History and Political Science

Course Descriptions

Statement of Philosophy

The History and Political Science curriculum at Interlochen Arts Academy assumes the responsibility for stimulating an awareness of the human condition. The goals of the department, therefore, emphasize the application of rational thinking to an understanding of man's historical, economic, political, and social development.  The consideration of societal issues and the acquisition of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental and basic to the disciplines of History and Political Science are taught.


  • Each student will be instructed in the skills of analysis and critical judgment employed by historians and political scientists as they view, translate, evaluate, and record past and contemporary events.
  • Each student will be instructed in effective analytical reading, writing, and rhetorical skills.
  • Each student will examine change and continuity in time and draw logical conclusions by identifying the political, social, and economic conditions of sequential historical periods.
  • Each student will examine the complexities of the political process by distinguishing the roles of various institutions within the governmental structure and the relationship between the individual and society.

Graduation Requirements

The minimum Academy graduation requirements for History and Political Science is four courses or 2.0 credits one credit which must be U.S. History or Political Science, the other credit must be World History.  Two course or one full credit must be taken during the grades 11 or 12.

These courses are open to 10th grade students on a space available basis and with a recommendation by the English faculty during the Second semester only.

Upon faculty review, International students may count one semester of their home countries two-semester history class toward the graduation requirement.

Advanced Placement Policy

All classes offered by the History/Political Science Department are academically accelerated and employ methods and materials consistent with and/or beyond traditional Advanced Placement classes. Students who are interested in taking Advanced Placement exams should seek advice from History faculty for an appropriate number and sequence of classes which will best prepare them for the A.P. exam. Prior to the A.P. exams, faculty assistance in group and/or individual tutorials is offered to help students finalize their preparation.