The History major consists of 11 courses beginning with “The Craft of History.” The purpose of this course is to explore a variety of approaches to the study of history by discovering how the interpretations, writing, and purposes of history have changed over time. We will study and apply various methods used by historians to gather information and draw conclusions. Rather than understanding history merely as “what happened” we will come to understand history as a dynamic relationship between the present and the past, in which people debate and disagree over the meanings and interpretations of historic events.
In order to develop a familiarity with different parts of the world and different moments in the past, students majoring in history must complete at least three courses over seven continents and two courses in the pre-modern (pre-1500) era.
History majors also complete two Readings Seminars and one Senior Capstone Seminar. Seminars are have limited enrollments (15-18) and are taught by faculty members on topics relating to their current research. Readings Seminars involve directed readings, short papers, and oral presentations. History faculty work with students to customize their Senior Capstone seminar to study in depth topics of their choosing and to write major research papers based on both primary and secondary sources.
Students majoring in History may apply to undertake an Honors capstone during their senior year. Students writing an Honors capstone enroll in a special Research Seminar that emphasizes historiography and historical methods.