The History Department offers forty different undergraduate courses each year. A combination of lecture classes and limited-enrollment seminars, History courses cover two thousand years of human experience in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The faculty approach these areas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: Cultural, Economic, Environmental, Ethnic, Gender, Intellectual, Labor, Political, Social, and Urban history.

The History Department has structured its undergraduate concentration both to encourage breadth of knowledge and to allow concentrators to focus their studies on what most interests them. Concentrators must take at least one course in each of four areas: American, European, Non-Western, and Pre-Modern history.

Central to the undergraduate concentration are the two junior papers and the senior thesis. All newly-declared History concentrators are enrolled in a research seminar in the fall of their junior year that offers an introduction to the skills of historical research and writing. In stages, concentrators advance toward the writing of the 75-page senior thesis based on original historical research. The Davis Center awards the Stone / Davis Prize to rising seniors who travel to conduct archival research. In past years, the Department has supported travel to Germany, England, and South Africa, among other places. Thesis titles in recent years include "Navigating Space and Media in LGBTQ+ Japan: A History of LGBTQ+ People and Their Representation in Media"; "Producing the Family in Egypt: Mass Media, Family Planning, and Egypt's Population Crisis, 1977-1994"; "'Is this all that Melville has to say about America?' Re-reading Moby-dick in the 20th Century"; "The Books of Angelópolis: A Study of the Book Culture and Libaries in Puebla de los Ángeles: 1531-1640"; "Fog, Fog, Fog, and Smoke: The Environmental Effects and Societal Change from Coal Use in 19th-Century Britain."

Learn more about majoring in history »


Departmental Representative
229 Dickinson Hall
Undergraduate Program Administrator
129 Dickinson Hall