Policymakers | General Education

Political History Fades From View

NEW YORK TIMES   |  September 6, 2016 by Michael B. Poliakoff

The disappearance of political history from the college classroom is a symptom of a larger problem: Why did universities stop requiring American history?

Today, only 18 percent of colleges and universities require students to take a course in United States history or government. Astonishingly, at many of the most highly ranked institutions, even history majors can graduate without taking a single American history class. At programs that do require American history, electives in niche topics often suffice. Instead of a robust survey of America’s history, courses such as History of Sexualities or History of the F.B.I. can pass for adequate.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

Discover More