• A graduate student should leave the program with the ability to understand the major elements in the historical formation of the United States as a nation, and the continuing impact of past experience on contemporary notions of national identity.
  • They should understand the extent to which the United States as a nation is a construct based on explicit codified political values, the tensions involved in reconciling those values with the realities of social and economic change in a massive and evolving industrial system.
  • An understanding of the nature of the political and social institutions that provide a framework within which those tensions can interact productively and reshape the values within the American community.
  • A graduate should also understand the cultural manifestations of the experience of the varied intellectual, racial, ethnic, religious and regional sub-cultures within American society, and the projection of American cultural values onto the global community along with the nature and extent of the impact of the United States at the global level, in terms of it's economic and military power, and it's technological and scientific expertise.
  • Students should also be proficient in the research skills that are required to reach that level of understanding, and possess an enhanced capacity to deploy them in their later lives. Specifically, they should be able to define issues for investigation, locate sources of information and opinion and appreciate the value of social data and both locate and use it effectively.
  • A graduate student should also have the skills to critically assess the reliability of that information and opinion, develop and shape conceptual frameworks, and test them by discussion.
  • They will also have the ability to present their ideas effectively in both oral and written formats, work collaboratively with their peers, demonstrate a commitment to ethical behaviour and academic best practice, and also connect across boundaries, both within the University and at a broader social level.