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History Program of Study

Paxton classroom

Program of Study

The program in history acquaints students with the nature of historical inquiry and the antiquity and variety of human experience. Instead of relying on factual narratives, the program focuses on the analysis of primary sources, understanding history as a contested field of interpretations, and the skills of producing histories. The program prepares students to enter careers and graduate study in a variety of fields, including teaching and research, education, museums and historical restoration, library work, journalism, business, law, and public service.

The Major in History

The history major consists of 10 course units. Ordinarily students complete:

  • Three 100-level courses, one dealing with Europe; one with the United States; and a third with an area outside Europe or the United States.
  • Four 200-level courses, two of which must be History 270: Historical Methods and Interpretations and History 288: Internship in History.
  • Three 300-level courses, one of which must be History 371: Senior Seminar. Only one of the courses numbered 381-388 may be used to satisfy the major requirements.

The Minor in History

The history minor consists of HIST 270: “Historical Methods and Interpretations” and four other courses to be selected from among at least two of the three major areas in the department curriculum (Europe, U.S., outside U.S. and Europe). In addition to History 270, at least one other course must be at the 200 or 300 level.

The Major in Historical Studies

Minimum requirements for the departmental major in historical studies are: 

  • History 112 or 116; History 113 or 114; one 100-level history course focusing on an area outside Europe or the United States; History 270; two additional history courses at the 200 level and two at the 300 level, to include at least one course each in United States history, European history, and history of an area outside Europe and the United States.
  • Political Science 110 and 115 or 125 or a political science course in an international topic, chosen in consultation with an advisor. 
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 110 (World Geography and Global Issues). 
  • Economics 152 (not required for middle level certification). 

Students whose background in history makes them eligible to waive one or more introductory courses may substitute an additional history course or courses numbered 210 or above. Students are encouraged to take more courses in history or political science in order to prepare better for teaching.