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US Government and Politics

Master Teacher: Miriam McElvain
Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 11th grade level and up.
Tuition: $746 for HSLDA Members / $829 for non-members

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to government and politics in the United States. By the end of this course, you should be able to answer the following questions: What are generally regarded to be the theoretical origins of our American government? Can the United States accurately be considered a government “by the people”? What rights and liberties do we have that transcend the will of the majority? How does government engage in public policy, and what are the important areas of policy that claim the time and attention of the national government? What are the basic institutions of government? The course seeks to answer these questions primarily through readings, lectures, as we have opportunity, through on-line class discussions. This is a college preparatory course. At its conclusion, you will take an examination that will determine whether you will receive college credit in United States Government and Politics. Hence, we will treat this class fully as a college-level course. The textbook is fairly challenging, and I am hoping that you will find the lectures and examinations to be as well. They are intended to prepare you for the examination administered in May.

This course is a tribute to Dr. Frank Guliuzza (1957-2019), who designed the AP® US Government and Politics course and served as its first Master Teacher for 9 years. He was renowned for his integration of faith and politics, receiving his doctorate degree in Constitutional Law from University of Notre Dame while serving as a licensed minister. Dr. Guliuzza taught government and Constitutional law at Patrick Henry College and coached its Mock Trial and Moot Court teams. He unexpectedly passed away in February 2019.

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Live Online Class Session Schedule

Dates:  August 19, 2024 - May 2, 2025

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1: Mondays, 1:00–2:30 p.m. Eastern

Mr. Daniel Hyland

Additional class times may be added to the schedule later in the registration period. Please note: all class times are subject to the availability of each individual instructor. See this page for more information. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Students Will Learn

    • How to analyze the evidence and interpretation presented in historical scholarship
    • How to analyze and interpret primary sources such as documentary material, maps, statistical tables, and pictorial and graphic materials.
    • How to write analytical, interpretative, and thematic essays that are appropriate for the academic discipline of history
    • How to respond to document-based questions
    • How to consider how a Christian worldview affects the study of American history
  • How much homework is in US Government and Politics?

    We estimate that the course workload will take 10+ hours per week. During a typical week, students complete the following coursework:

    • 60–90 minutes of live class instruction
    • Audio lecture 
    • 1 chapter textbook reading
    • 1 chapter of documentary reading
    • Primary source reading
    • Discussion forum post

    Throughout the year, students complete six exams, two book quizzes covering course texts, and two book essays discussing course texts.

  • What books will I use in US Government and Politics?

    The official booklist for AP® US Government and Politics Booklist is now available. In the official booklist, you will find information about the editions, book descriptions, and ISBN numbers.

    You can order course materials for competitive prices through the Christianbook.com bookstore. Use the Textbook Finder to locate the required resources for your courses. Please note that while most books are available through Christianbook.com, some titles are not carried and will need to be purchased elsewhere.

  • Prerequisites

    This is a rigorous, college-level course. Lectures and assigned readings assume that students already possess high school-level familiarity with the major events of American history. Students should also have strong reading and writing skills. Please visit the College Board’s website for more information about the material and skills students will study in the course and will need to master for the AP exam.

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in US Government and Politics?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed US Government class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements with their instructors to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts.