Program Overview:

Major in History

In studying history, we study ourselves - the epic of humankind with its successes and failures, sacrifices and follies. If there is a single factor that distinguishes history from the other social sciences, it is the dimension of change and evolution over time that the historian brings to the events of today. The study of history is an essential preparation for any profession that requires knowledge of humanity and society or that demands facility with the organization and communication of knowledge.

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Examine and evaluate written or material evidence within a historical context
  • Demonstrate understanding of change over time and the roles of human agency and large-scale forces in causing change
  • Articulate historical themes, approaches and interpretations and primary and secondary sources
  • Analyze information effectively and to construct cause-and-effect relationships from disparate data sources
  • Write persuasively and communicate effectively
  • Work independently and conduct independent research

Required Courses

  • HISTORY 201-A and -B European Civilization
  • HISTORY 210-A and -B History of the United States
  • 4 300-level history courses
  • 2 additional history courses at the 200-300 level
  • HISTORY 395 Research Seminar


At least 2 courses must be in areas other than modern European or United States history.

Program Details

There is no better laboratory for studying the capacities and interactions of human beings as individuals and groups than history. The major in history provides one of the most wide-ranging and varied courses of study, with topics ranging from the Renaissance in Europe and the effects of American slavery to the Vietnam war and 20th-century China, and methods including everything from reading novels to using economic models. Study of history is one of the best foundations for a broad liberal education and acquiring essential intellectual skills. Courses in the major emphasize rigorous historical inquiry and debate through discussion and engagement with both primary sources and interpretations of various forms of scholarship.