REQUIREMENTS FOR HISTORY MAJORS
To keep track of courses taken, use the Course Table. Click here to download it (Microsoft Word document).
For the Class of 2015 onwards, click here instead for the updated Course Table.
- Courses in the history major are divided into three area categories: Category I (Africa, Asia, and World History); Category II (Europe, Russia, and the USSR); and Category III (the Americas).
- Courses are also divided into the categories of “early” and “modern,” depending on the time period they cover. The dividing lines between these categories vary depending on the region being studied. For example, in American history, the dividing line between early and modern courses is the Civil War. In European history, courses that focus on the period after 1750 count as modern, all others as early courses. (All ancient history courses count for early Europe.) In Latin America, the dividing line is Independence (roughly 1820.)
- Some courses can be counted as either early or modern, or as fulfilling a requirement in more than one regional category. A course that counts for two areas or periods must devote a substantial part to each (at least one third).
- History courses taken abroad and approved by the chair can count for area requirements. Please note: courses on the history of Australia or New Zealand do not count as Category I courses unless they focus on aboriginal societies.
- To count as one of the twelve required history courses, a class must award at least three credits.
- An independent study with History faculty (including HI 483 and HI 484) will count toward the twelve required courses and area requirements if it carries at least 3 credits (2 for JanPlan) and is graded. However, no more than two independent studies can count.
- Ask the chair of the department if there is any doubt about how to count a particular course you are taking or have taken in the past.
- AP courses, even if they receive all-college credit (“H”), do not count for the history major. However, we encourage and allow first-year students with AP history credit to enter 200-level courses in the field of their AP course.
- A number of courses (normally those designated 297, 298, 397, 398, and 498) are usually one-time offerings.
- The Senior Honors Thesis sequence is HI 483f followed by HI 484 s. Honors candidates must also complete another 400 level seminar.
NOTE: Students can count courses marked by an asterisk (*) in either of two fields, but not both.
Revised: EDL, May 2012
Satisfaction of History Department Requirements
For the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015: A total of 12 three- or four-credit courses must be taken in the major, including:
- 6 area requirements (see explanation below),
- HI 200 (Introduction to History)
- one 300-level course
- one 400-level senior research seminar
For the classes of 2016 and beyond, the same as above except that TWO 300-level courses rather than one are required, and HI 276 (Patterns and Processes in World History) is also required for all majors. In addition, as of the class of 2016, HI 200 and HI 276 are prerequisites for history majors for all 300- and 400-level courses. Note that students must take at least one 400-level seminar with a departmental historian; they can also take a 400-level seminar with a non-departmental historian if they wish. Finally, students can take a maximum of three courses with non-departmental historians (at Colby or abroad) to count for the major.
- At least two courses in all three areas (Category I, Category II, Category III). Please note: Because of its geographical scope, complexity, and extraordinary cultural and historical diversity, students are strongly encouraged, but are not required, to take a minimum of three courses in Category I.
- Within each area, one course above the 100 level
- Within each area, one course in early and one course in modern history (E or M)
- College rules allow no course to count for a major if the grade is below C-
Note: The 300- and 400-level seminars may count for area requirements.