History Requirements

All students declaring a History major or joint major in the Fall of 2018 or later will adopt the following requirements.  Students who declared their major prior to Fall 2018 may choose to adopt these requirements or follow the old requirements.

Required for the Major in History: Students must take 11 history courses before graduation including: (1) at least one but no more than three 0100-level courses; (2) three courses, 0200-level or above, in three of the following six areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; South and Southeast Asia, including the Pacific; North Asia including China, Korea, Japan, and the Asian Steppes; (3) two 0400-level reading seminars in two different geographical regions, one of which may be trans-regional for those not writing a thesis OR one 0400-level reading seminar for those writing a thesis; (4) HIST 0600.

Of the eleven courses required for the major, one must be trans-regional or comparative and two must deal primarily with the period before 1800. Courses which qualify as comparative or for the pre-1800 requirement are identified in the course descriptions and a list is available from the department. In addition to winter term senior thesis study, one other winter term history course may be counted toward the eleven courses necessary for a major in history. Students planning to spend all or part of the junior year abroad should consult with the department before the second semester of their sophomore year. Students planning to go abroad or away for a full year may request to have a maximum of three courses count towards the major. Students planning to go abroad for one semester may request to have a maximum of two courses count towards the major. Upon their return to Middlebury, students must fill out the transfer of credit form from the Registrar’s office  and have it signed by the chair as soon as possible. 400 seminars must be taken in the history department at Middlebury. Cognates or other departmental seminars will not be accepted.

Honors Thesis: Students who have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA in at least 5 history department courses (including up to two courses taken abroad) and at least a B+ in HIST 0600, are eligible to write a two-term honors thesis (HIST 0700). See information below.

 Advanced Placement: Up to two AP history courses, with a grade of 4 or 5, can count toward the major requirement of 11 history courses, but cannot be used to fulfill any specific requirements listed above. Students counting AP European History may not count HIST 0103 or 0104 toward the major, and those counting AP U.S. History may not count HIST 0203 or 0204 toward the major.

 Joint Major Requirements: Students must take a total of at least eight courses in history, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. Cognates are not allowed. A student must take: (1) at least one course in two of the following six areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; South, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific; North Asia including China, Korea, Japan, and the Asian Steppes and one course that is trans-regional or comparative. The choice of courses should depend upon the need to achieve an intellectual coherence and integrity in the student's program; (2) two 0400-level reading seminars, one of which must be taken in the senior year and enable students to combine work from both disciplines, or one 0400-level reading seminar for those writing a thesis.  (3) HIST 0600. 400 seminars must be taken in the history department at Middlebury. Cognates or other departmental seminars will not be accepted.

 Joint Major Honors Thesis: Students who have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA in at least 5 History department courses (including up to two courses taken abroad) and at least a B+ in HIST 0600 may choose to write a two-term honors thesis (HIST 0700).  Joint majors choosing to write a thesis must combine the skills of both major disciplines in their thesis.

 Minor Requirements: Students must take at least five courses, including one 0100-level course, one 0200-level course and one 0400-level course. Students are strongly encouraged to take HIST 0600 as one of the elective courses. No more than two courses may be taken abroad or at another undergraduate institution. Cognate courses cannot be counted towards the joint major. AP and IB credit cannot be counted towards a minor in history.

 HIST 0100-Level Courses
These courses deal with events and processes that affect human societies over long periods of time and across broad geographical areas not confined to national boundaries. Courses include components that act as introductions to the field of history.

HIST 0200-Level Courses
These are lecture courses that deal with a single cultural or national entity, or a clearly related group of such entities, over a substantial period of time (usually a century or more).

HIST 0300-Level Courses
These courses, for the most part, are topically focused courses. Many of them are lecture courses and some are taught in a seminar format. These are not, however, seminars that fulfill the reading seminar requirement.

HIST 0400–Level Reading Seminars
These topically based seminars, which usually meet once a week involve reading and analyzing texts, discussions, student presentations, historiography and writing or producing a final project. The history department offers many types of seminars: seminars on a topic within a given country or region; transnational or global seminars, digital humanities seminars and public history seminars.  Seminars are open to all students except those designated for seniors and juniors. See course description for requirements. A list of seminars is available from the department.

HIST 0600: Writing History
In this course students discuss historical methods and writing strategies to create convincing historical narratives.  With the approval and guidance of the professor, students complete a 20-25-page research paper based on primary and secondary sources. Students take this course in their junior year or if they are away for the entire junior year in the fall of their senior year.

HIST 0700 Senior Honors Thesis
If students have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA in at least 5 History department courses (including up to two courses taken abroad) and at least a B+ in HIST 0600, they may choose to write a two-term honors thesis (HIST 0700). Writing a thesis is a prerequisite for departmental honors. Students must submit a thesis proposal to the department chair and coordinator one week prior to course registration for the term in which the thesis is to be started. Students opting to write a thesis must also take at least one 0400-level reading seminar prior to graduation, but preferably before their last semester at Middlebury. Students may not write a thesis in the same semester that they are taking HIST 0600. If students submit a request to write a senior thesis in the semester in which they are taking HIST 0600, they may receive conditional approval pending the completion and grade in HIST 0600.

Approved students will write a two-term thesis under an advisor in the area of their choosing. The department strongly encourages students to write their theses during the fall and winter terms. Winter/Spring theses are also acceptable with the permission of the chair and the theses advisor. On rare occasions and for compelling reasons, a student may initiate a thesis in the spring of an academic year and finish in the fall of the following year with the approval of the department. All students beginning their thesis in a given academic year must attend the Thesis Writers' Workshops held in the fall and winter of that year. Further information about the thesis is available from the department.

Overall History Honors: To receive departmental honors, high honors*, or highest honors** students must have completed an honors thesis (HIST0700) with a grade of B+, A-*, or A** and must have achieved an overall average of at least 3.5, 3.67*, or 3.75** in all departmental courses.

 Students who declared prior to Fall 2018 may follow the old requirements:

Required for the Major in History: For students who entered prior to Fall 2017, each major must take 11 history courses before graduation, including: (1) at least one but no more than three 0100-level courses; (2) at least one course in European history (which may include Russia/Soviet Union); (3) at least one course in United States history; (4) and at least one course in the history of Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, or Russia/Soviet Union, all to be taken at the 0200-level or higher.  (A course in Russia/Soviet Union may not be used for more than one geographical area);  (5) a 0400-level reading seminar; (6) HIST 0600; (7) a two-term senior thesis, which counts as two of the required 11 courses.

Two of the courses required for the major must deal primarily with the period before 1800. Courses which qualify for the pre-1800 requirement are identified in the course descriptions and a list is available from the department. In addition to winter term senior thesis study, one other winter term history course may be counted toward the eleven courses necessary for a major in history. Under extenuating circumstances, and with the written permission of the chair, one cognate course in historical aspects of other disciplines may count toward a major in history. Students planning to spend all or part of the junior year abroad should consult with the department before the second semester of the sophomore year.  Students planning to go abroad or away for a full year may request to have a maximum of three courses count towards the major. Students planning to go abroad for one semester may request to have a maximum of two courses count towards the major. Upon their return to Middlebury, students must fill out the transfer of credit form from the Registrar’s office  and have it signed by the chair as soon as possible.

Students entering in Fall 2017 or later must take 11 history courses before graduation, including: (1) at least one but no more than three 0100-level courses; (2) three courses, 0200-level or above, in three of the following six areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; South, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific; North Asia including China, Korea, Japan, and the Asian Steppes; (3) a 0400-level reading seminar; (4) HIST 0600; (5) a two-term senior thesis, which counts as two of the required 11 courses.

Students must also follow the pre-1800, winter term, and cognate requirements listed in the paragraph above.

