Apr 24, 2018  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

History, B.A.

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In a society too often characterized by uncritical worship of the new—whether it be a new technology or the latest in intellectual fashions—the study of history both connects us to the human experience that has preceded us and shows how that experience has value, interest, power, urgency, and usefulness. Organized to reflect and demonstrate the idea that history matters, History department offerings are designed to help students learn to interpret their world (present as well as past) and to help them gain an appreciation for the fullness of human experience. History courses emphasize a grasp of themes and context—the experience of people in the past rather than rote and tedious memorization. They also focus on helping students learn to write clearly and critically about primary sources as well as more complex historical issues.

Most history courses are divided among three geographically distinct fields of concentration: American history, European history, and the history of Asia and the Middle East . History majors choose to concentrate in one of these areas, while being required to take a minimum number of credits in each of the other fields. As a result, students majoring in history gain a working knowledge of world history, as well as in-depth knowledge of one of the world’s major geographical areas.

General Education Requirements (A&S)

In addition to major requirements, students must meet the General Education Requirements that correlate to their degree.

Major GPA and Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in courses required to complete the major. All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Requirements for the Major

Required credits: 36

Each major must complete 36 credits in history. These include 15 credits in required courses: HIS 100 or HIS 101, as well as HIS 130 and HIS 131, HIS 241W, and HIS 441W. Majors concentrating in American history take 9 credits in that field beyond the required courses. Majors concentrating in European history or the history of Asia and the Middle East take 12 credits in their field beyond their required courses. In order to guarantee a balanced history education, all majors must take at least 3 credits in European history and 6 credits in the history of Asia and the Middle East. Some courses overlap areas of concentration and may be counted in different areas, though a student must choose the one area in which the course will count. Students must consult their advisors at least once per term to make sure that they are taking the appropriate courses and that their academic career is on track.

Majors normally will take HIS 241W History as Detection in the spring semester of their sophomore year and HIS 441W Making History: Senior Capstone Seminar in the fall term of their senior year.

With the approval of the history department, credit may be granted for selected courses given by other colleges or universities. The department limits transfer credits for the major to 18. Introductory and advanced studies in a foreign language are strongly recommended as valuable tools of historical research; they also satisfy a general education requirement.

Courses required for the major may not be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required of history majors for graduation.

Students of high motivation and interest, who wish to get the most out of their undergraduate study of history or who plan to do graduate work in history, are strongly urged to point themselves toward enrollment in the University Honors program and to consider undertaking a senior thesis. Faculty advisors help students develop programs of study emphasizing honors courses pertinent to the major and direct independent studies and honors theses.

The History department encourages majors to consider taking a term abroad sometime during their junior or senior year. The opportunity to study a country’s or region’s history on site is almost invariably a broadening and deepening experience for history majors.

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