History and Political Science

Highly complex and quickly changing geopolitical challenges in today’s world require experts with deep understanding of history and political science. Graduates will be equipped to provide guidance to governments and organizations to solve problems, develop policy, and tell the stories of previously underrepresented populations. 

New program starting in fall 2024.

At Dominican, the study of history and political science is an active process. Unlock your highest intellectual potential with this major. You will gain skills that will serve you well throughout your career. Whether you are interested in world or U.S. history, international relations, domestic politics, law or policy, we offer classes and internships to help you pursue your goals and discover new passions. Class sizes are small and allow for group discussions as well as close collaboration with faculty right from the start. The History and Political Science major will help you build your network, launch your career or prepare you for law school or graduate school. 

The History, Politics and International Studies Department offers the following minors:

The History and Political Science major offers five concentrations that can launch your career paths toward law school, teaching in high school, and working with your communities, heritage sites or museums. For additional details, please see the course catalog

History/Social Sciences Teaching

Students who are interested in teaching social science at the secondary level are encouraged to take specific courses in history and economics in addition to their major courses. 

Public History

Public History prepares students for interpretive historical work in both the public and private sectors. The Public History concentration provides students with an opportunity to engage with the community to make history more accessible to all. 

Identity, Culture, and Politics

This concentration is designed for students who are interested in understanding how the global themes of identity and culture impact politics, policy, and decision making. 

American Political Institutions

This concentration is designed for students who are interested in further exploring American political systems, processes, and policy. 

War, Peace, and Conflict

This concentration is designed for students who are interested in deepening their understanding of how the concepts and theories of international relations affect how political actors make decisions in the past, present, and future. 

Our graduates have successfully transitioned to various law schools and graduate programs. Most recently, several of our alumni graduated from law school at the University of Washington, Vanderbilt, UC Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings), Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco, and the University of Hawaii. Our students have also attended and graduated from graduate schools such as the University of Chicago, NYU, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Cal Poly SLO, Cal State Chico, Cal State Sacramento, San Diego State, and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in a variety of fields including: Latin American studies, Middle East studies, Global Studies, Public History, History, Non-Proliferation and Terrorism, Public Policy and Public Administration, and Social Science.

Careers of our alumni include:

  • Marin County Board of Supervisors, Aide
  • University of Chicago, UChicagoGRAD Office
  • Legislative Director, CA State Senator, Sacramento
  • Legislative Aide, CA State Assembly, Sacramento
  • District Coordinator, CA State Assembly member
  • Government and Community Affairs Officer, Caltrain
  • Former Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Washington, DC Office
  • Senior Business Immigration Analyst, Fragomen, LLP
  • Walt Disney Museum, San Francisco
  • Marin Catholic High School, History Teacher
  • Teach for America
  • AmeriCorps, Oakland Unified School District
  • PayPal, Intelligence Analyst

Undergraduate research is an integral component of our program. Our students regularly present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Phi Alpha Theta and the Dominican Scholarly and Creative Works Conference. The writing, research, and analytical skills developed during the process of completing a senior thesis provide students with transferable, career-ready expertise.

At Dominican, your thesis will be published in our research database alongside research produced by Dominican faculty. Thousands of scholars worldwide have access to the work you produce. Have a look at a few research papers by our students.

Office Hours

Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admissions and Aid

A degree from a top-ranked, private University like Dominican is deliberately affordable and accessible! More than 99 percent of our first-year incoming students receive significant financial aid through merit- and need-based scholarships as well as state and federal aid. Additionally, for most students, there is no application fee, and we don't ask for test scores. Get in touch with a counselor to learn more about your path to an exceptional college experience at Dominican!

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The Pre-Law Minor

The Pre-Law minor develops students' critical thinking, reading, writing and public speaking skills, while helping them understand what shapes the human experience within American society and the United States legal system.

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How does Political Science prepare you for a career?

Through internships and close mentoring, you will develop the kind of analytical and writing skills that open doors to whichever path you want to take. Learn more about your career options with a degree in political science.

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What is unique about being a History major?

Learn more in our video about what it is like to study history in college.

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History and Political Science in the News

Faculty and Staff

Gigi Gokcek headshot

Gigi Gokcek, PhD

Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Education Professor of Political Science
Natalie Babler headshot

Natalie Babler

Administrative Manager
Jordan Lieser

Jordan Lieser, PhD

Associate Professor, History La Vida Dominican Postbaccalaureate Assistant Director
Alison Howard headshot

Alison Dana Howard, MA

Associate Professor of Political Science Co-Chair, Division of Public Affairs
Aaron Richardson headshot

Aaron Richardson, MLIS, MA

Reference and Instruction Librarian
Cynthia Taylor

Cynthia Taylor, PhD

Assistant Professor of History
Three students walking together on the Dominican campus.

La Vida Dominican

La Vida Dominican is a program for all students, increasing educational access and connection to support services, enabling degree completion and post-graduation success. Particularly, La Vida is centering experiences of students from Latinx and other historically underserved backgrounds.

Learn More About La Vida Dominican