Undergraduate Major in History

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Students seeking information about the Department of History and its programs may consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies or any History faculty member. A list of faculty office hours is posted outside Nau Hall 323 and on the departmental website.

A major in history informs students about the past. It also stimulates thoughtful reading, provokes clear thinking, enlivens critical capacities, and promotes good writing. Historical study provides an outstanding preparation for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex and interdependent world and a firm foundation for many career objectives. To these ends, the department encourages students to work closely with faculty to construct challenging, coherent, and integrated programs of study.

The major program is structured flexibly to achieve breadth while permitting students to specialize in an area that is of particular interest. In consultation with their faculty adviser, students should plan a program that combines small, specialized classes with large introductory ones. Students are encouraged to explore new areas by taking courses that focus on periods and regions with which they are not familiar. The option to pursue a BA in History with a Specialist Concentration offers students the opportunity to explore a theme of particular interest within their History major. Current Concentrations include Capitalism and Economic Life; Environment, Space and Society; Global and Transnational History; Law and Society; Race, Ethnicity, and Empire; and War, Violence, and Society.

Many history majors choose to study abroad, and faculty advisers are happy to work with students in incorporating foreign study into their major.

The history department sponsors lectures, seminars, symposia and conferences which students are encouraged to attend.

 


    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IF DECLARED FALL 2021 OR LATER

    In Fall 2021, the Corcoran Department of History will introduce its redesigned undergraduate history major. The new major gives students a broad background in a range of historical places and periods, while allowing them the flexibility to pursue their own interests. 

    Optionally, students may also choose to pursue one of the following concentrations: Capitalism and Economic Life; Environment, Space, and Society; Global and Transnational History; Law and Society; Race, Ethnicity, and Empire; or War, Violence, and Society. A concentration will appear on the transcript and diploma. 

    These requirements will apply for students who declare the history major in Fall 2021 or later. Students who declared the major prior to Fall 2021 have the option to change to the new major. Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies with this request.  

    The requirements for the history major are as follows:

    1. Ten history courses of 3 or 4 credits each, taken for a letter grade.

    *Please note that no more than two courses can be counted simultaneously for two majors unless one or both majors is interdisciplinary. If one or both majors is interdisciplinary, up to three courses can be counted simultaneously towards two majors. In either case, both sponsporing programs or departments must approve the sharing of courses for both majors.

    a. At least two courses, in any mnemonic(s), concerned principally with the period before 1700.

    b. At least two courses, in any mnemonic(s), concerned principally with the period after 1700

    c. Five courses in distinct mnemonics (HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS). (Note: an individual course can simultaneously count for one of the five mnemonics and pre- or post-1700).

    d. One Introductory History Workshop (HIXX 3501). Students should complete this requirement before taking the Major Seminar

    e. One Major Seminar (HIXX 4501 or 4502) or Major Colloquium (HIXX 4511 or 4512).

    i. Major Seminars and Colloquia are offered in a wide range of topics. Students should select a Major Seminar or Colloquium whose topic is familiar to them based on their work in at least two previous History courses.

    ii. A grade of “C” or better is required for the Major Seminar or Colloquium to count toward the major.

    f. additional courses chosen from among the total offerings of the department to complete a ten-course program of study.

    g. Students may elect to complete one of the thematic pathways designated by the department (see below, BA in History with a Specialist Concentration). Students must complete five courses from the list approved for that concentration.

    2. Of the ten courses required for the major, no more than five may be taken in any one mnemonic.

    3. No more than two 1500-level seminars may be counted toward the major.

    4. Courses with the General History (HIST) mnemonic count toward the major, HIST 4501/4502 or HIST 4511/4512 courses count as the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium.

    5. Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) courses cannot be counted towards the major.

    6. Up to three approved transfer courses may be applied toward the major.   Courses taken before matriculation transfer toward the major if they have been approved by the University and are on SIS with a History mnemonic (HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS).  Courses taken after matriculation require departmental approval.  Consult the Transfer Credit Approval Procedure link.

    7.Courses taken in other departments may not be counted toward the major unless cross-listed in the History Department (e.g., ECON 2061/HIUS 2061).

    8. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 in the major.

    9. Before declaring the major, a student should have completed at least one university-level (i.e., UVa or transfer) history course with a grade of “C” or better. This course may be counted toward the ten required for the major. AP or IB courses do not satisfy this prerequisite.

