Dec 05, 2020  
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


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The Major in History

A major in history informs students about the past. It also stimulates thoughtful reading, provokes clear thinking, enlivens critical capacities, and promotes good writing. Historical study provides an outstanding preparation for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex and interdependent world and a firm foundation for many career objectives. To these ends, the department encourages students to work closely with faculty to construct challenging, coherent, and integrated programs of study.

The major in history consists of eleven courses. These may be of three or four credits, and up to four courses may be taken by transfer from other American institutions or through recognized foreign study programs. The decision of the director of undergraduate studies is final in matters of transfer credit. Students are expected to declare history majors before the end of their fourth semester at the University and after the completion of at least one history course with a grade of C or better.

To develop breadth and perspective, each student must take one course in each of five areas: European history before 1700; Modern European history; United States history; and two courses from the areas of African, Asian, Latin American and/or Middle Eastern history. These courses may be taken at any level and need not be the first five courses that a student takes.

All students must pursue a particular subject in depth through a seminar or colloquium (HIxx 401 or 402) for which they have been adequately prepared. Preparation normally means at least two courses related to the topic of the seminar or colloquium. Preparatory courses may be taken outside the history department but such courses may not be counted toward the major. Students must attain a grade of C or better in the history seminar or colloquium.

There are a few other basic requirements for the major in history. At least five courses must be numbered 300 or above. No more than six courses (including the seminar or colloquium) may be taken in any single area of history for credit in the major; students may take as many elective courses in history as their schedules and interests permit. History majors must maintain a GPA of 2.000 in their major. The department accepts 1 Advanced Placement course with a score of 4 or 5 toward the eleven courses required for the major. All majors are required to consult with their major advisors at least once per semester.

The Minor in History

The minor in history consist of six courses. These must be distributed in at least three areas of history, and at least two courses must be numbered 300 or above. All courses counted for the minor must be taken in residence at the University.

Distinguished Majors Program in History

Students who seek independent study and directed research may be admitted to the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The program consists of a two-year course of study. In the fall of their third year participants take a special colloquium available only to them, and follow this with a regular major seminar or colloquium in the spring. The fourth year is devoted to the preparation of a substantial thesis and to participation in a year-long seminar. Distinguished majors must meet the other requirements for a history major. Applications for admission to the program are normally accepted in April of each year from second-year students who are otherwise eligible to declare history majors. Information on the program can be secured from its directors or from the undergraduate director. Participants are eligible for degrees with distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. Levels of distinction, are set by a faculty committee based upon the attainment of a minimum GPA of 3.400 for all courses, the quality of the thesis, and the overall quality of a student’s academic record.

The American Studies Major

The American Studies Major offers students the opportunity to study the United States in a multidisciplinary context. History majors focusing on the United States can also major in American Studies readily and efficiently, and this double-major will deepen and enrich their study of United States history in fruitful ways. Students will be admitted to the American Studies Major after a competitive application process that is normally completed at the end of their second year. Those accepted take, in their third year, two seminars that are available only to American Studies students; a fourth-year seminar in a special topic of American Studies; and seven other courses, to be chosen in consultation with the Director of American Studies, from other departments throughout the college and the university. (History majors may count some of their course work in United States history towards the American Studies major.) For more information, please see the Director of American Studies, Department of English, 441 Bryan Hall.

Requirement for Minor in the History of Science and Technology

Please refer to section on the Division of Science, Technology, and Society in chapter 10.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Corcoran Department of History, Randall Hall, P.O. Box 400180, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4180; (434) 924-7147; Fax: (434) 924-7891;

Course Descriptions

European History

General History

United States History

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