"History is for human self knowledge. It helps us to know ourselves, how we have related to others, and what we have done to our environment. Knowing ourselves means knowing what we are capable of based on the cumulative human experience, thus History helps us to understand who we are."

— David Fortin, Department Chair, History

History

FreshmanSophomoreJunior / Senior
  • World History
  • AP Human Geography  
  • United States History
  • AP United States History  
  • Government
  • AP US Government and Politics 
  • Us Intelligence & the Cold War
  • AP European History
  • 20th Century America
  • The Modern World

 

HIS 101 - World History

The World History course is designed to challenge and enlighten students’ understanding of our world’s vast array of cultures, civilizations, and societal structures that have shaped the past until the present day. This course is required of all freshmen in order to provide a broad appreciation of the historical trends and events of the world’s major civilizations, with an emphasis on the details of smaller “case-studies” of lesser known regions, societies, and human practices that inform the student of the influential nature of man on his environment. The objective of the course is to involve students not only with these events, but also with all their effectual relations. There is an important emphasis placed on student readings, participation in classroom discussion, and the preparation of carefully selected written projects. A formal term paper is assigned to each student to acquaint him with the nature of historical research and to develop writing skills. Also, the summer reading project will be evaluated in early September.

Prerequisite
None

HIS 103 - AP Human Geography

The Advanced Placement Human Geography course is designed to challenge and enlighten students’ understanding of our world’s vast array of cultures, civilizations, and societal structures with a primary focus on the influence of geography on human development, cultures, and institutions. This course is an elective offered only to pre-selected Freshmen whose verbal and reading scores reflect an ability to meet the rigors of an advanced placement course. The objective of the course is to involve students not only with the role of geography in historical events, but also with the effectual relations of geography upon human institutions. Also, it aims to develop a broad appreciation of the historical trends and events of the world’s major civilizations, while studying core concepts and case studies of geography. There is an important emphasis placed on student readings, participation in classroom discussion, and the preparation of carefully selected written projects. A formal term paper is assigned to each student to acquaint him with the nature of historical research and to develop writing skills. Also, the summer reading project will be evaluated in early September. Students are required to take the College Board AP Exam in May.        

Prerequisite: Class size is limited and admission is offered to pre-selected students based on a departmental review of the students’ verbal and reading comprehension scores on the St. Joseph’s Prep entrance exam as well as student transcripts.

HIS 201 - United States History

The United States History course is a survey emphasizing the important social and political factors that have influenced the history of the United States from colonial times to the present. The objective of the course is to have a better understanding of particular decisions that people have made in the past. Emphasis is placed on extensive readings from the textbook and primary source material as the focus for classroom participation and involvement. The goal of the course is to develop an ability to read historical materials critically, to weigh evidence and interpretations, and to arrive at conclusions based on this evidence and study rather than bias. A formal research paper will be assigned to each student during the year. Also, the summer reading project will be evaluated in early September.

Prerequisite
None

HIS 202 - AP United States History

The Advanced Placement course in United States History is offered to selected students during the sophomore year. This course is designed to be a more challenging analysis of the themes and issues found in United States history by making demands on the student equivalent to those of an introductory college course. The students are given a thorough grounding in facts, but go beyond these facts to an examination of their significance and their cause and effect relationships. Emphasis is placed on discussions, selective reading, and working with primary source materials. Students learn to read historical material analytically and critically, to weigh historical evidence and interpretations, and to arrive at conclusions on the basis of facts rather than prejudice. A formal research paper will be assigned to each student during the year. Also, the summer reading project will be evaluated in early September. Students are required to take the College Board AP Exam in May.

Prerequisite: Class size is limited and admission is based on a minimum overall GPA of 3.6, a consistent grade of an “A” in World History, or a B+ in AP Human Geography and a departmental recommendation. In addition, a qualifying test may be administered to secure placement.


HIS 301 - US Government & Politics

The US Government course is designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. The course will commence with an examination of the historical foundations that have helped to shape American government. Also, students will study how and why government functions in American society today. A college level textbook will be used in this course. Additional readings and documentaries will be scheduled for additional insights into current topics. The summer reading project will be evaluated in early September. Also, students will be expected to complete a research paper designed to examine and explain some aspect of this course.

Prerequisite
None

HIS 302 - AP US Government and Politics

The Advanced Placement course in United States Government is designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course is designed to be a more challenging analysis of the themes and issues found in United States Government by making demands on the student equivalent to those of an introductory college course. It involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires a familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the American political reality. The course will focus on the constitutional underpinnings of the United States government, political beliefs and behavior, political parties and interest groups, the institutions and policy decisions. In order that students are fully prepared to meet the rigors of college level studies, students will be expected to complete a research paper designed to examine and explain some specific aspects of the course. To test students’ analytical skills, the course will require the study of primary source materials, as well as the discussion of assigned articles, which are germane to the course. Students are required to take the College Board AP Exam in May.

Prerequisite: Class size is limited and admission is based on a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, an average grade of a “B+” in prior History department courses, and a departmental recommendation. In addition, a qualifying test may be administered to secure placement.

HIS 403 - AP European History

The Advanced Placement course in European history is offered to select students during their junior or senior years.  The requirements of this course resemble the demands on the student equivalent to those of an introductory college course.  The goals of the course are threefold: a) to familiarize the students with a sense of the past and to explain present day Europe in light of its history; b) to acquaint students with the methods of inquiry used by historians; and; c) to develop more fully the faculties of critical thinking. A formal research project will be assigned to each student during the year.  Also, the summer reading project will be evaluated in early September.  Students are required to take the College Board AP Exam in May. 

Prerequisite:  Class size is limited and admission is based on a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, an average grade of a “B” in prior History department courses, and a departmental recommendation. In addition, a qualifying test may be administered to secure placement. 

HIS 406 - 20th Century America - 1/2 Credit

The 20th Century America course is designed to study the history of the United States since the 1960s, with emphasis on interpretation and analysis of the material by contemporary historians. Students will acquire a basic understanding of the factual material before embarking on discussions or offering opinions. The topics, which includes both the studies of history and current events, are an attempt to gain perspective on the present political, economic, and social developments in recent United States history. Also, a formal research paper will be assigned to each student. This course will run during the first semester only.

Prerequisite
None

HIS 407 - The Modern World - 1/2 Credit

The Modern World course examines the current events of the United States and around the world using the writings of contemporary historians and journalists for analysis and interpretation of selected topics. Concentration will be placed on American foreign policy with political, economic, and social developments throughout the world as its focus. Also, formal writing will be assigned to each student to investigate current issues. This course will be offered in the second semester only.

Prerequisite
None

HIS 409 - US Intelligence & The Cold War - 1/2 Credit

The US Intelligence and the Cold War course examines the structure and functions of the US Intelligence Community and its role in the Cold War. In particular, the course will introduce students to the various organizations that make up the US Intelligence Community, and the various methods by which these organizations collect, analyze, and disseminate information for the end users such as the military, the President, and Congress. Particular emphasis will be on the Central Intelligence Agency. The course will further look at actual historical events during the Cold War period and examine the role that the Intelligence Community played in helping shape those events. The course will also introduce students to the world of counterintelligence, as it will examine the individual cases of “traitors and defectors” who had an impact on the Cold War. The course incorporates a number of selective reading assignments, primary source material, imagery analysis and operative simulations. A formal research paper will be assigned to each student.

Prerequisite
A minimum GPA of 3.2 is recommended

St. Joseph's Preparatory School
1733 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130
tel: 215.978.1950
fax: 215.765.1710
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