Revised history curriculum instituted

B eginning this fall, undergraduate history majors will be meeting revised curriculum requirements developed by the department.

"We redesigned the program to reflect both the cluster system in the College and the shape of majors we investigated at other institutions," explained associate professor Celia Applegate, who was director of undergraduate studies last year.

Previously, the history concentration included a course in pre-1789 history and one course in the period after that; five courses in one geographical area of concentration; and two to four courses in an allied field.

Now, students will need to have two courses in each of the chronological periods.

They'll also have to take at least one course in three of the following geographical areas: Europe, the United States, Africa, Latin America, or Asia and the Pacific.

Though the allied-field requirement has been dropped, students will need to accumulate five courses in a focus area. The focus topics parallel cluster categories: American history, European history, Asian and Asian-American history, African and African-American history, international history, women's history, economic history, cultural and intellectual history, and social and economic history.

Students now will need to successfully complete 10 rather than eight history courses. However, students who use a foreign language in their research can count two language courses toward the 10-course requirement, with department approval. The provision recognizes and encourages the need for language studies to research primary sources for those majors studying non-U.S. or non-English history.

The new 10-course major also allows for overlapping: A course on traditional Japan, for example, may count for both the geographic and chronological requirements. In addition, students completing a second major in a field of study related to history also may count two of those courses toward their history majors, noted Applegate.

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