May 12, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History and Political Studies

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Chair: Lisa Clark Diller

Faculty: Kevin Burton, Lisa Clark Diller, Shannon Martin, Mark Peach, Michael Weismeyer

Program Coordinator (History): Lisa Clark Diller

Program Coordinator (INDV): Shannon Martin


The disciplines of history, political science, and international development focus on the human experience in the past and present. We investigate humankind’s ideas, institutions, and activities. At Southern Adventist University, we do this with the understanding that humans, while flawed because of sin, are created in God’s image and are,therefore, worthy of remembering and studying. This perspective recognizes both the potential and the limitation of human endeavor. We work to comprehend the past and present with hope for the future. We seek to equip our students with cultural and political understanding as well as practical skills so they can enter the global arena and work with compassion for a world in need.

Planning Your Major

History majors have a large amount of flexibility within their course of study. All majors should work closely with their academic adviser to plan for maximizing their educational time through judicious choices of classes, second majors and/or minors. Academic advisers are also a good source of wisdom in regard to thinking about employment after graduation and/or the pursuit of graduate school degrees.

Description of Political Studies

The mission of the International Development Studies program (formerly Global Policy and Service) is to provide students with a greater understanding of the politics of the global arena and to enable students to develop practical skills to serve intelligently and with cultural sensitivity, fostering the compassion of Jesus in a world of desperate need.

Pre-med, Pre-dent, Pre-law Preparation

Our majors are outstanding preparation for professional schools, and many of our alumni go on to medical, dental, and law school. We work with students to make sure they have the courses needed for the MCAT, DA and LSAT.


Departmental Policies

  1. A maximum of three hours for the majors or minors may be earned through AP or CLEP.
  2. Nine hours are taken in residence.
  3. Each fall all seniors graduating that school year must take an oral departmental exam within the first three weeks of the semester. It is graded on an A,B,C,F basis. Honors is granted to students who achieve over a 95 on the rubric.
  4. All students must attend one professional conference before graduation.
  5. All majors must have language competency through the intermediate level. This will often entail four semesters of language training; however, students who come in with some language experience or coursework may be able to test into a higher level and take fewer classes. We highly recommend studying abroad for the intermediate level, either for a summer, a semester, or an entire year. American Sign Language does not fulfill the language requirements.

All Majors

Assessment of seniors consists of two parts. First, in late fall semester of their senior year students (history majors only) will take a national standardized major field exam in history. Second, at the beginning of the fall semester seniors will take a departmental exam. Preparation for this exam will constitute: 1) reading a selected few classics of historical literature; 2) reviewing one’s major area course work utilizing several thematic questions provided by their major faculty; 3) creating a comprehensive c.v. detailing the student’s undergraduate experience. The subsequent examination will be in the form of a one-hour interview of the candidate by the history faculty. The oral examination is graded on an A, B, C, F basis. Honors is granted to students scoring better than ninety-five. A failure requires further preparation by the student and another interview before graduation.

Upper-division major area classes seek to improve skills of writing and speech. All such classes require analytical writing as part of the course work. Additionally, many classes involve discussion and oral class reports as partial basis for the student’s grade, most notably Research Methods, which requires all majors to give an extended formal presentation of student research.

History and Political Studies as a preprofessional degree: A student majoring in history, political science, or international development studies who plans to enter a professional school in an area such as medicine or law must present a balanced program of general education classes and electives that will support the professional objectives.

History and Political Studies Department tours: The Department regularly sponsors study tours. The purpose of these tours is to provide students and other participants with an enhanced understanding of history, politics, and culture through a combination of traditional lecture and reading with direct observation of cultural sites. Academic activities connected with the tours require students to spend an amount of time equal to that expected in a regular classroom setting. Preparatory meetings and assigned reading are included in this computation. Course credit is offered under HIST 294 /HIST 494  for International Tours and HIST 296 /HIST 496  for U.S. Tours. Cost of the tours includes charge for academic credit. Up to six hours of departmental tour credit may count toward the history major or minor.

As general education: Freshman and sophomore students earning general education credit in history and political studies normally take courses from the 100 and 200 level. Junior and senior students meeting General Education requirements in history should select courses from the 300 and 400 level.

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