The Department of History, Politics, and Sociology is La Sierra University’s center for teaching and scholarship that brings together students and faculty with broad interests in understanding social, political, and cultural experience across all times and regions. Historical and social analysis is the department’s foundation, but its areas of disciplinary coverage include anthropology, sociology, global studies, legal studies, political studies, film studies, and gender studies. It is the University’s locus for area and diversity studies. 

The department provides an academic home for collegians interested in understanding global peoples and institutions, for students wanting to integrate social and political commitments into their education, for students seeking interdisciplinary degrees in the humanities and social sciences, for students who want to prepare for graduate studies in any one of a variety of social sciences or humanities, and for students planning for careers in law, government, business, museum or library science, or international affairs. The department is dedicated to educating graduates who will possess the understanding, values, and relationships necessary to serve humanity in all its diversity.

Learning Outcomes

Note: Each discipline—History, Sociology, and Global Studies—has more specific and detailed expressions concerning how these common objectives will be introduced, developed, and matured. These are available upon request from the Department.

  1. Critical Analysis: Students will learn strategies in critical reading, thinking, and writing, demonstrating proficiency in areas that facilitate engagement with complex ideas and problems, the questioning of bias and/or assumption, the exploration of perspectives, and the acknowledgment of complexity.
  2. Engagement with Diversity: students will become familiar with and sensitive to issues of diversity by engaging issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.
  3. Disciplinary Proficiency: students will develop disciplinary proficiency through required departmental academic assignments and projects.
  4. Research Methodology: students will demonstrate a grasp of disciplinary-based research methodologies – both quantitative and qualitative.
  5. Religious/Moral/Ethical Values: students will develop an awareness of and engagement with the important religious, moral, and ethical issues of the past and present.
  6. Extra-Curricular Civic Breadth: students will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular service and internship experiences.
  7. External Academic Enrichment: students will be encouraged to participate in extra-academic activities such as attending or participating in discipline-related conferences and events.


A major in History is recommended for students who wish to prepare for secondary teaching, graduate study preparatory to college teaching, or the study of law and for students who seek a broad background in the liberal arts. The recommendations of the department advisor assist the student in selecting a program pattern that meets individual objectives. Students planning to attend graduate school are urged to develop foreign language competence. Most historians are college teachers who not only lecture, but also write and take part in research.


Sociologists study sociology and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. They also study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members. They are concerned with the characteristics of social groups, organizations, and institutions; the ways individuals are affected by social traits such as gender, socio-economic class, age, or race on a person’s daily life. The results of sociological research aid educators, lawmakers, administrators, and others interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy.

Global Studies

The Global Studies major seeks to instill in students a solid knowledge of particular cultures, while also providing training in the analysis of global connections - a way of preparing them to tackle the world of the 21st century. Global Studies majors are encouraged to become both global thinkers and global participants. They learn how to relate their knowledge of a particular part of the world to the larger trends and issues that affect all peoples: the interconnections of the human and nonhuman environments; the transitional interactions of cultures, economies, polities; the globalizing processes of communication, technological, and science; the search for world peace, prosperity, and justice; and the sometimes violent political, ethnic, and religious reactions to what is often perceived as global hegemony by dominant cultures and economies.

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