The curriculum offered by the Department of History is exceptionally broad, covering Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States, and including social, political, intellectual, cultural, and economic history. The course offerings are divided into four levels devised to meet a variety of student needs.
The first level of instruction (courses numbered 100-199) is designed to introduce the beginning student to the discipline of history. These courses survey general trends and developments in European, United States, Latin American, or Asian history.
The second level consists of upper-division courses (numbered 300s) that focus on particular themes, regions or periods. These courses are generally offered on a rotating basis every third or fourth semester.
All students are encouraged to enroll in the first two levels of courses. The third and fourth are designed specifically for History majors.
The History Colloquium (HIST 200), Readings Seminar (HIST 250), and Historiography and Methods (HIST 395) constitute the third level of instruction. The History Colloquium is intended for beginning majors and typically taken in the Sophomore year. The History Colloquium stresses the use of primary sources and provides an intensive study of a particular topic through reading, writing and discussion. The Readings Seminar stresses the development of critical reading skills for secondary materials. Historiography and Methods addresses the critical skills applied by historians to the materials they work with and prepares students to conduct their own research in HIST 399.
The fourth level is the Senior Thesis (HIST 399). This course constitutes the capstone of the major's experience and demands that students develop and conduct their own research project. Students research, organize, and write a substantial paper and present their results publicly to students, parents, and friends.