Humboldt State University

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Department Name

American Institutions

American Institutions Courses [pdf]

Complete one history course and one government course from the list below. Though the American Institutions requirement is separate from General Education, one of the courses listed below can count in lower division GE Area D:

HIST 110, 111, PSCI 110, PSCI 210, PSCI 359, PSCI 410, ECON 323, NAS 200: any one of these courses can double-count for lower division GE area D, unless a transfer course (including high school Advanced Placement) has been applied.

The state legislature has mandated this degree component, also referred to as the constitution requirement or US history and government or simply institutions. This is not a GE requirement, but it is required for graduation.

Instruction in US history should bring about an understanding of:

  • significant events covering a time span of at least 100 years of US history, including the relationships of US regions and relationships with foreign nations;
  • the roles of major ethnic and social groups in such events, and the contexts in which those events have occurred; and
  • how these events illustrate both the continuity of "the American experience" and its derivation from other cultures (including consideration of politics, economics, social movements, and geography).

Instruction in US and California constitution and government covers:

  • political philosophies of the framers of the US constitution, and the nature and operation of political institutions and processes under that constitution, as amended and interpreted;
  • rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established by the constitution;
  • California‚Äôs constitution within the frame-work of evolving federal/state relations, and the nature and processes of state and local government under that constitution;
  • the contemporary relationship of state and local governments with federal government; resolution of conflict and establishment of cooperative processes under the constitutions of both state and nation; political processes involved.

Requirements ( There are three options):

  • complete one history course and one constitution/government course from the list below:
    • United States History
      • HIST 110 US History to 1877
      • HIST 111 US History from 1877
      • ECON 323 Economic History of the US
      • NAS 200 Indigenous Peoples in US History
    • United States Constitution & California State & Local Government
      • PSCI 110 American Government
      • PSCI 210 United States Politics
      • PSCI 359 California Government
      • PSCI 410 American Constitutional Law
  • pass the qualifying exams in US history, American constitutional government, and California state and local government; or
  • complete a combination of courses and exams.

To satisfy the requirement by examination, students must pass in three areas:

  • 1. US history
  • 2. US government and constitution
  • 3. California state and local government

These three exams may be taken separately. The California state and local exam is provided separately so that students may challenge this portion separately when their previous course work does not specifically address this requirement (e.g. out of state course work). The department offering the exam sets limits on repeating the exam(s). To exercise this option, contact the history department for that exam and/or for study materials and exam dates. For Political Science exams, contact the Testing Center in the Library Basement, Room 24, (707) 826-5946. These are competency exams and do not result in credit or grades.

Advising Center
SBS 295 • 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA 95521 • 707.826.5224 • Contact Us.