History & Political Science Department

Academic Programs

Departmental Majors

American Studies

The American Studies major is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the historic origins of American culture.  Students study the American experience across multiple subjects and disciplines in an effort to trace the influence and inter-connection of such elements as faith, enterprise, self-government, and the frontier in the shaping of American history, thought, and culture.  This is designed to create an integrated knowledge and appreciation of ideas, persons, places, and events in America’s cultural formation and history.


The modern historian observes, analyzes, synthesizes, and preserves our understanding of the past.  Part scientist, part detective, part author and poet; historians search for truth using the records of the past — newspapers, diaries, letters, government documents, laws, and images.

Historians labor to preserve and weigh the value of these fragmentary accounts endeavoring to provide a context for their interpretation.  Historians strive to create a narrative of the past intended to connect the hearer with voices long silent. Helping society remember its origins and past is the most critical service the historian provides.  Understanding the past helps leaders and everyday citizens make sound decisions about their careers, lives, society, and government.

Political Science 

Political Science is the academic field devoted to the study of  government institutions and policymaking processes at the local, state, national and international levels.  Political Scientists study the structure and operation of domestic political institutions, voting and other forms of political behavior, and the development and implementation of public policies.  At the international level, political scientists study the relationships between national governments, international organizations, corporations, and other actors.  They work to understand the causes and consequences of conflict within the international system and analyze the functioning of the global economy. 

Public Administration 

Public Administration is the accomplishing side of government.  It is the field devoted to the implementation of public policies and to the evaluation and analysis of outcomes.  It is resource management, program operation, and delivery of governmental goods and services.  Public Administration is what happens when the elections are over and the governing begins.  Public Administration majors complete an interdisciplinary program including courses in Political Science, Business, and other departments as they prepare for a wide range of careers in both the public and private sector. 

Social Science 

Social Science is an interdisciplinary field focused on the study of human society.  Students majoring in Social Science take courses in history, political science, geography, sociology, anthropology, and economics.  Since 1916, most U.S. schools have encouraged the teaching of “social studies” to promote an understanding of contemporary American society and promote citizenship.

A second Social Science major is offered for students who plan to teach history and social sciences at the secondary level. The Social Science with Teacher Licensure degree adds courses in education to the standard social science curriculum.   Students who complete this program are certified to teach grades 7-12 in the state of Arkansas. This licensure easily transfers to most other states.  

See the Catalog for Course Descriptions.

Departmental Minors

History Minor

Political Science Minor

Social Science Minor

Pre-Law Program


A strong liberal arts education, which is considered by law schools to be the best preparation, provides a stable foundation for future law school success. Harding University offers such preparation through its preprofessional program in law which is directed by the Department of History and Political Science.  Because law schools generally do not require specific undergraduate majors, you can major in any undergraduate field you desire. Harding graduates with degrees ranging from business to social sciences have been admitted to law school. However, future benefits can be gained by concentrating studies in such areas as Political Science, Public Administration, History, Accounting, Bible, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Management, or Social Science. Courses for majors in these departments require a higher degree of written work, reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and group discussion, thus preparing students for the nature of law school courses.

Students, upon entry into a law school, must have mastered expression, comprehension and fluidity of the English language, and be thoroughly acquainted with American institutions, values and culture. The Law School Admissions Test, required by most law schools, stresses creative thinking skills and writing ability.

Harding's challenging, Christian liberal arts curriculum, along with the extensive number of undergraduate law classes and other unique opportunities that pre-law students enjoy, entwine to provide a solid background to students desiring careers in law.

Your pre-law advisor will be assigned from the Department of History and Political Science. For further information contact Dr. Steven Breezeel, the departmental pre-law advisor at sbreezeel@harding.edu.