Major Curriculum

Students having class outside

Major Requirements


The Department of History is organized into 10 fields of study. For the purposes of the undergraduate major, these fields are divided into two categories, reflecting a Western or non-Western orientation. Some courses can provide credit in either category.

Category I

  • Ancient
  • Medieval
  • Modern Western Europe
  • Russia/Eastern Europe
  • United States

Category II

  • Africa and Middle East
  • East Asia
  • Latin America
  • Native America

Credit Hours & Courses

The minimum requirement for a major in history consists of 36 credit hours representing both Categories I and II, as follows:

  1. HIST 301 The Historian's Craft
  2. A Minimum of four courses (12 hours), each, in Category I or Category II
  3.  HIST 696: Senior Research Seminar or HIST 690/691: Honors Thesis Seminar
  4. A minimum of 21 hours (excluding HIST 301 & HIST 696) must be at taken at 300-699 level. At least six of these hours are required to be at the 500-699 level. (i.e., no more than 9 hours, 3 courses, numbered 100-299)

Exceptions to any of the above requirements must be by petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

We urge every major to work closely with an advisor to develop a coherent course of study that reflects his or her intellectual interests. Only two courses are required for all majors. The historical methods course, History 301 (The Historian’s Craft), is ideally taken as soon as the student decides to major in history and must be completed before a student can register for the second required course, History 696 (Senior Research Seminar). HIST 696 is normally taken during the senior year. Students with at least a 3.5 grade-point average in history may also apply to complete a 2-semester Honors Thesis class (HIST 690 and HIST 691) instead of HIST 696.

Thematic Areas

Classes offered by the Department of History touch on a variety of themes that transcend the division between Western and Non-Western History. Students are encouraged to select courses that examine areas of interest to them. Choosing courses from the same thematic area allows students to consider historical questions and problems across time and space and can help students gain an awareness for how Western and Non-Western societies have experienced similar historical issues.  The following themes reflect concentrations in the department’s undergraduate curriculum that may be of interest to students.

  • HIST 326: Native Americans Confront European Empires
  • HIST 353: Indigenous People of North America
  • HIST 510: Global Indigenous History
  • HIST 316: Ministers and Magicians: Black Religions from Slavery to the Present
  • HIST 319: History, Women and Diversity in the U.S.
  • HIST 359: The Black Experience in the U.S. since Emancipation
  • HIST 350: The Korean War
  • HIST 358: The Vietnam War
  • HIST 390: Post Colonial Korea
  • HIST 584: Modern China
  • HIST 603: History of Tibet
  • HIST 331: Age of Empires, The Atlantic 1400-1800
  • HIST 336: Ethics, Ideas and Nature
  • HIST 347: Environmental History of North America
  • HIST 363: Perspectives on Science, Engineering and Mathematics
  • HIST 117: Russia: An Introduction
  • HIST 124: Latin American Culture and Society
  • HIST 150: Introduction to Food History
  • HIST 203: Speaking the Past: Christianity in American Life