History Requirements

Required for the Major in History: Each major must take 11 history courses before graduation, including: (1) at least one but no more than three courses numbered 0100 to 0199; (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 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. With permission of the department, up to two cognates in historical aspects of other disciplines may be counted toward 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.
     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: 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 reading seminar and HIST 0600 and must write a two-term thesis combining the skills of both major disciplines.
     International and Global Studies Majors with Disciplinary Focus in History:
Students must complete a 0100-level course and five other courses, including a 0400-level seminar normally taken in the senior year. The seminar and at least two other courses should be within the regional focus, and at least one course should be outside the regional focus. With the permission of the History Department Chair, up to two of these courses can be taken abroad.
     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.
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 0400-0450 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


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