2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
    May 19, 2019  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History Major

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History Overview

The History Department offers a major, a minor and elective courses for non-majors. The program exposes students to different fields of knowledge, offering training in critical thinking; the accumulation, organization and analysis of information; and clear and concise writing. History courses provide an excellent background for graduate school, teaching, careers in law, government, journalism, international affairs, museum, library and archival work, and business. With courses on every major geographical area of the world, and with conceptual approaches ranging from political and diplomatic to social, intellectual and cultural, the History Department offers a rich and diverse curriculum.


For more information, please visit the History Department’s website.

Major Requirements

All history majors must take ten history courses and two related nonhistory courses distributed as follows:

  1. All students majoring in History must take History 120 - Writing History.  This course should be taken, if possible, before the junior year and before enrolling in a research seminar.
  2. Five courses inside the student’s area of specialization.  Of these five courses, at least three must be at the 200 level and at least one must be a seminar or a proseminar.  History majors may select a geographic specialization in U.S., Eurpopean or Global History; or students may instead choose, in consulation with their advisors, to define a thematic specialization that is comparative or transnational in its approach.  This is an opportunity for students to shape the History curriculum to serve their interests, to focus their studies, and to build upon the shared interest of faculty in different geographic/national fields.  Thematic specializations supported by History Department offerings include, but are not limited to: literature and history, the history of women and gender, comparative colonialism, or the history of war and violence.
  3. At least one course in each of the three geographic areas  (U.S., European or Global). Two of these courses must be at the 200 level and one may count toward the student’s area of specialization.
  4. At least one course, either inside or outside their area of specialization, devoted primarily to the period before 1800. An up-to-date list of courses that meets this requirement may be found in the History Department Handbook.
  5. A capstone course during the senior year. This requirement is intended to serve as the intellectual culmination of your undergraduate education. It may be fulfilled through a directed readings course or research seminar in your area of specialization or by entering the honors program and writing an honors thesis.
  6. Two courses outside history in fields related to the student’s area of specialization. These courses must be approved in advance by the student’s history adviser and must be taken after the student has declared herself or himself to be a History major.


Majors select an adviser from the history faculty and they consult regularly, especially before registering each semester. The student and adviser design a coherent sequence of courses, and choose nonhistory courses that enhance the area of concentration. They also can make decisions about advanced research courses and enrollment in the departmental honors program.


The Honors Program in History provides outstanding majors with an opportunity to pursue independent research on a larger scale.  Honors can be immensely rewarding and enjoyable because of the excitement of original research and the chance to work closely with a professor on an individual basis. 

The History Honors Program requires the completion of an honors thesis during the senior year.  Students interested in honors should discuss the matter with their advisor during the fall of their junior year, to ensure that they have the requisite skills, initiative, and experience to complete the program.  Students who apply are required to have successfully completed a history research seminar in preparation for the honors program.  

Before applying to the honors program, students must take one of the department’s seminars or proseminars that emphasize the development of research, analytical and writing skills. A significant part of these courses is devoted to the writing and revising of research papers. Students should consult with their advisers or the department chair in selecting a course that satisfies the prehonors requirement. This course is normally taken during the junior year.

History Faculty

Program Faculty

Taner Akçam, Ph.D.
Norman Apter
Debórah Dwork, Ph.D.
Janette T. Greenwood, Ph.D.
Willem Klooster, Ph.D.
Thomas Kuehne, Ph.D.
Nina Kushner, Ph.D.
Douglas Little, Ph.D.
Olga Litvak, Ph.D.
Drew McCoy, Ph.D.
Ousmane Power-Greene, Ph.D.
Amy Richter, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

John Brown, Ph.D.
Paul Burke, Ph.D.
Richard Ford, Ph.D.
Everett Fox, Ph.D.
Thomas Massey, Ph.D.
Mark Miller, Ph.D.
Meredith Neuman, Ph.D.

Kristina Wilson, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Robert Dykstra, Ph.D.
Alden Vaughan, Ph.D.

Emeriti Faculty

George A. Billias, Ph.D.
Daniel Borg, Ph.D.
Paul Lucas, Ph.D.

Research Faculty

Paul Ropp, Ph.D.

History Courses

Course Offerings by Geographic Area

U.S. History

European History

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