    B.A. in History with a Specialist Concentration

    Students have the option to pursue a specialist Concentration within the History major, which will appear on their transcript and their diploma. To complete a concentration, students must complete all other requirements for the major and select five courses from the relevant list below. A student may choose only one thematic pathway. (Note: pathway courses may also satisfy the geographic and temporal distribution requirements for the major). To discuss the Concentration option or declare a Concentration, please email the Director of Undergraduate Programs, Professor Jennifer Sessions, at jes4fx@virginia.edu.

    A.  Capitalism and Economic Life

    The study of economic life has long been at the core of the historical profession. Modern society’s greatest triumphs, along with its ongoing trials and tribulations, can be traced to the changing forms of socio-economic organization that humans have adopted and the ideas and discourses that motivated them. This pathway explores the processes, practices, institutions, and ideologies that have shaped human economic activity across space and time. It does not limit itself to the quantitative study of the past, but takes a more holistic approach to questions of production, exchange, and consumption over the course of human history. Courses in this pathway closely examine how human practices and institutions have shaped trajectories of economic growth, but also how they sowed the seed of inequality at both the local and global level. Together, we will develop a better understanding of the multiple histories of modern capitalism, but also a sharp sense of the other forms of socio-economic organization that societies engaged in and experimented with. Over the course of the pathway, students will build an analytical toolkit that will help students understand the deep inter-relationships between economy, society and government. They will be able to engage in archival research on questions of economic life across societies and time periods.

    *Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIME 2003: Economic History of the Islamic World

    HIST 2001: Global History

    HIUS 2061: American Economic History

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIAF 3051: West African History

    HIEU 3670: The Fall of Communism: How the Soviet Empire Lost the Cold War

    HIEU 3812: Marx

    HIME 3195: Arabian Seas: Islam, Trade and Empire in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean

    HIUS 3231: Rise and Fall of the Slave South

    HIUS 3232: The South in the Twentieth Century

    HIUS 3411: American Business

    HIUS 3471: History of American Labor

    HIUS 3753: Modern American Law

    HIUS 3853: From Redlines to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the US

    HIST 4400: Topics in Economic History

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIEU 5352: The British Economy Since 1850

    HIME 5053: Slavery in the Middle East and Ottoman Empire

    HIST 5002: Global History

    HIUS 5022: Economic Culture in Early America

    B. Environment, Space, and Society

    People shape their history as they engage with the natural world and the built environment.  This pathway investigates how they move through space, understand it, and attempt to influence it. It centers on environmental history, the history of landscape and material culture, and the politics of spatial control, among other perspectives. It harnesses approaches from the study of literature, geography, philosophy, and digital humanities to generate new historical knowledge. How do people interact with the spaces around them? How do they reach out to the wider world to shape it? How do their understandings of these spaces, in turn, shape them as individuals and as members of cultures and societies?

    *Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIST 2XXX: Introduction  to the History of Environment, Space, and Society (course number tba)

    HIST 2XXX: History of Environment, Space, and Society (course number tba) 

    HIST 2150: Global Environmental History

    HIST 2210: Pandemics, Epidemics, and History

    HIST 2212: Maps in World History

    HIST 2559: Climate History

    HIST 2XXX: History of Sustainability (course number tba)

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIEA 3XXX: Borders, Maps, and Conflicts in East Asia (course number tba) 

    HIEU 3000: History of Modern European Empires

    HISA 3005: War and Peace in South Asia

    HIUS 3011: Colonial America and the Atlantic World

    HIUS 3853: Race and Real Estate in the US

    HIST 3XXX: Apocalyptic History / Histories of the End of the World (course number tba)

    HIST 3XXX: Global History of Nuclear Power (course number tba)  

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIST 5501: Historical Geospatial Visualization (Edelson)

    C. Global and Transnational History

    The Global and Transnational History pathway provides students an opportunity to examine the

    global dimensions of historical problems, both through examining the origins of interconnections between geographic regions and tracing the emergence of international and transnational cultures and religions, social networks, economic patterns, and political movements and institutions across time and space. The methodological goal of this cluster is to train students to think critically about the global links between peoples and places across, above, and beyond states that have shaped the human past and defined our current moment.

