History Courses

Students earning a standard diploma complete one world history, one US & VA history, and one US government course

Students earning an advanced diploma complete two world history courses, one US & VA history, and US government course

9th Grade

World History I to 1500:

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 9

This is a survey of world history to 1500 with a concentration on developing historical thinking skills and geographical analysis. Course topics include: early development of humankind from the Paleolithic Era to the agricultural revolution, ancient river valley civilizations, early civilizations in Persia, India and China, influence of Greece and Rome in the development of Western civilization, the Byzantine Empire and Russia, early Islamic civilization, Western Europe in the Middle Ages, Empires of the Eastern Hemisphere, major civilizations of the Western Hemisphere (Mayan, Aztec, Incan), late medieval developments, and the Renaissance in Europe. This course has an associated Standards of Learning (SOL) test.

Adv. World History I to 1500:

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 9

This pre-collegiate course emphasizes basic historical research skills using primary and secondary sources to understand multiple causes and perspectives for significant historical events. The course prepares students for future AP history examinations. Course topics include those found in the standard World History and Geography to 1500 course but emphasis is placed on interregional studies, themes, and global historical patterns and processes. This course has an associated Standards of Learning (SOL) test


10th Grade

World History II 1500 to Present:

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 10

This is a survey of world history from 1500 to the present with a concentration on modern developments in western civilization. Course topics include: the Reformation, the Age of Discovery, Absolutism, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the Enlightenment, the development of nation-states, nationalism, and the Age of Imperialism, 20th Century conflicts, and independence movements and world religions and the contemporary world.

AP World History:

Prerequisite: Completion of World History I with a recommendation or Adv. World History I

In AP World History, students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes from 1200 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change. The course provides six themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.


11th Grade

US & VA History

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 11

The study of the nation’s history provides the intellectual foundations for responsible citizenship. The origins of American ideals and institutions are examined. A study of major events, issues, and personalities of the past provides a perspective for understanding contemporary issues and problems. The role of Virginia in the development of the United States is included. Topics included for study: Exploration and Colonization, European Economic Influences and Slavery in the Americas, the American Revolution, the Constitution and Early National Period, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, U.S. as Emerging World Power, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights Movements and the Contemporary U.S.

AP US & VA History:

Prerequisite: Completion of World History II; AP World History is recommended

AP U.S. History is a course designed for the student who accepts the challenge of an advanced class in American History. Students will be expected to master all of the SOL objectives for Virginia and U.S. History. In addition, analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement U.S. History Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

US & VA History Dual Enrollment:

Prerequisite: Both His 121 and 122 must be taken to earn credit for US/VA History

The study of the nation’s history provides the intellectual foundations for responsible citizenship. The origins of American ideals and institutions are examined. A study of major events, issues, and personalities of the past provides a perspective for understanding contemporary issues and problems. The role of Virginia in the development of the United States is included with special emphasis on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Mason. Topics included for study: Exploration and Colonization, European Economic Influences and Slavery in the Americas, the American Revolution, the Constitution and Early National Period, sectional tensions, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, U.S. as Emerging World Power, the Great War, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights Movements and the Contemporary U.S. As a result of this course students will have a better understanding the history of the United States and Virginia. Also, as the course focuses on critical, creative and collaborative thinking skills students will be better prepared for the rigors of collegiate study and/ or the workforce. Historical thinking skills will be practiced and assessed include synthesizing evidence from artifacts and primary and secondary sources, judging the reliability of sources based on evidence through using sourcing, contextualization, corroborating and close reading skills, an understanding of historiography, constructing arguments using evidence from multiple sources, comparing and contrasting historical, cultural, economic, and political perspectives, using geographic information to determine patterns and trends in Virginia and United States history analyzing multiple connections across time and place, using a decision-making model to analyze and explain the incentives for and consequences of a specific choice made in a historical context, constructing historical arguments based on evidence and evaluated in the proper context of time and place, and investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing. This course will offer an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills from all their previous coursework in history and social science.

AP Human Geography:

Prerequisite: Completion of World History II

This introductory college course in human geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns, and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice, including Geographic Information Systems. In May, the students will take an AP Human Geography Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.


12th Grade

US & VA Government

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 12

The American system of national, state, and local government, including the role of the United States in global affairs, is analyzed. Basic constitutional principles, rights and responsibilities of citizenship, political beliefs and ideologies, as well as free market economic principles, and the organization and operation of our political institutions are studied. Democratic beliefs and the importance of participation in the democratic process are emphasized.

AP Government & Politics:

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 12, AP U.S. History is recommended

This college level course in U.S. political science includes topics such as: Constitutional underpinnings of U.S. government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups, and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, and civil rights and liberties. Analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement Government Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college

US & VA Dual Enrollment

Prerequisite: Both PLS 211 and 212 must be taken to earn credit for US/VA US/VA Government

This course teaches an in depth understanding of the American political system. Topics include the founding principles of the United States, democracy and republican principles of government, the Constitution, Federalism, political behavior, civil liberties, the three branches of government in the US and Virginia, domestic and foreign policy, civil rights, and the role of the US in global affairs. Students will use social science skills to gain a deeper understanding of the function of federal, state and local government, and the responsibilities and duties of citizenship

AP Comparative Government:

Prerequisite: U.S. & VA History or Advanced Placement American History or concurrent enrollment

This college level political science course includes topics such as: introduction to comparative politics; sovereignty, authority, and power; political institutions; citizens, society, and the State; political and economic change; and public policy. Case studies in the governments of Great Britain, China, Iran, Mexico, Russia, and Nigeria provide context for exploring the topics of the course. Analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement Government Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.