Studying the past has the intrinsic value of stretching the imagination and satisfying our curiosity about ourselves. At the same time, the study of history builds skills and knowledge that are indispensable for any career: research; writing and speaking; effective use of evidence and argument; critical awareness of alternatives and the consequences of choice; comprehension of how different cultures and eras have attempted to reconcile individuality and commonweal, material and spiritual values, war and peace.
History provides excellent preparation for students who plan to enter law, business and international commerce, government service, or graduate study in various fields.
The History department offers four levels of courses:
- Lower division courses (numbered under 100) dealing with “continental” or national histories, as well as special seminars (HIST 100 CM , HIST 101 CM ) for freshmen and sophomores with a strong high school background in history. Any one of these courses will fulfill the general education requirement in history.
- Upper division survey courses (numbered 103 through 169) appropriate for a mixed audience of majors and non-majors. These courses are intended primarily for sophomores and upperclassmen with some background in history, although freshmen may take these courses with the consent of instructor. Any one of these courses will fulfill the general education requirement in history.
- Specialized upper division courses (numbered 170 through 178) based on a theme or narrow focus. These courses are designed primarily for majors and students in the social sciences or humanities. Prior college level course work in history or related fields is strongly advised. These courses do not fulfill the general education requirement or the advanced seminar requirement for the major.
- Advanced seminars (numbered 179 and higher) designed primarily for junior and senior history majors. Qualified non-majors and sophomore history majors may take these courses with the consent of the instructor. These courses do not meet the general education requirement in history.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit and Placement
The History department will grant a maximum of one elective credit towards graduation to students who earn a score of 4 or 5 on any of the AP examinations in history, or a score of 6 or 7 on a higher level International Baccalaureate exam in history. These course credits cannot be used for the general education requirement in history or for the history major. Freshmen with high AP or IB scores may receive permission to take an upper division survey course (103 through 169) for the general education requirement in history.
Primary Contact: Professor Nita Kumar, Department Chair