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"American Institutions" Graduation Requirement

The State of California requires that all CSU students meet a set of learning objectives called the “American Institutions” requirement. The formal name of the requirement is Graduation Requirements in United States History, Constitution and American Ideals. This requirement is described in Executive Order 1061, pursuant to Section 40404 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

At CSUSM, the History department offers two courses—Hist 130 & HIST 131—that have been certified to meet the history learning objectives in this requirement (Dh). Certification requires that Any course or examination that addresses the historical development of American institutions and ideals must include all of the subject matter elements” stipulated in the learning objectives. The learning objectives are:

  1. Significant events covering a minimum time span of approximately one hundred years and occurring in the entire area now included in the United States of America, including the relationships of regions within that area and with external regions and powers as appropriate to the understanding of those events within the United States during the period under study.

  2. The role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.

  3. The events presented within a framework that illustrates the continuity of the American experience and its derivation from other cultures, including consideration of three or more of the following: politics, economics, social movements, and geography.

The CSUSM History department also has one course certified—HIST 347—certified to meet the “government” learning objectives in this requirement (Dg). The Constitution/government learning objectives are:

  1. The political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes under that Constitution as amended and interpreted.

  2. The rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under the Constitution.

  3. The Constitution of the state of California within the framework of evolution of federal-state relations and the nature and processes of state and local government under that Constitution.

  4. Contemporary relationships of state and local government with the federal government, the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of cooperative processes under the constitutions of both the state and nation, and the political processes involved. 

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