Advanced Placement: Up to two AP history courses, with a grade of 4 or 5, can count toward the major requirement of 11 history courses, but cannot be used to fulfill any specific requirements listed above. Students counting AP European History may not count HIST 0103 or 0104 toward the major, and those counting AP U.S. History may not count HIST 0203 or 0204 toward the major.

Joint Major: For students who entered prior to Fall 2017, a student who is a joint major in history and another department must take a total of at least eight courses in history, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. Cognates are not allowed. A student must take at least one course in two of three sub-fields: Europe, North America, and AAL (Asia, Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Russia/Soviet Union), and one course in the period before 1800. The choice of courses should depend upon the need to achieve an intellectual coherence and integrity in the student's program. Joint majors must take a 0400-level reading seminar, HIST 0600, and must write a two-term thesis combining the skills of both major disciplines.

Students entering in Fall 2017 or later must take a total of at least eight courses in history, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. Cognates are not allowed. A student must take at least one course in two of the following six areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; South, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific; North Asia including China, Korea, Japan, and the Asian Steppes. The choice of courses should depend upon the need to achieve an intellectual coherence and integrity in the student's program. Joint majors must take a 0400-level reading seminar, HIST 0600, and must write a two-term thesis combining the skills of both major disciplines.

Minors in History: Students must take a total of five courses, including one 0100-level course, one 0200-level course and one 0400-level course. No more than two courses may be taken abroad or at another undergraduate institution. Cognate courses from other disciplines will not normally be permitted.
AP and IB credit cannot be counted towards a minor in history.

Honors: To earn departmental honors, high honors*, or highest honors** a student must have at least a 3.4, 3.5*, or 3.67** average or above in history department courses other than the senior thesis, have an oral examination on the senior thesis, and receive a grade of at least B+, A-*, or A** on the thesis (HIST 0700).

HIST 0100-Level Courses
The 0100-level courses (0100-0199) deal with events and processes that affect human societies over long periods of time and across broad geographical areas not confined to national boundaries. These courses include components that act as introductions to the field of history.

HIST 0200-Level Courses
These are lecture courses that deal with a single cultural or national entity, or a clearly related group of such entities, over a substantial period of time (usually a century or more).

HIST 0300-Level Courses
These courses, for the most part, are topically focused courses. Many of them are lecture courses and some are taught in a seminar format. These are not, however, seminars that fulfill the reading seminar requirement.

HIST 0400–Level Reading Seminars
Unlike the courses below the 0400 level, which are primarily lecture courses, these courses are reading seminars on particular periods or topics. They are open to all students, although in cases of overcrowding, history majors will be given priority. First-year students are admitted only by waiver.

HIST 0600 Research Seminar
All history majors are required to take HIST 0600 their junior fall or, if abroad at that time, their senior fall semester. In this course students will conceive, research, and write a work of history based on primary source material. After reading and discussion on historical methods and research strategies, students will pursue a paper topic as approved by the course professors.

International and Global Studies Seminars
These seminars are "capstone" courses required for the International and Global Studies major. They are thematic, interdisciplinary, cross-regional, and team-taught. Students who are not International and Global Studies majors may take these courses for departmental credit, but they will not normally fulfill the History Department major requirement of a 0400-level seminar.

HIST 0700 Senior Independent Study
All senior history majors will write a two-term thesis under an advisor in the area of their choosing. The department encourages students to do their theses during the fall and winter terms. Fall/spring theses are also acceptable and, with permission of the chair, winter/spring. On rare occasions, with departmental approval given for compelling reasons, a thesis may be initiated in the spring of an academic year and finished in the fall of the following year. All students beginning their thesis in a given academic year must attend the Thesis Writers' Workshops held in the fall and winter of that year. Further information about the thesis is available from the department.

 

Department of History

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

MAILING ADDRESS:

Axinn Center at Starr Library
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753