History Major

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Antoine Borrut, Ph.D.

Historical study offers preparation for informed and empathetic citizenship in an increasingly complex and interdependent world.  A major in History requires students to engage in analytical reading, critical thinking, and persuasive writing. The Department of History seeks to broaden the student's cultural background through the study of history and to provide preparation for those interested in publishing, teaching, museum work, law, journalism, civil service, military, archival and library work, diplomacy, business school, and graduate study.

The History major offers a broad variety of geographic and thematic fields of specialization (see details below). Undergraduate advisors assist all majors in planning a curriculum to meet their personal interests. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of study abroad programs and to acquire and/or cultivate the language skills relevant to their field of specialization. We expect students to meet with a history undergraduate advisor once every semester.

Courses offered by the Department of History may be found under the course code HIST.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Organization and Structure: Students will demonstrate their ability to explain essay structure and thesis in introduction and summarize their findings in the conclusion
  2. Organization and Structure: Students will demonstrate their ability to organize essay logically
  3. Thesis and Argumentation: Students will demonstrate their ability to construct a thesis
  4. Thesis and Argumentation: Students will demonstrate the ability to support an argument with evidence
  5. Research and Evidence: Students will demonstrate their ability to rely on primary and secondary sources in their essays/papers
  6. Research and Evidence: Students will demonstrate proper research skills
  7. Referencing and Formatting: Students will demonstrate their ability to properly cite sources throughout the paper/essay
  8. Referencing and Formatting: Students will demonstrate mastery of the relevant citation formats
  9. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Students will be able to demonstrate a historical understanding of how societies have created and maintained inequalities of power based on such perceived differences as race, class, gender, or sexuality.
  10. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Students will be able to identify how aspects of today’s society have been shaped by past inequalities.
  11. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Students will demonstrate an understanding of how subordinated peoples have challenged, shaped, and sometimes transformed unequal relations.
  12. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Students will be able to articulate how structural factors have contributed to knowledge production, and singularly historical knowledge, including the preservation of documents and/or gaps of sources.

Requirements for the History major are 39 credits of history course work distributed as follows: 12 credits in 1xx or 2xx-level introductory courses and including HIST208; 15 credits in one major field of specialization (see below); nine credits of history in at least two major areas other than the field of specialization; HIST408. All courses for the major must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-", and 21 credits of the 39 total credits must be at the junior-senior (3xx or 4xx) level. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

Students must take courses in at least three geographical regions. At least two courses must be taken in two or more of the following fields: Africa and the African Diaspora; Latin America and the Caribbean; North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia; South and East Asia; and select Global Interactions and Exchanges (GIE) courses approved by the Undergraduate Committee. The list may be obtained from the History Undergraduate Advisor's Office.

Students must take at least one course in the pre-1750 period.

No more than 6 credits can be fulfilled by AP and IB credits.

History majors can petition to include up to two courses taught outside the Department toward the fulfillment of the major, with the approval of the Undergraduate Committee. Courses taught outside of the History Department may fulfill geographic and/or thematic requirements. They may not be used to fulfill the departmental capstone seminars.

Course Title Credits
College Requirements
Introductory Courses
HIST208Historical Research and Methods Seminar3
Three courses at the 1xx or 2xx-level 19
Major Field of Specialization
Select a field of specialization from the following:15
Geographic
Thematic
Select nine credits of History in at least two fields outside the Field of Specialization 29
Capstone
HIST408Senior Seminar 33
Total Credits39
1

In considering courses that will fulfill this requirement, students are encouraged to:

  • select at least two courses in a sequence
  • select at least one course before 1750 and one course after 1750
  • sample both regional and topical course offerings. Students will normally take one or more introductory courses within their major field of specialization
2
  1. Students are encouraged to select mainly 3xx or 4xx-level courses to meet the minimum requirement of 21 credits at the junior-senior (3xx or 4xx) level.
  2. Students are encouraged to consider regional diversity.
3

Should be taken in the senior year and may be inside or outside the field of specialization. May be substituted by HIST396 (Honors Colloquium II).

Major fields of Specialization   

Students may choose a field of specialization that is either geographic or thematic:   

  • Geographic: Africa and the African Diaspora; Europe, Britain, and Russia; Global Interaction and Exchange; Latin America and the Caribbean; North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia; South and East Asia; United States
  • Thematic: Cultural and Intellectual History; Economies, Labor, and Capitalism; Empires and Colonialism; Social Change and Social Movements; Politics, Law, and Government; Race and Ethnicity; Religion and Society; Science, Technology, Medicine, and the Environment; War, Peace, and Society; Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Individualized Pathway

Other Requirements for the Major

HIST208 is a prerequisite for HIST408.

Click here for roadmaps for four-year plans in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Additional information on developing a four-year academic plan can be found on the following pages: