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International Relations

Dr. David FoleyThe department of history and political science offers a major and a minor in history. Among the department’s objectives are the understanding of historiography; an appreciation of the roles of race, class and gender in transforming politics and culture; and the development of personal skills in research, writing, analysis and criticism.

Department Highlights

  • History
  • International Relations
  • Political Science

Your Program

History and Political Science 4-Year Plan
Salem College offers a major and a minor in history, a major in international relations major and a major and minor in political science.

The History Major and Minor

Whether you major or minor, your program will focus on American history and the history of Western Civilization, and also select from a wide variety of elective courses dealing with the histories of: Europe, East Asia and Africa; American and European women; American Indians and African Americans; colonialism, race and empire; and particular events that have shaped social, political and economic systems. As a major and/or minor the program invites you to explore historical narratives through the lens of race, class, gender, ethnicity and place. Majors study the theory and empirical methods of the history discipline and master the techniques of historical research and writing. The history degree emphasizes critical thinking, equipping students with knowledge and skills that prepare them for field work or graduate study.

The International Relations major

This interdisciplinary major equips you for national and transnational careers in government, law, public policy, business and more. Objectives include the promotion of historical understanding; the ability to identify the political needs and social problems confronting modern society; and the development of personal skills in research, writing and criticism. By integrating the curriculum of a collective of departments, you will be exposed to a range of subjects and academic discipline perspectives.

The Political Science Major and Minor

The material offered in political science is intended to acquaint you with the many principles, institutions and problems that have historically shaped society and the state. Courses are offered in the fields of comparative politics, international politics and American politics, and the focus is on policy-making processes both in America and abroad. The curriculum will prepare you for a range of opportunities in advanced study or a professional career.

Your Experience  

As a major and/or minor in history, you will undertake a rigorous analysis and criticism of historic documents and scholarship. You will have opportunities to learn outside the classroom, through original research projects, January Term travel courses and participation in the activities carried out and sponsored both by the department as well as Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society, debates, lectures and discussions. You may also choose to participate in our Model United Nations program held in New York during the spring of each year. In addition, you and other students will have opportunities to present original research at national undergraduate student conferences.

Your Faculty 

Our faculty members are both teachers and scholars who conduct their own research and publish and present in scholarly journals and academic conferences. They will encourage you  to challenge yourself academically and personally. Small class sizes and a faculty dedicated to teaching create strong student-teacher relationships in the Department of History and Political Science.  Our faculty act as mentors who use both their professional expertise and experience to guide their students through the program while also preparing them for their professional lives afterwards. 

Your Results

As a history major or minor, you will graduate with exemplary skills in research, critical thinking and communication, while being versed in your discipline(s). Degrees in history, international relations and political science will prepare you for law school and other graduate programs.

International Relations Major (B.A.)

At least five of the 12 courses required for the major, including Political Science 310, must be completed at Salem College.

International relations majors are encouraged to participate in one of the off-campus experiences offered by Salem related to this field. These include approved overseas programs; the Washington and U.N. semester programs; and foreign-policy internships.