The History Major
Before admission to a concentration in history, students must satisfactorily complete at least two history courses. Students may then count these courses toward fulfillment of the history concentration requirement, which consists of a total of 10 courses (or 40 credit hours), including:
- Completion of a "Gateway Seminar" (HIS 100, "Introduction to Historical Methods"), ordinarily in the freshman or sophomore year (Required for class of 2014 and after)
- A minimum of 6 courses (or 24 credit hours) taken from members of the History Department faculty; no more than 4 courses in the concentration may come from courses taken elsewhere, study abroad courses, AP or IB credits (see below), or cross-listed courses taught by faculty not formally associated with the Department of History. (Please note that some History [HIS] courses are offered by faculty in other College departments and will not count toward the 6 course minimum.) Transfer students majoring in History are required to take a minimum of 5 courses in the department, thus meeting half the major requirements in residence.
- A minimum of one course in at least 3 of the following geographical areas--Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States; a course covering more than one geographical area (for instance, a course on European imperialism) may nevertheless only count for one geographical area, which the student will designate.
- A minimum of 2 courses in each of two chronological periods--pre-1800 and post-1800; courses with substantial coverage of both periods may only count for one, which the student will designate.
- 5 History courses (or 20 credit hours) in an area of focus. In addition to nations or regions, students may choose from the following focus areas organized around a theme or approach --African and African-American History, Cultural and Intellectual History, Economic and Social History, History of Science and Medicine, Global Perspectives, Women's History ; students may also choose to design a focus individually, in consultation with their departmental adviser.
- 2 upper-level writing ('W') history courses, one of which must be on the 300- or 300/400-level, and one of which must be in the student's area of focus.
- All of these specific requirements are included within the 10 required courses, and overlap is allowed between requirements -- for instance, a course on Traditional Japan may count both as a course in the geographical area of Asia and the Pacific and as a course in the pre-1800 chronological period.
- Students double-majoring in history and another department/program in the Humanities or the Social Science divisions may, with the permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, use either one or two courses (a maximum of 8 credits) from the student's other major toward the fulfillment of the history major; double-majors must, however, still meet the geographical and chronological distribution requirements and the 300-level seminar requirements with history courses.
- If study of a foreign language is pertinent to a student's focus area (e.g. Japanese to Asian and Asian-American history, or Russian to European History) and will be used in research for history courses, then the student may, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, count up to 2 courses (a maximum of 8 credits) of language study toward the history major; students using foreign language credits within the major must still meet the geographical and chronological distribution requirements , the 300-level seminar requirements, and the focus area requirement with history courses. (Please note: a student using foreign language study to satisfy a humanities cluster may only overlap ONE course in the cluster with the history major.)
Advanced Placement Policy
Advanced Placement credit will be granted for scores of 4 or 5
on the American history, European history, or World history exams. This
credit is elective credit and may not be used to satisfy the
geographical or chronological distribution requirements in the major or
minor OR to satisfy the focus requirement in the major.
International Baccalaureate Policy
International Baccalaureate credit will be granted should a higher-level exam score of 6 or better be received. No credit is granted for subsidiary level exams. This credit is elective credit and may not be used to satisfy the geographical or chronological distribution requirements in the major or minor OR to satisfy the focus requirement in the major.
Note: A student may not receive more than a total of 4 elective credits for AP and IB exams.