pushed me to be a better citizen and neighbor. Overall, the American Studies Program semester was a milestone in my academic career, which ultimately led me to return to D.C. for law school.”
Jillian Pascua, 2018ASP WEBSITE
A distinctive of the HPS major, each student gets academic advising from a resident faculty member, ensuring personalized attention, career development, and close student-faculty mentorships.
HPS Majors with qualifying GPAs can join two honors societies: Phi Alpha Theta (History) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science). This allows our majors to stand out to future graduate schools and future employers.
Our majors gain useful career preparation and earn college credits through internships at law firms, government agencies, historical societies, and more.
The department’s research journal allows students to publish their work as well as gain experience in editing and publication. This experience is a great way to build your resume or CV while still in college!
A political awareness club run by HPS majors and open to all VU students, the VU Forum hosts debate nights, political discussions, voter registration drives, and trivia competitions to encourage fuller and more meaningful political dialogues.
We believe that history and political science are disciplines that require hands-on learning. Whether through in-class debates, field trips, historical simulation games, or relevant field work, the HPS major is full of fun and fulfilling active learning experiences.
HPS Alums have the following job titles:
- Grant Writer
- President (Law Firm)
- Campus Pastor
- Civil Litigation Attorney
- Language Arts Teacher
- Refugee Resettlement Coordinator
- Director of Marketing
- Grants Manager
- Youth Pastor
- Director of Operations (Nonprofit)
- Human Resources Payroll Manager
- Product Advisor (Home Design)
- Social Studies Teacher
- Student Services Advisor (Higher Education)
- Member Advocate (Financial Services)
- Operations Partner (Consulting Firm)
- Program Manager (Nonprofit)
- Family Coordinator (Nonprofit)
- Educational Coordinator
- Campaign Manager
- Field Organizer
- Human Resources Assistant
- Policy Analyst
- Sports Information and Events Management Coordinator
HPS Alums have continued their studies at the following schools:
- University of Virginia
- Yale University Divinity School
- Fuller Theological Seminary
- Princeton Theological Seminary
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Baylor University
- American Military University
- University of California, Irvine
- Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
- Pepperdine University
- George Mason University
- California State University, Long Beach
- California State University, Fullerton
- University of Southern California
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- George Washington University
- Syracuse University
- Stockholm University
- The Citadel
- University of Edinburgh
HPS Alums work at the following places:
- County of Maui
- World Relief Seattle
- Santa Ana School District
- This Week in Health IT
- Areo Inc.
- Hillsong Channel
- Irvine Police Department
- Westcliff University
- Happy Money Financial Services
- Bonney Lake High School
- World Vision
- AbstractOps Consulting
- Elk Grove Unified School District
- Philadelphia Insurance Companies
- Visalia Unified School District
- LifeWorks Community Action
- Pivot Charter School
- Rice, Hadley, Gates, & Manuel LLC
- Passion Law
- Global Center for Women & Justice
- Trellis International