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History Major

Effective Fall 2014

Advising

Appointments with History advisors are scheduled online from the department's webpage: www.lsa.umich.edu/history/undergraduates. Students should see an advisor as soon as they decide on their major or minor.

The History Department offers a three-tiered advising structure.

Tier 1: Faculty Advisors from the History Department's Undergraduate Committee

  • declaring a history major - obtaining general advice about the nature, purpose, and utility of a history degree
  • recommending a faculty mentor
  • approving study abroad and transfer credit
  • declaring an academic minor in History

To make an appointment, go to /lsa.umich.edu/history/undergraduates/advising.html.

Tier 2: The Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies

  • obtaining general advice about the requirements for the major
  • checking progress towards the major or minor
  • completing the graduation checklist and release

To make an appointment, go to /lsa.umich.edu/history/undergraduates/advising.html.

Tier 3: Individual Faculty Mentors

  • obtaining approval for a survey sequence and a major theme
  • getting advice about course selection
  • obtaining advice about career planning

Students generally meet with a Tier 2 advisor for help in selecting a mentor, but all subsequent advising will be done by that individual professor.

Faculty who go on leave will designate a substitute, and inform all their mentees of the temporary change.

Students must arrange appointments directly with their mentors, and are expected to do so at least once a term. It is the student's responsibility to take the initiative in setting up these meetings.

Prerequisites

None.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

A major in History requires a total of ten history courses. Five of these courses must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. At least five of the ten courses must be at the 300-level or above and none can be numbered below 200. Three- and four-credit courses both count as one course. 

  1. Required course. Every history concentrator must take HISTORY 202: Doing History, during the first semester after they declare. If scheduling problems make it absolutely impossible to take the class immediately, it can be delayed with the approval of a department advisor. This course will introduce students to historical research and writing by engaging directly with a wide range of primary sources and considering the various ways they can be interpreted.
  2. The Survey Sequence. The foundation of the history major is a two-part survey sequence. The Department offers a range of pre-approved sequences in various geographical, chronological, and thematic areas, but students can also develop their own pairings in consultation with a faculty mentor and with the approval of the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. A frequently updated list of possible pairings will be available on the History Department website. For a sequence to be approved, the two classes must have a clear and well-conceptualized link, and they must fit within a broader theme.
  3. Regional Distribution
    • Students have to take at least one course in four of the following areas: North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East/Central Asia, Africa, Asia, and Transregional/Global. Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement can be used to satisfy the regional distribution requirement.
    • Courses will count in the Transregional/Global category if they cut across significant geographical boundaries (i.e., continents or oceans) as well as major political boundaries. Included are courses dealing with one oceanic basin, but excluded are courses dealing with multiple sites within one continent.
  4. Pre-1800 Distribution. Students must take at least one course that focuses on a period prior to the year 1800. To meet this requirement, at least 75% of the course material must deal with the pre-modern era. This course can also count as one of the regional courses. Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement cannot be used to satisfy the pre-1800 requirement.
  5. Junior-Senior Colloquium Requirement. Take either HISTORY 496 or HISTORY 497. Honors students fulfill this requirement by taking HISTORY 499.

A list of pre-approved regional distribution courses and pre-1800 courses will be maintained on the History Department website.

These requirements can overlap. For example, a colloquium about ancient Greece satisfies the pre-1800, European, and colloquium requirements and also counts as one of the upper-level history courses.

Beyond these basic requirements, each student works with an individual faculty mentor to customize his or her program. Prior to declaring a History major, students meet with a general department advisor to discuss the program requirements, but upon declaring, each student selects a faculty mentor who will serve as his or her personal advisor. Department advisors will help students select a mentor based on each individual's interests and needs. The mentor helps the student pick an appropriate survey sequence and select additional courses that will give coherence to the degree program. What form that coherence will take is up to the student (with the mentor's guidance). Some opt for a geographical focus (the United States, Africa, Europe, etc.), while others might prefer a more thematic approach (women's history, international or transnational history, cultural history, etc.). Still others might want to emphasize global or chronological breadth within a more diversified set of classes.

Constraints

  • For the purposes of history major credit, no more than eight credits may be elected from HISTORY 395 (Independent Study).
  • Two mini-courses can be combined in order to equal one course.

Residency

Five of the ten History courses must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the HISTORY subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

The Junior-Senior Honors Program in the Department of History is open to juniors majoring in history who have maintained at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and a 3.5 average in history courses. Applications are accepted annually in October. The usual applicant is a first-term junior for this three-term program. Admission decisions will be based on a student's academic performance, background in history, demonstrated ability to write, and recommendations by history faculty. High grade point average alone does not guarantee admission.

Accepted students will be notified in November and will begin their participation in the program the following January in HISTORY 498, the Junior Honors Colloquium.
Members of the Honors Program must fulfill all the usual requirements for majoring in History. The two Honors courses they are required to take, HISTORY 498 (4 credits) and HISTORY 499 (for a total of 6 credits over the two semesters), count toward the fulfillment of these requirements. Completion of HISTORY 499, the Senior Honors Colloquium, also satisfies the "colloquium" requirement for history major, described above. Students who complete HISTORY 498 but not HISTORY 499 must satisfy this requirement by taking either HISTORY 496/497.

Teaching Certificate

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin. Students must consult the School of Education Teacher Education office, 1228 School of Education, and check their website (www.soe.umich.edu) for certification program information and general information meeting schedules.

The teaching major and minor for certification differ from the academic history major and minor. History courses required for a teaching certificate with a major in History must include HISTORY 260 and 261, one course in European history, HISTORY 396 or 397, and specific world and non-Western history courses listed on the SOE website. History electives are chosen to reach the minimum 30 credits of History.

Teaching minor requirements are the same as the teaching major with a minimum of 20 credits of History.

History Major (Fall 2013-Summer 2014)

Effective  Fall 2013-Summer 2014

May be elected as a departmental major

History is the study of the past and how we remember it. If it happened, historians deal with it-whether it happened yesterday or five thousand years ago. Far too many people imagine that history is merely the dry memorization of names and dates, but a major in history at the University of Michigan will quickly dispel that myth. If you are interested in people and how they interact with the social and natural world, then you should be interested in history. Our courses cover everything: music, politics, family life, technology, war, gender relations, science, medicine, religion, ideologies, sports, and much, much more. Contrary to yet another popular myth, history is one of the most practical, useful majors that one could select. Our students develop skills in critical thinking, writing, and thoughtful reading. Above all, we help students appreciate every aspect of life as part of a much broader and more complicated context, which not only enriches our students' lives but allows them to become sophisticated decision-makers. It is no surprise that employers, law schools, other professional schools, and graduate programs in a wide variety of fields look so favorably upon history graduates.

The history major allows students the flexibility to develop a program that meets their personal interests and needs. Distribution requirements ensure that all students will encounter a wide range of topics, and every student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to fashion his or her own individualized focus. This combination of breadth, customization, and unparalleled mentoring ensures that the history major can meet the needs of virtually any student.

Prerequisites to the Major 

None.

Requirements for the Major

A major in History requires a total of ten history courses. Five of these courses must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. At least five of the ten courses must be at the 300-level or above and none can be numbered below 200. Three- and four-credit courses both count as one course. Two mini-courses can be combined in order to equal one course.

  1. Required course. Every history concentrator must take HISTORY 202, “Doing History,” during the first semester after they declare (beginning Fall 2012).  If scheduling problems make it absolutely impossible to take the class immediately, it can be delayed with the approval of a department advisor.  This course will introduce students to historical research and writing by engaging directly with a wide range of primary sources and considering the various ways they can be interpreted. 
  2. The Survey Sequence.  The foundation of the history major is a two-part survey sequence. The Department offers a range of pre-approved sequences in various geographical, chronological, and thematic areas, but students can also develop their own pairings in consultation with a faculty mentor and with the approval of the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. A frequently updated list of possible pairings will be available on the History Department website. For a sequence to be approved, the two classes must have a clear and well conceptualized link, and they must fit within a broader theme.
  3. Regional Distribution 
    • Students have to take at least one course in four of the following areas: North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East/Central Asia, Africa, Asia, and Transregional/Global.
      Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement can be used to satisfy the regional distribution requirement.
    • Courses will count in the Transregional/Global category if they cut across significant geographical boundaries (i.e., continents or oceans) as well as major political boundaries. Included are courses dealing with one oceanic basin, but excluded are courses dealing with multiple sites within one continent.
  4. Pre-1800 Distribution. Students must take at least one course that focuses on a period prior to the year 1800. To meet this requirement, at least 75% of the course material must deal with the pre-modern era. This course can also count as one of the regional courses. Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement cannot be used to satisfy the pre-1800 requirement.
  5. Junior-Senior Colloquium Requirement. One of the ten courses for the major must be a junior-senior history colloquium [HISTORY 496 (or 396) or HISTORY 497 (or 397)].  Colloquia are offered each semester on a wide range of topics.

A list of pre-approved regional distribution courses and pre-1800 courses will be maintained on the History Department website.

These requirements can overlap. For example, a colloquium about ancient Greece satisfies the pre-1800, European, and colloquium requirements and also counts as one of the upper-level history courses.

For the purposes of history major credit, no more than eight credits may be elected from HISTORY 395 (Independent Study).

Beyond these basic requirements, each student works with an individual faculty mentor to customize his or her program. Prior to declaring a History major, students meet with a general department advisor to discuss the program requirements, but upon declaring, each student selects a faculty mentor who will serve as his or her personal advisor. Department advisors will help students select a mentor based upon each individual's interests and needs. The mentor helps the student pick an appropriate survey sequence and select additional courses that will give coherence to the degree program. What form that coherence will take is up to the student (with the mentor's guidance). Some opt for a geographical focus (the United States, Africa, Europe, etc.), while others might prefer a more thematic approach (women's history, international or transnational history, cultural history, etc.). Still others might want to emphasize global or chronological breadth within a more diversified set of classes.

The Honors Program 

The Junior-Senior Honors Program in the Department of History is open to juniors concentrating in history who have maintained at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and a 3.5 average in history courses. Applications are accepted annually in October. The usual applicant is a first-term junior for the three-term program. Admission decisions will be based on a student's academic performance, background in history, demonstrated ability to write, and recommendations by history faculty. High grade point average alone does not guarantee admission. Accepted students will be notified in November and will begin their participation in the program the following January in HISTORY 398, the Junior Honors Colloquium.

Members of the Honors Program must fulfill all the usual requirements for major in History. The two Honors courses they are required to take, HISTORY 398 (4 credits) and HISTORY 399 (6 credits), count toward the fulfillment of these requirements. Completion of the HISTORY 398-399 Honors sequence also satisfies the "colloquium" requirement for history major, described above.

HISTORY 398, the Junior Honors Colloquium, provides a rigorous introduction to historical research in general and Honors thesis topics and research in particular. During this course students must arrive at a topic and obtain an advisor for their senior Honors thesis. This course also provides intensive training in writing and generally satisfies the ULWR requirement. Students are expected to achieve at least a B+ in this course in order to go on to the Senior Honors Colloquium.

HISTORY 399, the Senior Honors Colloquium, is a faculty-led, year-long writing workshop that includes all seniors writing Honors theses. Although the thesis is written primarily under the guidance of the faculty advisor, students help one another with projects in the workshop by sharing experiences, advice, interests, and, ultimately, portions of their theses. Completed theses, which must be submitted in late March, usually range anywhere from 60 to 100 pages. They are evaluated by the advisor and one or more other faculty, on the basis of the quality of the research, analysis, and writing. The letter grade for HISTORY 399 and the level of Honors with which the student will be graduated (i.e., "Honors," "High Honors," "Highest Honors") are based on the evaluations of the thesis. Theses handed in more than two weeks past the due date are not eligible for an Honors rank.

 

Teaching Certificate

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin. Students must consult the School of Education Teacher Education office, 1228 School of Education, and check their website (www.soe.umich.edu) for certification program information and general information meeting schedules.

The teaching major and minor for certification differ from the academic history major and minor. History courses required for a teaching certificate with a major in History must include HISTORY 260 and 261, one course in European history, HISTORY 396 or 397, and specific world and non-Western history courses listed on the SOE website. History electives are chosen to reach the minimum 30 credits of History. 

Teaching minor requirements are the same as the teaching major with a minimum of 20 credits of History.

History Major (Fall 2012-Summer 2013)

Effective Fall 2012-Summer 2013

May be elected as a departmental major

History is the study of the past and how we remember it. If it happened, historians deal with it-whether it happened yesterday or five thousand years ago. Far too many people imagine that history is merely the dry memorization of names and dates, but a major in history at the University of Michigan will quickly dispel that myth. If you are interested in people and how they interact with the social and natural world, then you should be interested in history. Our courses cover everything: music, politics, family life, technology, war, gender relations, science, medicine, religion, ideologies, sports, and much, much more. Contrary to yet another popular myth, history is one of the most practical, useful majors that one could select. Our students develop skills in critical thinking, writing, and thoughtful reading. Above all, we help students appreciate every aspect of life as part of a much broader and more complicated context, which not only enriches our students' lives but allows them to become sophisticated decision-makers. It is no surprise that employers, law schools, other professional schools, and graduate programs in a wide variety of fields look so favorably upon history graduates.

The history major allows students the flexibility to develop a program that meets their personal interests and needs. Distribution requirements ensure that all students will encounter a wide range of topics, and every student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to fashion his or her own individualized focus. This combination of breadth, customization, and unparalleled mentoring ensures that the history major can meet the needs of virtually any student.

Prerequisites to the Major 

None.

Requirements for the Major

A major in History requires a total of ten history courses. Five of these courses must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. At least five of the ten courses must be at the 300-level or above and none can be numbered below 200. Three- and four-credit courses both count as one course. Two mini-courses can be combined in order to equal one course.

  1. Required course. Every history concentrator must take HISTORY 202, “Doing History,” during the first semester after they declare (beginning Fall 2012).  If scheduling problems make it absolutely impossible to take the class immediately, it can be delayed with the approval of a department advisor.  This course will introduce students to historical research and writing by engaging directly with a wide range of primary sources and considering the various ways they can be interpreted. 
  2. The Survey Sequence.  The foundation of the history major is a two-part survey sequence. The Department offers a range of pre-approved sequences in various geographical, chronological, and thematic areas, but students can also develop their own pairings in consultation with a faculty mentor and with the approval of the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. A frequently updated list of possible pairings will be available on the History Department website. For a sequence to be approved, the two classes must have a clear and well conceptualized link, and they must fit within a broader theme.
  3. Regional Distribution 
    • Students have to take at least one course in four of the following areas: North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East/Central Asia, Africa, Asia, and Transregional/Global.
      Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement can be used to satisfy the regional distribution requirement.
    • Courses will count in the Transregional/Global category if they cut across significant geographical boundaries (i.e., continents or oceans) as well as major political boundaries. Included are courses dealing with one oceanic basin, but excluded are courses dealing with multiple sites within one continent.
  4. Pre-1800 Distribution. Students must take at least one course that focuses on a period prior to the year 1800. To meet this requirement, at least 75% of the course material must deal with the pre-modern era. This course can also count as one of the regional courses. Courses taken to satisfy the survey sequence requirement cannot be used to satisfy the pre-1800 requirement.
  5. Junior-Senior Colloquium Requirement. One of the ten courses for the major must be a junior-senior history colloquium [HISTORY 396  or HISTORY 397].  Colloquia are offered each semester on a wide range of topics.

