2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Dec 03, 2023  
2022-2023 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. Curricular offerings are organized by the history of individual nations, regions, and social groups, while following the movements of people and ideas across geopolitical and metaphorical boundaries.

Courses consider a range of topics from the history of politics and diplomacy, to the history of gender, religion, culture, social movements, and everyday life. History courses, no matter the specific topic of study, educate students to read and evaluate sources, frame research questions, synthesize evidence and ideas, and write with clarity and concision. History students are well prepared for life after Clark, with recent graduates pursuing careers in museums, law, education, and medicine.

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

Major Requirements

All history majors must take ten history courses and two related non-history courses distributed as follows. Grades less than C- will not count towards the major.  Students must also declare a track in one of the following three areas: US History, European History, or Global History.

Note: Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, to declare a self-defined track 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 interests 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.

  1. All students majoring in History must take HIST 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 Track.  Of these five courses, at least three must be at the 200 level and at least one must be a seminar or a proseminar.  
  3. At least one course in each of the three geographic area tracks (U.S., European, or Global). Two of these courses must be at the 200 level and one may count toward the student’s track.
  4. At least one course (either inside or outside their track), devoted primarily to the period before 1800: HIST 011   HIST 040    HIST 050  HIST 070    HIST 071    HIST 085    HIST 110   HIST 112    HIST 116   HIST 118    HIST 191   HIST 201   HIST 205    HIST 206   HIST 212   HIST 226    HIST 235   HIST 254    HIST 295   
  5. A capstone course, usually taken during the student’s senior year, is required for the major. The capstone is intended to serve as the culmination of an undergraduate History education and offers the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in previous coursework, including: 1) an understanding of the nature of historical evidence; 2) research skills in the use of primary and secondary sources; 3) an understanding of historiography and how it shapes a research project.

Students may satisfy the History capstone requirement by completing one of the following:

  • 200-level research seminar*
  • Honors Thesis (Hist 297)
  • Independent Research/Public History Project (Hist 299)*

*Students should confer with their advisor and the course instructor to determine whether a particular seminar is appropriate for satisfying their capstone requirement in the context of their specialization.

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 advisor and must be taken after the student has declared a History major.

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

History majors may count no more than two “Passes” toward the major, exclusive of their outside-related courses.  In other words, students must have at least eight letter grades in History courses.  Please note History majors may not take Hist 120 or their capstone seminar Pass/Fail.


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 adviser during the fall semester 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. In addition, their GPA must be at least 3.50 at the time of application (mid-April of junior year).

Students admitted to Honors register for History 290 (Honors Forum), History 297 (Honors), and History 299 (Directed Readings) during senior year (a total of 3.5 credits). Students devote two units of course work, one in the fall and one in the spring, to researching and writing the honors thesis (History 297). Students receive a preliminary grade of P (pass) for the fall semester of History 297. Following the completion of History 297 in April/May and the evaluation of the honors thesis, students will receive a letter grade that will be applied both to the spring and, retroactively, to the fall semester. Please note that each student must consult with their thesis adviser at the end of the fall semester to confirm that they have permission to continue in the Honors Program.

In order to gain command of the secondary literature surrounding their topic, a unit of directed readings (History 299) in the fall semester is devoted to readings with an appropriate member of the department, usually the thesis adviser. Honors students receive a letter grade for this directed readings course. 

Finally, Honors students are required to register for History 290, the Department’s Honors Forum. This .25-credit course is designed to support honors students as they go through the process of writing their honors thesis. Students enroll in both Fall and Spring and are graded pass/fail.  


History Faculty

Program Faculty

Elizabeth Imber, Ph.D.
Willem Klooster, Ph.D.
Thomas Kuehne, Ph.D.
Nina Kushner, Ph.D
Douglas Little, Ph.D.
Lex Jing Lu, Ph.D.
Drew McCoy, Ph.D.
Ousmane Power-Greene, Ph.D.
Amy Richter, Ph.D., Chair
Frances Tanzer, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Everett Fox, Ph.D.
Meredith Neuman, Ph.D.
Kristina Wilson, Ph.D.

Senior Research Faculty

Taner Akçam, Ph.D.

Janette T. Greenwood, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

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

Emeritus Faculty

Daniel Borg, Ph.D.

History Courses

by Geographic Area/TRACK

U.S. History

 seminar/proseminar courses incude: HIST 209  HIST 213    HIST 215   HIST 217   HIST 288       

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