The History major introduces students to major civilizations of the past while it develops skills of research, analysis and expression that are essential to students in the Liberal Arts environment. History majors learn not only what happened in the past, but also how to explain significant elements of continuity and how to analyze moments of profound rupture. Thus a History major develops a deep appreciation for the durable phenomena of world cultures (the persistence of poverty, the transcendence of genius, the corruption of political power), as well as a keen analytical framework for understanding transformative moments in time (the American, Mexican and French Revolutions, the Civil Rights Movement, etc.)
In view of the variety of departmental offerings, History majors are allowed to design their own mix of courses. The department offers guidelines, attentive advising, and carefully selected requirements to ensure coherence in the student's growing mastery of the discipline. Still, much of the choice on specific courses is left up to the individual student. The student's pathway through the major should reflect his or her particular interests, abilities and career plans.
See History Department Web site: https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/history/
Requirements for a Major
The major requires a total of 72 credits from courses taken in the history department. History 100's and the comprehensive exercise count toward the total number of credits. Courses in ancient history are taught in the Classics department and count toward the history major. Certain courses offered outside the history department also count toward the major; these courses are specified in the course catalog.
Courses must be taken in at least three of the following eight fields: 1) United States, 2) Ancient and Medieval, 3) Early Modern and Modern Europe, 4) the Middle East and Asia, 5) Africa and Its Diaspora, 6) Latin America, 7) the Atlantic World and 8) Environment and Health. Students choosing fields 1-4 as their primary field will take four courses; those choosing 5-8 may take four courses in that field, or take three courses in the field and one additional course that is of relevance to the field. This additional course will be chosen in consultation with the adviser.
Self-designed Thematic Field Option
In consultation with the faculty, students may also propose a self-designed thematic field as their primary field (e.g., Gender and History, Colonialism, Environmental History, Communism, Economic History). Interested students should consult the department chair for further details and procedures.
History 200 Sophomore Workshops
Working with evidence is what allows historians to encounter past societies and people. What kind of evidence we have and our approaches to interpreting it shape the questions we can ask and the interpretations we can offer. This series of courses geared toward sophomores will provide interested students with hands-on experience in working with various kinds of evidence and learning about the process of writing histories.
In addition to four courses in a primary field, all majors must also take at least two courses in each of two secondary fields. The History major must complete a research seminar (History 395), the History Colloquium (History 298) and Advanced Historical Writing (History 398). Students prepare for the senior integrative exercise by submitting an acceptable proposal, normally in fall term of the senior year and writing a senior thesis (History 400), normally in the winter term of the senior year. See History Comps Web page.
It is recommended that students planning to major in history take a History 100 seminar and one or two other courses during their first year. History majors who are interested in study and research in a major library should consider the Newberry Library Seminar program. One off-campus program in History is offered in 2016-2017, spring term in Rome. Other additional off-campus programs and graduate studies programs and information can be found in the History department lounge and on the History Department Off-Campus Programs and the Off-Campus Studies office web pages.
Courses from other departments
(may be included in the seventy-two credits total and count towards fields).
- AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies: Immigration and American Culture
- AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies: Placing Identities
- CLAS 122 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory: From the Beginning to the Classical Age (not offered in 2016-17)
- CLAS 227 Greek History: The Greek Polis
- CLAS 228 The Roman Republic (not offered in 2016-17)
- CLAS 230 The World of Alexander (not offered in 2016-17)
- CLAS 231 The Roman Principate
- ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach
- ECON 233 European Economic History (not offered in 2016-17)
- ECON 250 History of Economic Ideas (not offered in 2016-17)
- ECON 277 An Economic History of Financial Crises (not offered in 2016-17)
- EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform
- EUST 100 Allies or Enemies? America through European Eyes
- LTAM 270 Chile's September 11th: History and Memory since the Coup (not offered in 2016-17)
- MELA 230 Jewish Collective Memory (not offered in 2016-17)
- POSC 245 Politics of the Middle East I (1918-67)
- RELG 140 Religion and American Culture
Please ask the history department chair or your adviser about any courses in African/African American Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Classics, Cross Cultural Studies, Economics, Education, European Studies, Environmental and Technology Studies, Latin American Studies, Religion, Women's and Gender Studies, or other special courses offered by an historian in another department if you wish to apply them toward the history major.