Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, April 19, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Friday, April 19, 2019.
Consciously or not, all of us operate as historians. We make judgments and decisions based on our knowledge, however inadequate, of what has gone before. Furthermore, we make sense of our own position in the present by composing and telling stories about where we have been in the past. The formal study of history—the critical examination of human accomplishments and failures—does likewise, and it greatly enhances our ability to judge and decide about both private matters and public issues. Although historical awareness does not offer immediate solutions to contemporary problems, it does lead to a better understanding of them. Studying what was remote in time and space provides important perspectives on politics, society, and culture.
Required for the history major
- The minimal requirement for the major is 10 six unit courses.
- Students must complete a sequence of three courses specifically designed to promote the skills and method of disciplined historical inquiry and to culminate in the production of an original and substantial piece of historical research. These courses must be taken in order and at specified times, so students must take special care when planning their advancement through the major.
- Students are required to take HIST 101: Introduction to Historical Methods, during their freshman or sophomore year.
- Students are required to take HIST 620: Historiography, during their junior year.
- Students are required to take HIST 650: The Practice of History, during their senior year. Exceptions may be granted, however, for majors who petition to complete a piece of advanced and original historical research in suitable off-campus programs.
- Students must complete seven additional courses that will serve both to broaden and to deepen their historical knowledge. One of the seven courses must be a seminar or independent study in which students will begin a research project to be completed in HIST 650.
- Students are required to take at least one six-unit course from each of the following three categories: North America (NA), Europe (E), and Global and Comparative (G&C).
- Students are required to take at least one course that covers materials up to the year 1750.
- Students are required to take at least one course designated as a seminar (numbered between 400 and 599) or one designated as an independent study (numbered between 400 and 599), during their junior year or during the Fall Term of their senior year.
- Students are encouraged to take as many additional courses focusing on their own areas of interest as they and their advisors deem appropriate for the completion of the major.
- Students must have a C average in the major.
Required for the history minor
- The minimal requirement for the minor is 6 six-unit courses.
- Students must take at least one introductory course (numbered between 100 and 199).
- Students must take at least five additional courses.
- No more than one may be an introductory course.
- At least one must be a seminar or independent study (numbered between 400 and 599).
- Students must have a C average in the minor.
Teacher Certification in History or Broad-Field Social Studies
History majors can seek certification to teach history or broad-field social studies at the secondary level. For certification in broad-field social studies, students must complete the history major and a minimum of two courses each in two other social studies (anthropology/sociology, economics, government/political science, or psychology) and at least one course in each of the remaining social studies. A course in environmental studies is also required. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.
The history department encourages majors, whenever possible, to participate in one of the off-campus programs offered either by Lawrence or under the auspices of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest or other consortial arrangements. The Lawrence London Centre and the ACM Newberry Library Program have proven to be of particular interest to history majors, though majors have benefited from participation in numerous others—especially those that match up with students’ area interests (see Off-Campus Programs).
Students who are considering graduate studies in history should know that most doctoral programs require one or more (usually two) languages in addition to English and should work closely with their advisors to plan their schedules accordingly.
Students who have earned a 4 or better in the Advanced Placement Examinations in American History, European History, or World History will receive six units of credit in history and may use that credit in partial fulfillment of the major. (History majors should consult with their advisors to determine which departmental introductory course their AP credit might replace.) These same students are strongly encouraged to consult with any member of the department about appropriate placement in courses above the introductory level.
Senior Experience in History
The Senior Experience in the history department consists of a collaborative one-term seminar, The Practice of History, culminating in an original and substantial piece of historical research. Students will be introduced to the standards of research and writing common to the historical profession and will be guided through their own individual projects. The Practice of History represents the culmination of a course sequence that includes Introduction to Historical Methods and Historiography. It is open to history majors who have completed an advanced seminar, tutorial, or independent study and have outlined a research topic that they are prepared to pursue intensively.