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History-Political Science

Advisers — Professors BLASENHEIM, GRACE, B. LEE, MURPHY

This major gives a student the opportunity to apply the perspectives of history and political science to an area of the world of his or her choosing.

Entry Into The Major:

To enter this major, students must take either History 104 or 105, or Political Science 103.

Regional Concentration:

Each student must then take four units in each of the departments. A concentration in United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, or Africa/Middle East satisfies the requirement. Students are strongly advised to consult the advisors for the major in each department in choosing courses relevant to each region in order to make sure that they fulfill all requirements. In political science: all four units must be taken within the chosen region of concentration. In history: a minimum of three units of the four required units must be taken within the chosen region of concentration. A student who wishes to do so may propose, subject to the approval of the advisors and the chairs of each department, a coherent program for the study of another world region other than those listed here.

Language Requirement:

Regional concentrations outside the United States must include the second-year or the equivalent in a foreign language appropriate to the area.

Capstone Requirement:

In addition, each student must complete the Colloquium in History/Political Science (330) and one unit of advanced research (History 420, or a tutorial in political science in the subfield area in which most political science courses were taken for the major).


Any history–political science major may apply to write a thesis instead of taking the unit of advanced research, subject to the approval of both departments. A student must submit a proposal outlining the subject and identifying general sources by the beginning of Block 8 of the junior year, or, if a student is off campus in the junior year, the proposal may be submitted at the beginning of Block 1 of the senior year. The thesis should be interdisciplinary in nature and include the use of primary materials. The proposal should be submitted to both departments.

The majors’ advisors may approve credit toward the major for other special or advanced courses when appropriate to a student’s concentration. “Topics” courses in both history and political science are examples. Approval should be sought prior to taking the course.