World History begins with a focus on the skills needed to read, understand, and analyze history, also demonstrating how historians and social scientists arrive at their conclusions about human history. Semester A covers the history of civilization from hunter-gatherer societies through the characteristics of the earliest civilizations to the Enlightenment period in Western Europe. The second half of Semester A explores early intellectual, spiritual, and political movements and their impact on interactions among world cultures.
Semester B applies the reading and analytical strategies introduced in Semester A to the events and movements that created the modern world. In the second semester, World History emphasizes the effects of the Industrial Revolution and changing attitudes about science and religion as well as the impact of European colonization. Students are encouraged to make connections between World War I and II and events related to the Cold War and between 19th-century imperialism and modern independence movements.