History is the study of how societies and cultures across the world change over time. History concentrators learn to write and think critically, and to understand issues from a variety of perspectives. The department offers a wide variety of courses concerned with changes in human experience through time, ranging from classical Greek and Roman civilizations to the histories of Europe, the Americas, and Asia. While some courses explore special topics, others concentrate on the history of a particular country (e.g. Russia or France) or period of time (e.g. the Middle Ages or the Renaissance). By taking advantage of our diverse course offerings, students can engage in and develop broad perspectives on the past and the present.
Students in this concentration will:
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Capstone seminars (numbered in the 1960-1979 series) are designed to serve as an intellectual culmination of the concentration, providing an opportunity to delve deeply into a historical problem and to write a major research and/or analytical paper All students must complete the capstone. Qualifying students who wish to write a thesis may apply for the Honors program. Honors students must have achieved two-thirds “quality grades” (grades of “A” or “S with Distinction”) in History department courses. Honors is normally a three-semester process. HIST 1992 is optional and HIST 1993 and HIST 1994 are required. Students going abroad during their 6th semester should take HIST 1992 in semester 5, to prepare them for research in foreign archives. Seniors may complete their theses in either semester 7 or semester 8. Students who are considering applying for Honors are encouraged to meet with the History Department Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). Please consult the department’s website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
Alumni with degrees in history have pursued a wide range of careers in medicine, business, law, management consulting, communications and media, and the foreign service. They now work for firms including Amazon.com, Google, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Archives, Dow Jones and Company, DreamWorks, Kaiser Permanente, Cisco Systems, Polo/Ralph Lauren Corporation, Department of the Treasury, and Algonquin Books.
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