Programs for Non-Majors

The department offers interesting and enriching programs in the following areas for students who are not pursuing a full history or government track:

  • Geography (18 credit hours)
  • Government (18 credit hours)
  • History (18 credit hours)
  • Philosophy (15 credit hours)
  • Pre-Law (15 credit hours)
  • Women's Studies (18 credit hours)
  • Historical Management (15 credit hours)
  • Pan-African Studies (15 credit hours)
  • Public Policy (15 credit hours)
  • International Studies (15 credit hours)


Geography is a specialized field of study and is basic to a liberal arts education. The geography minor is centered on the reality of the human habitat in regional environments, the ways space is organized for economic, social, and political purposes, the manner in which natural resources are utilized and developed and their uses, and the relationships between these considerations and public policy. Its sphere is the whole world.

Students who wish to minor in geography must earn a grade of C or higher in all geography courses. The core requirements (amounting to 18 credit hours) are as follows:

  • GEOG 101: Elements of Geography 1 (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 102: Elements of Geography 2 (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG ___: Four geography electives (12 credit hours)

For additional information or advisement, please contact Dr. Ralph Parris at or (301) 860-3606.

Government or Political Science

Students in other academic disciplines can opt to minor in government or political science by selecting the following five courses:

  • GOVT 130: Introduction to Political Science (3 credit hours)
  • GOVT 230: U.S. National Govt. and Politics (3 credit hours)
  • GOVT 315: Early Political Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • GOVT 140: Intro to Comp. Politics and Govt. (3 credit hours) OR
  • GOVT 342: International Relations/Politics (3 credit hours)
  • GOVT ___: Any government course (3 credit hours)

For additional information or advisement, please contact Dr. William B. Lewis at (301) 860-3602 or

History (General)

This minor consists of 18 credit hours and is based on the following:

  • HIST 114 (general education requirement)
  • Two history survey courses, and
  • Three upper-level elective courses (300-400 levels).

The core requirements serve as prerequisites for the upper-level elective courses (300 and 400 levels in Africa, Europe, or United States) that students may select as part of their minor. Before students take certain upper-level courses, they must have completed survey courses among the core requirements. For instance, in order to take the upper-level courses on United States history, the student must have completed the United States survey courses. Moreover, in order to take upper-level courses in either African or European history, the student must have completed the world civilization survey courses.

Students who wish to minor in this field must earn a C or higher in all history courses. The breakdown is as follows:

  1. HIST 114: African American History to 1865 (3 credit hours)
  2. Survey courses (any two):
    • Hist 110: World Civilization to 1500 (3 credit hours)
    • Hist 111: World Civilization since 1500 (3 credit hours)
    • Hist 201: United States to 1865 (3 credit hours)
    • Hist 202: United States since 1865 (3 credit hours)
  3. Upper-level elective courses (any three—9 credit hours)

Note: The upper-level course selections are from the following areas: Africa, Europe, and the United States.

For additional information or advisement, please contact Dr. Mario Fenyo at (301) 860-3607 or


Why study philosophy? The great philosophers, such as Plato, Descartes, Kant, and Sartre, asked deep and perplexing questions about knowledge and reality, the relation between mind and body, existence of a supreme being, and the nature and justification of morality. Contemporary philosophers carry on this tradition by combining a passion for critical self-examination with the willingness to question fundamental assumptions about the world. In doing so, they consider how these issues impact our approach to contemporary problems and practice.

Because of its emphasis on critical reading, writing, and argumentation, philosophy is an ideal complement to many other disciplines, such as English, psychology, computer science, and history, as well as an excellent preparation for graduate school or law school.

The philosophy curriculum is multicultural and promotes a critical understanding of the foundations of the humanities and the natural sciences. A thematic and historical approach is used to study the nature of reality (metaphysics), how one knows (epistemology), and how one ought to live (ethics).

The minor requires 15 semester hours of course work (five courses) selected from the following:

Core courses (6 credit hours)

  • PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 103: Introduction to Principles of Reasoning

Elective philosophy courses (any 9 credit hours) chosen from among the following:

  • PHIL 200: Women and Philosophy
  • PHIL 203: Symbolic Logic
  • PHIL 204: Introduction to the Old Testament
  • PHIL 206: Survey of World Religions
  • PHIL 207: Rhetoric of Black Americans
  • Phil 208: Introduction to the New Testament
  • PHIL 209: Philosophy and Theory of Black Religion
  • PHIL 300: Philosophies of Human Nature
  • PHIL 301: Philosophy of Mind and Mind Design
  • PHIL 305: Ethics and Public Policy
  • PHIL 400: Independent Study in Philosophy
  • GOVT 315: Early Political Philosophy
  • GOVT 316: Modern Political Philosophy
  • Govt 400: Black Political Thought

For additional information or advisement, please contact Dr. Fred Mills at or (301) 860-3605.


The law and related courses are designed to develop the writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills necessary for admission to and success in law school. Students who are interested in going to law school are strongly advised to develop their writing proficiency and to choose rigorously analytical courses for their elective courses. Students should consult regularly with the faculty advisors for a suitable course sequence that would fit their individual needs.

The pre-law core requirements (five courses) are:

  • GOVT 235: Legal Rights and Remedies
  • GOVT 317: U.S. Constitutional Law and History 1 or
  • GOVT 318: U.S. Constitutional Law and History 2
  • GOVT 320: International Law
  • PHIL 103: Intro to Principles of Reasoning
  • PHIL 203: Symbolic Logic

For additional information or advisement, please contact Dr. Benjamin Arah at or (301) 860-3611.

Women's Studies

Women's studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study and analysis of the intersection of race, gender, and class in women's lives. The program is designed to complement existing programs and the academic mission of the university by providing students with a comprehensive educational experience and developing their understanding of women's contributions in diverse fields of human activity and thought. The program introduces students to the intellectual work, theories, concepts, and experiences of women from multiple perspectives that transcend discipline boundaries.

The required number of semester hours for a minor in women's studies is 18 credits. A student's program, based on interests, should be designed in consultation with a women's studies faculty advisor. Students who wish to minor in this field must earn a grade of C or higher in all women's studies courses.

The requirements for women's studies are as follows:

Core requirements (12 credit hours):

  • HIST 204: Black Women's History
  • HIST 205: Introduction to Women's Studies
  • GOVT 300: Women and Politics
  • HIST 350: Women in American Society

Elective courses (6 credit hours):

  • HIST 380: Special Topics in Women's Studies
  • HIST 496: Independent Study in History
  • PHIL 200: Women and Philosophy
  • PHIL 400: Independent Study in Philosophy
  • GOVT 480: Independent Study in Political Science
  • IDIS 210: Contemporary Health Issues for Women
  • SOWK 407: Male-Female Relationships
  • SOCI 304: Sex Roles, Marriage, and the Family
  • ENGL 353: Special Topics in Women's Literature
  • FREN 352: Francophone, African, and Caribbean Women Writers

For additional Information or advisement, please contact Dr. Tamara L. Brown at (301) 860-3612 or

For the minor programs, listed below, please contact Dr. William B. Lewis at (301) 860-3602 or

  • International Studies
  • Public Policy
  • Pan-African Studies

For Historical Management Program, please contact Dr. Tamara L. Brown at or (301) 860-3612 and Dr. Mario Fenyo at or (301) 860-3607.