Skip to main content

The History Major

The Department of History educates students about the past and equips them with valuable critical thinking, research, and communication skills in the present, preparing them for diverse careers and a life of informed citizenship.

Among other requirements, majors must take ten classes (30 credits) in History classes. Between 4-6 of those classes must be taken in the student’s chosen area of concentration, which are divided into Geographic and Thematic clusters. The possible areas of concentration for the History major are listed below:

Geographic Concentrations:

Includes classes on the histories of Africa countries in the colonial and postcolonial eras, premodern and modern south Asia, premodern and modern Japan, and China.

Classes on South American, Central American, and Caribbean history, stretching from the colonial era through the modern age.

Classes on European history from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, including topics such as the French Revolution, colonialism, the world wars, and the Holocaust.

Includes classes on medieval and modern Russia in the Imperial and Soviet eras, along with histories of East and East Central Europe, including Poland and the Czech Republic.

Incudes classes on Native American history, the colonial period, the Civil War, slavery, Civil Rights, business history and more right up to the twenty-first century

Thematic Concentrations:

Classes on the oldest civilizations of the world through the Roman empire and the European Middle Ages to the edges of the modern world.

Classes on histories that transcend regions, nations, and civilizations, including topics such as colonialism, nationalism, migrations, peace and war, slavery, and more.

Classes on political movements and countermovements, war and conflict, historic decisions and challenges in law, the role of the economy in histories, and more.

Classes on the histories of various religions, the development and evolution of religious and philosophical thought, art and popular culture, and more.

Includes classes on histories global conflict, international relations, revolution, ancient warfare, war’s impact on life and culture, and more.

Includes classes on women’s movements, family, work, sexuality, and the gendered history of the nation, race, and popular culture.

For a detailed list of the History major requirements, click here.

As part of their major, students must also complete a 398 seminar, producing an original piece of evidence-based historical research into a subject of their choosing, designed in consultation with the course instructor.

All history majors should see an Arts and Sciences Advisor or talk to the History Department Advisor Matt Andrews each semester of their junior and senior years for evaluation of progress towards a degree.

The Minor

To receive a minor in history, a student must take 5 history courses. A maximum of two of those five courses may be below the 200 level. The student must also fulfill the requirements for the History Minor as outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin.