The History Major emphasizes the development of research and writing skills, along with the acquisition of historical knowledge. Honors students majoring in history complete both the Major and the requirements for either "Honors in the Arts and Sciences" or "With Research Distinction in History." In order for a history major pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences to maintain status as an Honors student, he or she must prepare and follow a program of study approved by the Arts and Sciences Honors Committee. Students earning a degree with "Honors in the Arts and Sciences" complete an "honors contract" approved by the ASC Honors Committee; these contracts provide for a rigorous program of study. Students earning a degree with "Distinction in History" complete a Senior Honors Thesis under the supervision of a thesis adviser in the Department of History. Some history majors satisfy the requirement for both designations and receive both designations on their degree.
Honors students choosing the history major will engage in a course of study designed to sharpen writing, research, and analytical skills, to develop insights into how historians do their work, and to gain substantial historical knowledge. The History Department offers honors sections of its required courses in the major program. In these courses exceptional students challenge themselves to a rigorous study program and thereby enrich their educational experience. The History Major furnishes excellent preparation for graduate-level work, for professional schools including law school, and for careers in business and public service. Students enrolling in honors courses enjoy special opportunities to study with internationally-known scholars.
Advanced training in foreign languages is important for all Honors students choosing the History Major. Every Honors student choosing the History Major should develop proficiency (meaning the ability to read newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and novels) in at least one foreign language. Honors students in the History Major are strongly encouraged to attain such a level of proficiency in a second foreign language.
Honors students seeking help with their History Major should first see Dr. Richard Ugland, 132 Dulles Hall, 247-6037. He is available to discuss the honors requirements and to help with scheduling classes. Dr. Ugland also helps plan the section on the major in the honors contract required for receiving a degree with "Honors in the Arts and Sciences" and recommends faculty advisers to the individual student. Students who undertake a Senior Honors Thesis also will have a faculty adviser for that project and will enroll in History 783H, "Honors Research."
Honors students enrolled in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences work closely with counselors and members of the faculty to develop a rigorous program of study. With the approval of the Arts and Sciences Honors committee, the program of study may approach requirements flexibly so long as the program includes special rigor and intellectual challenges. Honors students majoring in history thus must work closely with the Arts and Sciences Honors Program staff to ensure completion of the requirements of the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. For honors students majoring in history, the program of study should include enrollment in Honors sections of History 398, "Introduction to Historical Thought," and History 598, "Senior Colloquium."
Honors students majoring in history are encouraged, in their major, to include more than one section of Honors 598 (not to exceed three sections). Honors 598 is designed to provide Honors students with experience in sophisticated research and analysis of a particular topic in a group setting.
Honors students are also encouraged to include History 399H, "Introduction to Historical Research," in their major program. This course offers training in techniques of historical research; students enrolled in it engage in a substantial research project in a seminar setting.
The faculty of the history department encourage the honors student to complete the degree "with research distinction in History" through the writing of a Senior Honors Thesis. Completion of a thesis is important preparation for successful performance in a professional or graduate program. Thesis completion occurs through enrollment in History 783H, "Honors Research". Five credits of History 783H may replace the required History 598H course in the History Major. Students completing a thesis and earning a degree "with research distinction in History" must complete a major program totaling at least 60 credits (15 of which may be credit for History 783H). Students planning to write a thesis should, in consultation with their thesis advisor, define a topic and devise a plan of work at least 4 quarters prior to their anticipated graduation. They may also apply in the Spring and Autumn quarters for the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship competition.
On April 19, 1997, the Department of History sponsored an honors student trip to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. (photo courtesy of K. Austin Kerr)
The first meeting of the History Book Club occurred on January 8, 1998.
History students from time to time invite a member of the faculty to a coffee hour.
Other links of interest to History honors students: