PO Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23218
(866) 650-0025
A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04151 Virginia and U.S. Government

Field of Study

Virginia and U.S. Government is designed to present students with an analytical perspective of government and politics in the United States, tracing the history, development, and nature of U.S. governmental institutions and processes, as well as societal perspectives and behaviors related to such institutions and processes (and influences on those perspectives and behaviors).

Material Covered

The course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. The course will include the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. As such, it will cover these basic areas:

  • American Government and Civil Engagement
  • The Constitution
  • American Federalism
  • Individual Agency and Action
  • Civil Rights
  • The Political of Public Opinion
  • Voting and Elections
  • Toward Collective Action; Mediating Institutions
  • Political Parties
  • Interest Groups and Lobbying
  • Formal Institutions
  • The Presidency
  • The Courts
  • The Outputs of Government
  • Domestic Policy
  • Foreign Policy
  • Virginia History and Government
  • Virginia Legislature
  • Virginia Executive
  • Virginia Judiciary
  • Virginia Local Government

Student Expectations

Students will complete a variety of homework assignments, including vocabulary, reading questions, and required readings. They will participate in discussion boards. Work related to each module contains a culminating exam, occasional quizzes, and some short-answer questions. The course contains a mix of writing, multiple choice, and other assignments.

Related Requirements

This course satisfies the state requirement for graduation related to coursework in U.S. and Virginia Government.


  • Students must be enrolled in grades 9–12.

Course Texts and Materials

  • No textbook is required.
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