    *Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIEU 2004: Nationalism in Europe

    HIME 2003: Economic History of the Islamic World

    HIME 2012: Israel/Palestine, 1948

    HIST 2001: Global History

    HIST 2002: The Modern World: Global History since 1760

    HIEU 2102: Jewish History II: The Modern Experience

    HIEU 2071: Early Modern Europe and the World

    HIEU 2072: Modern Europe and the World

    HIST 2013: Why Did They Kill? Interpreting Genocide and Its Perpetrators

    HIST 2150: Global Environmental History 

    HIST 2214: The Cold War

    HIST 2559: Fascism: A Global History

    HIST 3352: The First World War

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIAF 3051: West African History

    HIEA 3162: Historical China and the World

    HIEA 3321: China and the Cold War

    HIEA 3323: China and the United States

    HIEU 3000: Modern European Imperialism

    HIEU 3152: The British Empire and the Making of the Modern World

    HIEU 3670: Fall of Communism

    HIME 3003: Law and Empire in World History

    HIST 3162: War and Society in the 20th Century

    HIST 3281: Genocide

    HIST 3452: The Second World War

    HIUS 3456: America in the World since 1914

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIEU 5559: Race, Religion and Rights in Global Perspective

    HIST 5001: Policy Design and Statecraft

    HIST 5559: Global Neo-Liberalism, Shock Therapy and Covid-19

    D. Law and Society

    The Law and Society pathway draws on UVA’s unusual strengths in legal history across many fields in the United States and around the globe, and from the ancient world to the modern. Students have the opportunity to explore law’s history in institutional settings—the work of legal professionals, courts, and legislative bodies, and at the national and international level—and to explore more informal modes of legal life. Among topics covered in this pathway are law and human rights, the law of the sea, and the origins of transregional legal regimes; law in relation to race and slavery, in the U.S. and beyond; criminal law in multiple countries; and legal history in and among empires.

    *Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIME 2003: Economic History of the Islamic World

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIEU 3091: Ancient Law and Society

    HIEU 3471: English Legal History to 1776

    HIEU 3695: The Holocaust and the Law

    HIME 3000: Law and Empire in World History

    HIUS 3752: The History of Early American Law

    HIUS 3753: The History of Modern American Law

    HIUS 3853: Race and Real Estate

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIME 5053: Slavery in the Middle East and Ottoman Empire

    HIST 5130: Global Legal History

    E. Race, Ethnicity, and Empire

    The Race, Ethnicity and Empire Pathway encompasses the long temporal arc and shifting geographical scope of imperial formations, as well as the contingent constructions and reconstructions of racial and ethnic formations.  It further encompasses both the creative political, cultural, social, religious, and artistic worlds and subjectivities forged by imperial and/or racialized and gendered subjects; and the ongoing transformations in state formation (e.g. citizenship, law, carceral regimes) labor regimes, and social formations that have produced continually evolving forms of racial, ethnic, and gendered  hierarchies, exclusions, and subjugation.

    Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIAF 2002: Modern Africa

    HIAF 2031: The African Diaspora

    HIEA 2101: Modern Korean History: One Peninsula, Two Paths

    HIEA 2301- Modern China

    HIEA 3112- Late Imperial China

    HIEU 2041: Roman Republic and Empire

    HILA 2001: Colonial Latin America 

    HIME 2001: History of the Middle East and North Africa, c. 500-1500

    HIME 2002: History of Middle East and North Africa, 1500-present

    HIME 2003: Economic History of the Islamic World

    HIME 2012: Israel/Palestine 1948

    HISA 2002: History and Civilization of Medieval India

    HISA 2003: Modern India

    HIST 2150: Global Environmental History

    HIUS 2001: American History to 1865

    HIUS 2003: Slavery & Freedom at UVA and in Virginia

    HIUS 2053: American Slavery

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIAF 3021: History of Southern Africa

    HIAF 3051: West African History

    HIEA 3172: The Japanese Empire

    HIEU 3000: Modern European Imperialism

    HIEU 3152: The British Empire and the Making of the Modern World

    HIEU 3390: Nazi Germany

    HIEU 3462: Neighbors and Enemies in Germany

    HIEU 3692: The Holocaust

    HIEU 3695: The Holocaust and the Law

    HIEU 3702: Russia as Multiethnic Empire

    HILA 3559: The Great Encounter

    HIME 3000: Law and Empire in World History

    HIME 3192: From Nomads to Sultans: The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1700

    HIME 3195: Arabian Seas: Islam, Trade, and Empire in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean

