Political History and Leadership

Be a leader in your chosen field. Come to understand the complexities of real decision-making beyond the abstractions as you explore the foundational principles underlying the nature of democracy and representative and constitutional government. The program is open to students of all majors at ASU.


The certificate program in political history and leadership provides students with a strong foundation in the history of politics and political thought with a special emphasis on the role of leadership. It prepares students for leadership in their own careers, political or otherwise.

Required courses combine academic study and mentoring contact with political, media and business leaders from the wider Phoenix area and Arizona communities while electives drawn from a variety of disciplines are used to broaden the scope of emphasis.

At a Glance

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Degree Requirements

This certificate requires 15 credit hours.

Required Courses: (6 credit hours)
HST 112 Foundations of Democracy (3)
HST 414 Political Thought and Leadership (3)

Upper-division Electives: (nine credit hours from at least two different disciplines; such courses may include, but are not limited to the following)

HST 315 Political History of the U.S., SB, H (3)
HST 317 History of Postwar U.S. Conservatism (3)
JUS 321 Wealth Distribution and Poverty, SB, C (3)
JUS 332 Politics of Energy Policy and Justice (3)
PHI 336 Social and Political Philosophy, HU (3)
POS 341 History of Political Philosophy II, HU, H (3)
REL 420 Religion in American Life and Thought, HU (3)

Additional upper-division courses from disciplines such as economics, history, justice studies, philosophy, public service and public policy, and religious studies may be used with approval. All courses must be taken in residence at Arizona State University.

A "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better is required in all upper-division course work.

Depending upon a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Admission Requirements

Students wishing to declare the certificate must meet with an academic advisor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.