2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jan 31, 2023  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Division of Social Sciences and Humanities

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Global Studies, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, and Philosophy

Chair: Paulette L. Pepin, Ph.D.

Courses in global studies, history, modern languages, political science, and philosophy offer students an understanding of the social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the contemporary world. Increasingly, citizens of a global society need to gain expertise in the rich array of courses offered in this division, from an understanding of international relations and the analysis of historical events, to the discussion of the role of women and religion in modern society.

The Division offers the B.A. degree in global studies, in history, and in political science, and minors in global studies, history, political science, philosophy, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish-Latin American area studies. Modern languages include elementary and intermediate-level courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Faculty members also have organized intersession and summer study abroad programs in China, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan, Oman, and Russia. This Division also contributes many of the courses to the major in global studies, reflecting the University’s commitment to develop interdisciplinary ties within the social sciences.

Global Studies

Coordinator: Brett McCormick, Ph.D., Cornell University

The B.A. in global studies is an innovative interdisciplinary major designed to serve students who seek to understand global issues that increasingly affect all aspects of our lives. These issues include international terrorism and crime networks, global stresses on the environment, transnational economic issues, and the effectiveness of diplomacy in responding to global crises and opportunities. The program permits students to integrate courses from across the University with real-life learning experiences (internships and study abroad) in order to achieve global competency. Students in this major will be prepared to enter career opportunities in government, nongovernmental organizations, or multinational companies.

Study Abroad

All Global Studies majors are strongly encouraged to complete at least one study abroad experience.


Coordinator: Edmund N. Todd, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor: Paulette L. Pepin, Ph.D., Fordham University

Assistant Professor: Brett McCormick, Ph.D., Cornell University

Lecturers: Bradley Woodworth, Ph.D., Indiana University; Matthew Wranovix, Ph.D., Yale University

History provides a framework for a liberal education. The study of human experience — failures as well as achievements — is the core of historical study. It gives insight into related disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and broadens the perspective of students in the professional fields of business and engineering by revealing the complexity and interrelatedness of human experience.

History is also excellent preparation for a variety of careers in business, government, law, journalism, foreign service, and many other areas. Because of the great variety of professional programs at the University of New Haven, the student interested in history can combine this interest with highly technical professional training.

The Department strives to meet its objectives by teaching not only content but critical and writing skills through reading, class presentations and discussion, research, and writing. Historical methodology is stressed in all advanced courses, and students take the history seminar in their senior year to sharpen their critical and analytic skills.

Phi Alpha Theta

The University of New Haven has a chapter of the international honor society in history, Phi Alpha Theta, which is open to students who have completed at least 12 credits of history and have maintained an average of better than 3.0 in history courses and better than 2.9 overall. The University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta provides students and faculty with a social and intellectual experience beyond classroom work, offering films, speakers, and roundtable discussions. Students not eligible for membership in the society are welcome to participate in all of the chapter’s activities.

Modern Languages

Coordinator: Roberto Irizarry, Ph.D., University of Kansas

In an interconnected world, the knowledge of modern languages has become increasingly important and greatly enhances global awareness. The Division offers a variety of courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Courses in other major world languages may also be offered on a less regular basis. These courses fulfill the core curriculum requirements on all worksheets. In addition, students interested in study abroad are encouraged to begin their study of a modern language at UNH. Refer to the course section of this catalog for courses beginning with the prefixes AR, CN, FR, GR, IT, RU, and SP.

The Division also offers four minors in Modern Languages:


Lecturer: David Brubaker, Ph.D., University of Illinois

The main attraction of philosophy always has been and always will be the intrinsic fascination of thinking about the “perennial questions.” Is there purpose in the universe or only random causation? Does human existence have meaning, or is it absurd? Are moral obligations real, or are they just social constructs? Is the mind anything more than the functioning of the brain? Are we capable of acting freely, or do we behave as nature dictates? Is reason the slave of the passions? Is it better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied?

But studying in this field also helps a person to develop skills that have wide practical application. Philosophy students practice logical thinking, analytical reading and listening, and precise writing and speaking. They also practice “thinking outside the box” and, hence, cultivate creativity, even humor, because their occupation is none other than the questioning of fundamental assumptions in all areas. Thus, philosophy has served as a useful background for people who have gone on to successful careers in diverse professions, such as computer systems programming, music, management, insurance, investment, marketing, film-making, publishing, real estate, technical writing, literary writing, government, human services, journalism, law, medicine, teaching, research… and stand-up comedy!

Philosophy courses at UNH examine the major world traditions of thought from ancient times to the present. Emphasis is placed on ethical inquiry, including the application of ethical thinking to our daily and professional lives.

Political Science

Professors: James W. Dull, Ph.D., Columbia University; Natalie J. Ferringer, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Joshua H. Sandman, Ph.D., New York University

Lecturer: Gary Fetzer, M.S., Columbia University

A major in political science provides the student with a foundation for a career in government on the local, state, national, and international levels; for a career in law; for graduate school programs in political science, international relations, and public policy; and for careers in the areas of campaign management, communication, public relations, and business. All political science and pre-law majors or minors should discuss career goals and educational objectives with a Department adviser within one month of entrance into the program.

The Political Science Department offers pre-law advising and tracking. The American Bar Association statement on preparation for legal education and for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) serves as a guide for pre-law advising course selection. Courses are selected from the following academic areas in consultation with your Political Science Department advisor: political science, history, English/literature, communication, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

Further, advice on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation courses, which our pre-law and graduate school-oriented students are urged to take, is available through the Department.

Pre-law majors and minors in the Department of Political Science have been especially successful in gaining entrance to law schools throughout the country.

The political science faculty grants the Rollin G. Osterweis Award for Excellence in Political Science to an outstanding political science student.

General Political Science

Students whose needs are best served by a mixture of political science courses may construct an individualized minor, in consultation with a departmental adviser, or a certification in campaign management.

One additional minor cluster is offered through the Institute of Law and Public Affairs as follows:

  • Public Policy Certificate 

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