    HISA 3003: Twentieth-Century South Asia

    HISA 3004: India’s Partition: Literature, Culture, Politics

    HISA 3111: Social and Political Movements in Twentieth Century India

    HIST 3281: Genocide

    HIST 3301: South Atlantic Migration

    HIUS 3000: Cultures of U.S. Imperialism: Race, Gender and Empire

    HIUS 3011: The Colonial Period of American History

    HIUS 3032: The Age of Jefferson and Jackson

    HIUS 3161: The American West

    HIUS 3231: The Rise and Fall of the Slave South

    HIUS 3490: From Motown to Hip-Hop

    HIUS 3641: American Indian History

    HIUS 3471: History of American Labor

    HIUS 3651: Afro-American History to 1865 

    HIUS 3652: Afro-American History since 1865

    HIUS 3654: Black Fire

    HIUS 3671: History of the Civil Rights Movement

    HIUS 3853: From Redlines to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in America

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIEU 5061: Roman Imperialism

    HIME 5053: Slavery in the Middle East and Ottoman Empire

    HIUS 5000: African-American History to 1877

    HIST 5130: Global Legal History

    HIST 5621: Genocide

     F. War, Violence, and Society

    The War, Violence, & Society Pathway aims to strengthen students’ historical understanding of armed conflict and other forms of mass violence by contextualizing these in the polities, economies, societies, and cultures in which they took place. Courses in this pathway explore the experience of civil war, international war, and one-sided mass violence in order to better understand how these have shaped and, in turn, been shaped by political, social, economic, demographic, and cultural formations throughout history. These courses also examine the relationship between violence, on the one hand, and sovereignty, state formation, communal or national belonging, citizenship, race, gender, and sexuality, on the other. Faculty teaching in this pathway address all historical eras and regions of the world from antiquity to the present.

    Students electing to follow this pathway must complete all of the distribution requirements for the BA in History and select five courses from the following list:

    HIXX 1501/1502: Introductory Seminar (designated topics)

    HIEU 2XXX: France in the Age of Revolution, 1789-1871 (course number tba) 

    HIEU 2004: Nationalism in Europe

    HIEU 2162: Russia since 1917

    HIST 2214: The Cold War

    HIST 2559: Why Did They Kill: Interpreting Genocide and Its Perpetrators

    HIST 2559: Fascism: A Global History

    HIUS 2051: US Military History 1600-1900

    HIUS 2052: America and War Since 1900

    HIXX 3501: Introductory History Workshop (designated topics)

    HIEA 3321: China and the Cold War

    HIEU 3021: Greek and Roman Warfare

    HIEU 3041: The Fall of the Roman Republic

    HIEU 3312: Europe at War, 1939-45

    HIUS 3352: Modern German History

    HIEU 3390: Nazi Germany

    HIEU 3505: Hitler in History and Fiction

    HIEU 3692: The Holocaust

    HIEU 3695: The Holocaust and the Law

    HISA 3003: Twentieth Century South Asia

    HISA 3004: India's Partition: Literature, Culture, Politics

    HISA 3005: War and Peace in South Asia

    HIST 3281: Genocide

    HIST 3451: The First World War

    HIST 3452: The Second World War

    HIST 3162: War and Society in the Twentieth Century

    HIUS 3011: Colonial America and the Atlantic World

    HIUS 3031: The Era of the American Revolution

    HIUS 3071: The Coming of the Civil War

    HIUS 3072: Civil War and Reconstruction

    HIUS 3172: America in Vietnam

    HIUS 3173: The War in Vietnam in American Film

    HIUS 3456: America and the World since 1914

    HIXX 4501/4502: Seminar (designated topics)

    HIXX 4511/4512: Colloquium (designated topics)

    HIEU 5021: Greece in the Fifth Century

    HIEU 5061: Roman Imperialism

    HIST 5621: Genocide

     

    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IF DECLARED SPRING 2021 OR BEFORE

    1.     To declare a History major, students must have completed at least one university-level (i.e., UVa or transfer) history course with a grade of C or better. AP and IB courses do not satisfy this prerequisite.

    2.     Eleven history courses of 3 or 4 credits each, taken for a letter grade.

    o    one in pre-1700 European history (HIEU).

    o    one in post-1700 European history (HIEU).

    o    one in U.S. history (HIUS).

    o    two from one or more of the following fields: Africa (HIAF), East Asia (HIEA), Latin America (HILA), Middle East (HIME), South Asia (HISA).

    o    one Major Seminar (HIXX 4501 or 4502) or Major Colloquium (HIXX 4511 or 4512).

    §  Major Seminars and Colloquia are offered in a wide range of topics. Students should select a Major Seminar or Colloquium whose topic is familiar to them based on their work in at least two previous History courses.

    §  A grade of “C” or better is required for the Major Seminar or Colloquium to count toward the major.

    o    five additional courses chosen from among the total offerings of the department.

