Approaches to History Seminars

During the spring semester of their sophomore year, prospective history concentrators are encouraged to take one of the Approaches to History seminars:
  • HIS 280: Approaches to American History (offered Spring 2023)
  • HIS 281: Approaches to European History (not offered Spring 2023)
  • HIS 282 / EAS 282: A Documents-Based Approach to Asian History (not offered Spring 2023)

While the topics of such seminars change from year to year, their purpose is always the same: to introduce students to the basic vocabulary of the historian's craft and to develop the students' skills in the interpretation and analysis of documents, the framing of historical questions, and the construction of effective arguments. Approaches Seminars provide an excellent foundation for future independent work in history. Despite the seemingly low number of pages assigned every week, the Approaches Seminars are considered some of the most challenging classes the History Department has to offer. As a consequence, the seminars usually attract some of Princeton's sharpest and most highly motivated students.

For prerequisite requirements, please refer to our Distribution Requirements.