Last Updated on August 28, 2023
Patrick Henry College was incorporated in 1998 by Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the board of the Home School Legal Defense Association, with which PHC is still closely connected. It officially opened September 20, 2000, with a class of 92 students. The college eschews federal financial aid and is therefore relieved from United States Department of Education reporting requirements on demographic makeup and other information. The school does not ask for race on applications.
PHC receives all of its funding from tuition fees or donations. The college states that it does not accept any money from the government or any other source that includes terms that supersede the authority of its Board of Trustees or conflict with its foundational statements. PHC adds new facilities and programs only as funds are available.
Patrick Henry College received accreditation in 2007 from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, a national accrediting organization for Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries created by the Institute for Creation Research. In June 2021, the college received Candidacy status from The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS-COC). The college had previously been denied accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education in the spring of 2002 because creationism was part of the curriculum. On June 30, 2005, the school was officially recognized by the United States Department of Education (ED) as an institution eligible for ED programs. It also allowed students to use more scholarships and grants and made donors and students eligible for various tax benefits. On April 3, 2012, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools reaffirmed Patrick Henry College’s accreditation for a period of ten years
Advanced SearchPLS 130 – Basics of American PoliticsTeaches basics of the operations of Congress, the presidency, and the federal court system. Includes civil liberties, citizenship, elections, political parties, and interest groups.Lecture 2-3 hours per week.
2-3 creditsPLS 135 – U.S. Government and PoliticsTeaches the political structure, processes, institutions, and policymaking of the US national government. Focuses on the three branches of government, their interrelationships, and how they shape policy. Addresses federalism; civil liberties and civil rights; political socialization and participation; public opinion, the media; interest groups; political parties; elections; and policymaking. The assignments in the course require college-level reading fluency and coherent communication through written reports. This is a Passport Transfer course.Lecture 3 hours. Total 3 hours per week.
3 creditsPLS 135 Detailed Outline PLS 211 – U.S. Government ITeaches structure, operation, and process of national, state, and local governments. Includes in-depth study of the three branches of the government and of public policy. Part I of II. This is a Passport Transfer course.Lecture 3 hours per week.
3 creditsPLS 212 – U.S. Government IITeaches structure, operation, and process of national, state, and local governments. Includes in-depth study of the three branches of the government and of public policy. Part II of II.Lecture 3 hours per week.
3 creditsPLS 241 – Introduction to International Relations IProvides an introduction to the causes of international conflict and cooperation. Focuses on the modern state, diplomacy, war initiation, crisis bargaining, international terrorism, nuclear strategy, interstate economic relations, economic growth, international law, human rights, and environmental politics.Lecture 3 hours. Total 3 hours per week.
Prerequisites: ENG 111 or Department Consent3 creditsPLS 241 Detailed Outline PLS 242 – International Relations IITeaches foreign policies of the major powers in the world community with an emphasis on the role of the United States in international politics.Lecture 3 hours per week.
Apprenticeship Experience and Methodology
There are many opportunities for apprenticeships in the American Politics & Policy track including, for example, exploring opinion polling and survey research. In a practicum like this, students learn the history of public opinion polling, the methods used in polling, and how to accurately interpret poll data. Students are then placed in a survey research firm for a period of time to actually do public opinion polling, culminating in a report on their work. Students also do their own polling projects, independent of their work in survey research firms, researching already existing survey data to draw conclusions about public opinion on specific key issues facing American policymakers.
PHC’s proximity to Washington D.C. makes it one of the best colleges in the country for government internships. Students have completed internships at
- Federal Communications Commission
- The White House
- The U.S. Senate
- The U.S. House of Representatives
- Generation Joshua
- U.S. State Department
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Office of the Attorney General
- State Governor’s Offices
- State and Local Officials
- Heritage Foundation
- The Koch Foundation
- American EnterpriseInstitute
- International Justice Mission
- HSP Direct, Copyrighter
- Law Firms
- Purcellville City Council
- Planning Department, City of Purcellville
- Communications Department, American Majority
- 2016 Republican Convention