    3.     Of the eleven courses required for the major:

    o    five -- including the Major Seminar or Colloquium -- should be numbered 3000 or above.

    o    no more than six courses may be taken in any one field of history. (For purposes of this requirement, each History Department mnemonic – i.e., HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, and HIUS – represents a distinct field of history.)

    4.     No more than two 1500-level history seminars may be counted toward the eleven courses required for the major.  HIST 4501/4502 or HIST 4511/4512 count as the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium.

    5.     Courses with the General History (HIST) mnemonic count towards the major, HIST 4501/4502 and HIST 4511/4512 courses count as the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium.

    6.     Advanced Placement (AP)/ International Baccalaureate (IB) courses:

    o    Students with AP and IB courses cannot apply both toward the major. This is a clarification of the requirements for the History major.

    o    One Advanced Placement (AP) History course with a score of 5 may be applied toward the major. The AP course does not fulfill departmental requirements in the fields of United States (HIUS) or European (HIEU) History. The AP course will transfer as HIST 2000T. This is a revision of the requirements for the History major. It is effective for all students whose AP credits transfer to the University after the Spring 2010 semester.

    o    International Baccalaureate (IB) courses with a grade of 6 count as one course toward the major; courses with a grade of 7 count as two courses toward the major. The IB course will transfer as HIST 2000T, with either three or six credits.

    7.     Up to four approved transfer courses may be applied toward the major. Courses taken before matriculation transfer toward the major if they have been approved by the University and are on SIS with a History mnemonic (HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS).  Courses taken after matriculation require departmental approval.  Consult the Transfer Credit Approval Procedure link.

    8.     Courses taken in other departments may not be counted toward the major unless cross-listed in the History Department (e.g., ECON 2061/HIUS 2061).  Nor can they  be counted toward the minor if they are intended to count for the major in the other cross-listed department, in this case Economics.

    9.     Students must complete the eleven courses toward the History major with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

    HOW TO DECLARE

    To declare a major in history, you will need to submit the declaration form via DocuSign. Before you declare, you must have completed one university-level history class (UVA or transfer) with a grade of C or better.

    The form requires you to list the courses you have completed in the past or tentatively plan to take in the future to complete the major requirements. Any history faculty member can help you devise a program of study or answer questions about the major. Your form should list a total of 11 courses.

    When completing the form, list the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Jennifer Sessions, jes4fx@virginia.edu) as the Declaration of Major/Minor Contact. You will then be assigned to a major advisor.


    HISTORY MAJOR ADVISING

    Declared majors consult with their faculty advisers at least once per semester, usually a week or two before the registration period. Special problems or questions can be addressed at this or any other time. The advising system can be an extremely valuable aid to students as they negotiate their way through the department's program. Students circumvent it at their peril.

    Declared majors will be assigned a temporary adviser if their regular advisor goes on leave. Students will be informed of the change at the beginning of the semester. Unless you are informed otherwise, you will automatically be reassigned to your regular adviser when he or she returns from leave.


    TYPES OF UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

    The Undergraduate Record contains a list, with a brief description, of all departmental courses. This list is current to within about one year of the nominal date of the Record. Not all courses listed in the Record are taught in any given year; some are taught rarely.

    View detailed descriptions of current courses, here.

    The following types of courses are available to undergraduate students.

    • 1500-LEVEL INTRODUCTORY SEMINARS are small classes for first- and second-year students. Enrollment is limited to 15 students per seminar. The purpose of these seminars is to introduce students to the study of history at the University level. Five to ten of these seminars, on a wide range of topics, are offered each term. These courses, which emphasize reading, writing, and discussion, automatically fulfill the College’s Second Writing Requirement. They meet once a week for 2.5 hours and are usually taught by regular department faculty.

    • 2000-LEVEL SURVEY LECTURE COURSES are offered every semester in many areas of history.  These courses cover a long period of time over an extensive geographic area.  They are as intensive and demanding as 3000-level courses.  Overall enrollment in these courses ranges from 40 to 180 students. These courses often feature two 50-minute lectures and a small 50-minute discussion section (maximum of 20 students) per week. In some cases, however, these courses meet twice a week in a combined 75-minute lecture/discussion format. Survey courses are offered by regular faculty, and discussion sections -- when offered as part of such a course -- are typically led by advanced graduate students.

