Social Science

Our primary objective is to help students cultivate an understanding of their place within the breadth of human experience

As students learn to interpret historical themes and events, they develop a keen appreciation of the trends of the past and a greater insight into the vital issues of the 21st century. Small class sizes and a collaborative learning approach engender engaged and opinion-filled classroom discussions.

History courses are designed to provide students with extensive knowledge of the subject matter and the analytical tools needed to make sense of that knowledge. We encourage students’ understanding of the past by addressing where and when history unfolded and by examining the all-important “why” questions in historical evolution.

"OUr focus is on developing skill sets: reading primary sources for historical content, reading secondary sources for historical interpretation, working collaboratively and presenting findings in a professional manner. We have an intense focus on research methodology so students can learn to write good academic papers and EXCEL IN THEIR projects. Our GOAL is TO OFFER courses thAt show students different perspectives on the world, and that they'll be intrigued by those courses and learn more about their place within that world."

- Dr. Lisabeth Robinson, Social Science Department Chair

Spotlight Course

exploring global foundations

This course provides freshmen an introduction to topics relating to the origins and developments of today’s global societies. While reviewing great civilizations through various lenses, students will build essential seminar skills of reading critically, asking insightful questions, presenting and speaking gracefully, and writing effectively. Our approach will encourage students to understand seminal texts—religious, philosophical, political, and literary—as an expression of universal human aspirations and cultural development. The seminar format will encourage students to find their voices and express their views on the questions the course will pursue. Students will work collaboratively to understand the foundations of the past that shape our world today, as well as the responsibilities of global citizenship.

The Path

Freshmen
Students take a seminar course, Exploring Global Foundations, which focuses on world religious traditions and the ancient cultures of Greece and China.

Sophomores
Students take an intermediate seminar, Building the Modern World, where they study the emergence of modern political and economic systems and where they undertake an individual major research project that culminates in a paper.

Juniors
Juniors take US History. A College Level (CL) option is available for those recommended by their previous teacher. Juniors who enroll in CL US History take part in National History Day, producing a project that explores the theme offered by that organization.

Electives
Introduction to Arabic and Arab Cultures, Middle East Studies, Art History: Raphael to Renoir, Art History: Paint, Build, Shoot!, CL Art History, CL Economics International Relations, CL US Government & Politics, Space Race-Fighting Cold War on New Frontier, CL Comparative Politics, Vietnam: Humbling a Superpower, The American Presidency, CL Philosophy, Global Health, Native American Heritage & Culture, History of Hudson and WRA, Reading the City, Modern East Asian History

Around Campus:
Extracurriculars such as Model UN and Mock Trial are organized by the History Department.

Graduation Requirements

3 full credits in social science including US History and Government
View our complete course offerings list and read descriptions of each history class beginning on page 34 of the Academic Course Descriptions 2021-22.


Meet the Faculty