Sep 26, 2017
Member of the Division of Social Studies
Edward D. Cohn
Caleb Elfenbein (also Religious Studies)
Matthew D. Johnson
P. Albert Lacson
José Pablo Silva
The discipline of history poses complex questions about the experiences of humans over time. Historians develop, challenge, and revise narratives and interpretations of the past with an eye toward understanding both the subjects of their study and the implications of such knowledge for the present.
History classes are grounded in the careful analysis of texts and documents. Students develop fundamental skills in the framing of historical questions, the pursuit of independent research, and the eloquent and persuasive presentation of their ideas. Such skills place historians in dialogue with many other academic disciplines and are central to the experience of a true liberal-arts education. History majors are therefore well-equipped for a broad spectrum of career paths including (but by no means limited to) public service, museum practice, teaching, scholarship, and the law.
While the members of the history department faculty vary widely in areas of expertise and classroom styles, we share a commitment to research, teaching, and learning in a collaborative environment, where students and faculty engage together in the processes of intellectual inquiry.
Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits
Core Requirements: 24 credits
- HIS 100 - Making History 4 credits
- Three 200-level classes in the history of three different geographical regions 12 credits
The geographic regions and associated course numbers are defined as
- US history (21X, 22X)
- Asian history (27X)
- Russian history (24X)
- European history (23X, 25X)
- Latin American history (20X)
- History of Africa and the Middle East (26X)
- Two 300-level seminars 8 credits (each taught by a different professor)
Additional Requirements: 8 credits
- 8 credits of additional History Courses.
- With permission, four of the 32 credits may be taken in related studies.
The department strongly recommends that students complete a history curriculum that embraces chronological diversity by including at least one course that focuses on history before 1850 and at least one course on history after 1850. Since knowledge of mathematics and foreign languages is essential for serious study of history, the department also recommends that students take at least one course in quantitative analysis and the equivalent of at least three semesters of a modern foreign language or two semesters of a classical language.
To be considered for honors in history, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must have completed both recommended and required work listed above, and must also submit a substantial piece of historical writing by the Friday before spring break for evaluation by a faculty panel appointed by the department chair. These papers should be the result of work that began in a 300-level history seminar, MAP, or some other form of advanced independent research. The faculty panel will decide by majority vote which papers qualify for honors.