Our Philosophy

History and political science are disciplines based on informed argument. So we emphasize critical reading and thinking, careful and thorough research, and effective writing. Besides preparing you to be an engaged citizen, your academic training will ready you for careers in teaching, law, government service, journalism, archival and museum work, research, and writing.

It will also serve as a critical lens through which to view our current political environment.

What You’ll Study

With the goal of providing exceptional flexibility, you’ll have the option of adding a concentration in either History or Political Science to your History & Political Science major. This allows you to deep-dive into a primary area of interest while maintaining a strong foundation in both disciplines.

Relevant Knowledge

Within the History & Political Science department, you will learn from historians and political scientists that are well-trained in applying their knowledge in relevant ways. Professor Philip Otterness was featured on TLC’s show “Who Do You Think You Are?”, helping actor Katey Sagal, known for her roles in “Married with Children” and “Sons of Anarchy”, learn about her family’s Amish roots. Political science professor Chris Kypriotis regularly weighs in on relevant questions from Trump’s presidential nomination to the congressional redistricting fight in North Carolina.

With these kinds of faculty leading the way, our History & Political Science program looks backward to help you understand and solve tomorrow’s problems.


This was a place I could be myself and feel loved and nurtured to grow and explore as a person. I learned to critically think and was introduced to ideas that expanded my world and changed my perspective. I also learned how to balance my time and to value work.

Jessica Culpepper, '04, History/Political Science major

Explore Classes in This Program

HIS 251

Appalachian History

Reflecting Warren Wilson’s location in Western North Carolina, this course concentrates on central and southern Appalachia from the point of earliest contact between Native Americans and Europeans to the turn of the twenty-first century, providing a cohesive narrative overview of Appalachian history. You’ll explore the social and cultural implications of Appalachia’s economic development, impacting your understanding of the community you live in.

PSC 350

Political Parties and Interest Groups

In this course, you’ll focus on the roots of organized political power in American government, exploring the role and influence of interest groups and political parties in the electoral process and in government. Historical and theoretical perspectives will be used to analyze topics such as money in politics, lobbying and corporate power, social movements, political coalitions, third parties, and political polarization.

HIS 338

Grassroots Politics in Twentieth Century America

Through this seminar course, you’ll explore grassroots political movements in the twentieth century, focusing on the methods employed by grassroots groups to spread their message and influence party politics and the relationship between grassroots and national politics. You’ll also examine the relationship between popular culture and grassroots politics and consider the uses of culture to spread grassroots political ideas.

Meet Our Faculty

I like Warren Wilson students because they have a strong sense of social justice. They care about the environment, about what is going on in the world, and want to make our world a better place.

Dongping Han, Ph.D.
Dongping Han
Dongping Han, Ph.D.
Jessica Culpepper
Meet Our Students

A History Major Makes History

There are big court decisions, and even bigger court decisions – those that are clearly landmark rulings. Just a decade or so after graduating, Jessica Culpepper ’04, History & Political Science major, is a lead attorney in one such landmark decision. In a case involving a large industrial dairy in Washington state’s Yakima Valley, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that manure from livestock facilities can be regulated as solid waste – the long-sought outcome that plaintiffs represented by Jessica were seeking in their legal action.