A list of pre-approved regional distribution courses and pre-1800 courses will be maintained on the History Department website.

These requirements can overlap. For example, a colloquium about ancient Greece satisfies the pre-1800, European, and colloquium requirements and also counts as one of the upper-level history courses.

For the purposes of history major credit, no more than eight credits may be elected from HISTORY 395 (Independent Study).

Beyond these basic requirements, each student works with an individual faculty mentor to customize his or her program. Prior to declaring a History major, students meet with a general department advisor to discuss the program requirements, but upon declaring, each student selects a faculty mentor who will serve as his or her personal advisor. Department advisors will help students select a mentor based upon each individual's interests and needs. The mentor helps the student pick an appropriate survey sequence and select additional courses that will give coherence to the degree program. What form that coherence will take is up to the student (with the mentor's guidance). Some opt for a geographical focus (the United States, Africa, Europe, etc.), while others might prefer a more thematic approach (women's history, international or transnational history, cultural history, etc.). Still others might want to emphasize global or chronological breadth within a more diversified set of classes.

The Honors Program 

The Junior-Senior Honors Program in the Department of History is open to juniors concentrating in history who have maintained at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and a 3.5 average in history courses. Applications are accepted annually in October. The usual applicant is a first-term junior for the three-term program. Admission decisions will be based on a student's academic performance, background in history, demonstrated ability to write, and recommendations by history faculty. High grade point average alone does not guarantee admission. Accepted students will be notified in November and will begin their participation in the program the following January in HISTORY 398, the Junior Honors Colloquium.

Members of the Honors Program must fulfill all the usual requirements for major in History. The two Honors courses they are required to take, HISTORY 398 (4 credits) and HISTORY 399 (6 credits), count toward the fulfillment of these requirements. Completion of the HISTORY 398-399 Honors sequence also satisfies the "colloquium" requirement for history major, described above.

HISTORY 398, the Junior Honors Colloquium, provides a rigorous introduction to historical research in general and Honors thesis topics and research in particular. During this course students must arrive at a topic and obtain an advisor for their senior Honors thesis. This course also provides intensive training in writing and generally satisfies the ULWR requirement. Students are expected to achieve at least a B+ in this course in order to go on to the Senior Honors Colloquium.

HISTORY 399, the Senior Honors Colloquium, is a faculty-led, year-long writing workshop that includes all seniors writing Honors theses. Although the thesis is written primarily under the guidance of the faculty advisor, students help one another with projects in the workshop by sharing experiences, advice, interests, and, ultimately, portions of their theses. Completed theses, which must be submitted in late March, usually range anywhere from 60 to 100 pages. They are evaluated by the advisor and one or more other faculty, on the basis of the quality of the research, analysis, and writing. The letter grade for HISTORY 399 and the level of Honors with which the student will be graduated (i.e., "Honors," "High Honors," "Highest Honors") are based on the evaluations of the thesis. Theses handed in more than two weeks past the due date are not eligible for an Honors rank.

 

Teaching Certificate

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin. Students must consult the School of Education Teacher Education office, 1228 School of Education, and check their website (www.soe.umich.edu) for certification program information and general information meeting schedules.

The teaching major and minor for certification differ from the academic history major and minor. History courses required for a teaching certificate with a major in History must include HISTORY 260 and 261, one course in European history, HISTORY 396 or 397, and specific world and non-Western history courses listed on the SOE website. History electives are chosen to reach the minimum 30 credits of History. 

Teaching minor requirements are the same as the teaching major with a minimum of 20 credits of History.