    • 3000-LEVEL SPECIALIZED LECTURE COURSES are offered every semester in many areas of history. These are specialized courses that allow for deeper investigation of a topic or period than would be possible in a 2000-level survey. Overall enrollment in these courses ranges from 30 to 180 students. These courses often feature two 50-minute lectures and a small 50-minute discussion section (maximum of 20 students) per week. In some cases, however, these courses meet twice a week in a combined 75-minute lecture/discussion format. These courses are offered by regular faculty, and discussion sections -- when offered as part of such a course -- are led by advanced graduate students and/or faculty.

    • MAJOR (4501/4502) SEMINARS AND MAJOR (4511/4512) COLLOQUIA Every history major must take either a Major Seminar or a Major Colloquium. Over a dozen of these courses are offered each semester on a wide range of specialized topics. Students should have completed at least two History courses that are related in a fairly direct way to the topic of their Major Seminar or Colloquium. For this reason, majors typically take the Major Seminar or Colloquium in the third or fourth year. Enrollment in each of these courses is limited to 12 students, and is by instructor permission. (Non-majors may enroll if space is available and with instructor permission.) These courses meet once a week for 2.5 hours and are taught by regular faculty or by advanced graduate students who are completing dissertations in the subject area of the course. These courses automatically fulfill the College’s Second Writing Requirement.

    • REGISTRATION FOR MAJOR SEMINARS AND COLLOQUIA

      Admission to Major Seminars (4501/4502) and Colloquia (4511/4512) is by instructor permission. Registration will take place through the electronic online permission list.  In the available comment box, indicate the courses that have prepared you for the seminar and your interest in the topic.  State if you are in the History Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) or are a fourth-year History major in the Masters of Teaching (MAT) program in order to obtain the necessary priority enrollment.  Each semester prior to the registration period students are sent an email with instructions, including the deadline for adding your name to the permission list.  History students are given enrollment priority. 

       

    What is the difference between a Major (4501/4502) Seminar and a Major (4511/4512) Colloquium? Major Seminars are typically offered in areas of history that feature an abundance of English-language primary sources. The goal of the Major Seminar is for each student to produce a ca. 25-page research paper based on primary sources. Major Colloquia, by contrast, tend to be offered in areas of history in which there are few English-language primary sources available. As in a Major Seminar, students in a Major Colloquium are expected to produce ca. 25 pages of written work, although this written work is usually divided among several assignments of roughly equal length. Another difference between Major Seminars and Major Colloquia is that students in the latter often rely more on secondary sources (i.e., scholarly interpretations of the past) rather than on primary sources (e.g., diaries, memoirs, diplomatic papers) in their written work.

    There is no foreign language requirement for any of the Major Seminars or Major Colloquia. As in all undergraduate-level history courses, all readings are in English.

    NOTE: Only courses numbered 4501, 4502, 4511, or 4512 meet the Major Seminar/Major Colloquium requirement of the history major.

    • 4591 SEMINARS are small classes (maximum of 15 students) that focus on a particular area or topic of history. They are usually taught by regular faculty and emphasize reading, writing, and discussion. These courses meet once a week for 2.5 hours and are open to all undergraduates. They do NOT fulfill the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium requirement of the History major. Some, though not all, of these courses meet the College’s Second Writing Requirement.

    • 5000-LEVEL SEMINARS are small classes (maximum of 15 students) that focus on a particular area or topic of history. They are usually taught by regular faculty and emphasize reading, writing, and discussion. These courses, which are intended for upper-level undergraduates and beginning graduate students, meet once a week for 2.5 hours. While lower-level undergraduates may enroll in a 5000-level seminar, they are strongly advised to consult with their faculty adviser and the course instructor before doing so. Some, though not all, of these courses meet the College’s Second Writing Requirement.


    DISTINGUISHED MAJORS PROGRAM

    The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) offers opportunities for methodological training, independent study, and directed research beyond those available in the regular undergraduate history curriculum. DMP students must fulfill all requirements of the History major. In addition, they take HIST 4890 (DMP Colloquium, 3 credits) during the fall semester of their third year and HIST 4990 or 4991 (DMP Seminar, 6 credits) during the fall and spring semesters of their fourth year.

    In HIST 4890, DMP students receive an intensive introduction to historical methods and approaches. In HIST 4990 or 4991, DMP students research and write a ca. 80-page thesis. These special DMP courses -- HIST 4890 and HIST 4990/4991 -- count as three of the eleven courses required for the major.

    Students of demonstrated ability -- a GPA of at least 3.4 in all university, college, and department courses is required for an honors degree -- may apply to the Director of the DMP for admission. For further information, see Distinguished Majors Program

    The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.