Civic Engagement through U.S History Minor

Civic Engagement through U.S History

Undergraduate Minor

Program Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

18 Credits

About the Minor

The Civic Engagement through U.S. History minor aims to promote civic education by exploring the theoretical, political, historical, and practical aspects of citizenship and democratic governance, including the evolution of the understanding of founding documents and challenges to liberal democracy. Through this minor, students will gain a deeper understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens in relation to laws and government in the United States.

This program provides a unique opportunity to work particularly on themes related to the rise and development of the American nation, as well as challenges, conflicts, and controversies within that history. Students seeking to teach in primary and secondary schools, to move on to graduate school in the Humanities, to enter law school, or simply to be deeply informed citizens with a thorough background in American history will be especially well served by this program.

The study of History is acknowledged as a useful way to educate students about the changing aspects of citizenship in relation to institutions, civil laws, and practices from local to global perspectives. Recent practices in civic education in many countries highlight aspects of social difference and marginalized members of society as well as global connections and implications. Students interested in the Minor in Civic Engagement should contact the head of the program and see the attached sheet.

Focus of Study

The focus of study for the Civics minor is on civic education, which explores the theoretical, political, historical, and practical aspects of citizenship and democratic governance in the United States. Students will study the evolution of the understanding of the US government system, founding documents, and the challenges to liberal democracy. The minor aims to deepen students' understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens in relation to laws and government.

Program Requirements

The Minor in Civic Engagement requires students to demonstrate sustained engagement with the creation, formation, development, and amending of U.S citizenship and American institutions. Students are expected to provide evidence of sustained engagement within at least six of the categories outlined below (to be judged via the required portfolio to be submitted by each student):

  • American Revolution
  • American Constitution
  • debates over slavery
  • the major Constitutional Amendments (the Bill of Rights, and Amendments 13 – 21)
  • major developments of American immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • science and technology in American history 
  • civil rights movements
  • major social protest movements
  • the Civil War and Reconstruction
  • American participation in the World Wars
  • major competing political philosophies and political parties; and the relationship of marginalized groups to the dominant state
  • history of U.S expansion west and overseas and rights of peoples in those lands
  • impact of civic institutions and laws on social identities like race, gender, religious identity, political affiliation, among others
  • laws, rights, and social practices around public versus private life and related spaces
  • changing civic and societal debates around rights, resources (including land), and immigration

Students could demonstrate this through taking the following courses and providing a portfolio of work (to be evaluated a committee of American historians at UCCS led by Professor Paul Harvey) at the end of their certificate or minor in order to demonstrate the required engagement.

Students also would have the option of taking an internship of 3 hours in which they would work in some sustained way with contemporary civic engagement (such as a political campaign; a non-profit political or social group; working in a local historical archive on materials of interest for U.S. civic history; and other examples). The History Department already has in place an Internship course that will fulfill this need.

Course requirements include two or more courses (6 - 12 hours) from the American History survey courses:

  • HIST 1510: U.S.: Birth of a Nation, 1607-1789
  • HIST 1520: U.S.: Expansion and Division, 1789-1877
  • HIST 1530: U.S.: Emergence of Modern America, 1865-1920
  • HIST 1540: U.S: Recent America, 1918-Present
  • HIST 1550: African American History: From Africa to the Present Day
  • HIST 1563: American Legal History
  • HIST 1560: Introduction to Environmental History of the U.S.
  • HIST 1575: History of the American Southwest

And an additional two or more courses (6- 12 hours) in any of the following upper-division American history courses that focus on issues related to the Civics minor:

  • Hist 3520: History of Latinos in the U.S.
  • Hist 3550: Religion and U.S. Culture 1500-2000
  • Hist 3580: Immigrant Histories
  • Hist 3680: Islam and the West
  • Hist 3700: Colonial America, 1607-1763
  • Hist 3710: Good Wives and Nasty Wenches: American Women’s History, 1607-1877
  • Hist 3720: From Slavery to Freedom: Slavery & the African American Experience in Colonial and Antebellum America
  • Hist 3740: African American Social and Political Thought
  • Hist 3750: Orphans, Paupers, and Other Vagabonds: Poor Relief in the U.S., 1607-1937
  • Hist 3850: Historical Geography of the United States
  • Hist 3995: Undergraduate Internship in History
  • Hist 4500: World War Two: A Global History
  • Hist 4510: The American Revolution: The Forging of the Union, 1763-1789
  • Hist 4530: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
  • Hist 4540: Religion and American Culture, 1945 - Present
  • Hist 4570: War and Society: 20th Century U.S.
  • Hist 4580: The American West 
  • Hist 4690: Colorado History
  • Hist 4880: Civil Rights in American History

Program Coursework

For program coursework, please visit the Academic Catalog.