Sidwell Friends requires its students to complete three academic years of study in the History Department. Each history course is designed to provide students with a sound foundation of knowledge in a given subject area and to develop research, writing, and interpretive skills.
All ninth graders enroll in "The West and the World." A continuation of our eighth grade curriculum, this course surveys the major developments in European history from the Renaissance to World War II and examines the important contacts between European, Islamic, African, and Asian societies. In the tenth grade year, students study the history of Africa, Asia, Middle East, or Latin America. The junior year is devoted to the study of United States history. Students may elect to enroll in a standard survey from the colonial period to Watergate or to take American Studies, an interdisciplinary course which includes examinations of American culture and artistic expressions.
Although seniors are not required to enroll in history classes, the Department offers a variety of electives, including Political and Philosophical Thought, Modern China, Comparative Religion, the History of Western Art, African-American History, Perspectives on American Government, Perspectives on Global Economics, and Conflict in Modern History.