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Major and Minor in History

How do I sign up to be a History Major or Minor?

updated June 28, 2017

The procedure is the same whether you are a sophomore declaring for the first time or an upperclassman changing to History or adding it as a second major.

First, you need to get two copies of the Declaration of Major card, available from the Arts and Science Registrar (311 Kirkland Hall, 2-7414), the History Department (227 Benson Hall, 2-2575), or on the forms locator online. If you are declaring a double major, you will need three cards.

Bring the cards to Heidi Welch, office assistant, Benson Hall, Room #227. The student requests a specific professor for their adviser and Mrs. Welch checks on availability. The student may change advisers by filing another declaration of major form. Mrs. Welch will keep one of the cards for department records and add the student to our electronic mailing list for History majors. The second card goes to the Registrar's office in 311 Kirkland Hall. If you are a double major or a joint interdisciplinary major, take the third card to the other department. The student must meet with his/her adviser before each registration period to make sure he/she is fulfilling the major requirements. 

If you have any questions about the declaration procedure or the History major in general, feel free to contact Lauren Clay, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Link to the online Undergraduate Catalog 2016-17 here.

Teacher Licensure for History Majors

History majors may choose to "double major" in Secondary Education and History, a prudent choice if interested in teaching. Each year U.S. News & World Report ranks Peabody among the best graduate schools of education in the country with Secondary Education consistently in the top 10 of the programs list. Another option is Peabody's Master's degree program for History majors interested in teaching offering either a four semester or one year track option. Upon graduating with a B.A. in History, History majors in our fifth year program would spend the summer following undergraduate work and the next academic year earning their M.Ed. and teaching licensure.

Students seeking teaching licensure in history or other social science disciplines at the secondary level should refer to the chapter on Certification for Teaching in the Peabody College section of the Undergraduate Catalog or the Department of Teaching and Learning section of the Undergraduate Catalog. In addition, Secondary Education web resources can be found at or Please contact Professor Andrew Hostetler, Coordinator of Social Studies Secondary Education, at for more information.

Special Degree Programs - Combined BA/MA (4+1) Program

The Department of History offers a combined BA/Masters in History called the 4+1 program.  This is coordinated through the Director of Graduate Studies in History and Martin Rapisarda, Associate Dean
College of Arts & Science, Please see the guidelines here

Major in Economics and History link here.

Students declare this major through the Department of History office, Benson Hall, room 227, with Mrs. Welch. Please note that Econ-History majors do NOT need to fill out the “Interdisciplinary major Course Plan” when filing a Declaration of Major. 

History Major - the information below is from the 2016-17 Undergraduate Catalog 


CHAIR Joel F. Harrington
VICE CHAIR Celia Applegate
PROFESSORS EMERITI Paul K. Conkin, Jimmie L. Franklin, Samuel T.
McSeveney, Matthew Ramsey, V. Jacque Voegeli, Donald L. Winters
PROFESSORS Celia Applegate, Lauren Benton, Michael D. Bess, David
Blackbourn, Richard J. M. Blackett, William Caferro, Jefferson Cowie,
Katherine B. Crawford, Dennis C. Dickerson, Marshall C. Eakin,
James A. Epstein, Gerald Figal, Joel F. Harrington, Yoshi Igarashi,
Peter Lake, Jane Gilmer Landers, Thomas McGinn, Moses Ochonu,
Thomas Alan Schwartz, Helmut Walser Smith, Arleen M. Tuchman,
Daniel H. Usner Jr., David Wasserstein
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS David Lee Carlton, Lauren Clay, Julia
Phillips Cohen, Emily Greble, Leor Halevi, Sarah Igo, Paul A. Kramer,
Catherine Molineux, Ruth Rogaski, Samira Sheikh, Francis W. Wcislo,
Edward Wright-Rios
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS Ari Bryen, Brandon Byrd, Celso Castilho, Peter
Lorge, Ole Molvig, Frank Robinson, Alistair Sponsel, Kimberly Welch
LECTURERS Miriam M. Erickson, Alex Jacobs, Kara Schultz,
Angela Sutton

MORE than one hundred courses in the Department of His-
tory are available to Vanderbilt undergraduates. Some focus on
a particular historical period, others on a particular region of
the world, and still others on topics that may cross traditional
chronological and geographical boundaries. The department
is committed to the principle that in a changing world, the
way we learn about the past must also change. It will continue
to develop new courses for the twenty-first century, with an
emphasis on those that recognize the interconnections among
the various civilizations and regions of the globe.
Unless indicated otherwise in the course description, history
courses have no prerequisite. Except for History 3980, 4960,
4980–4981, and 4999, courses numbered below 5000 are open to
all majors and nonmajors. History 4960 is limited to seniors and
juniors who have previously taken History 3000W. History 3980,
4980–4981, and 4999 are limited to students who have been
admitted to the History Honors Program.
Students will find that the study of history offers not only a
strong foundation for a liberal education but also a means of
understanding the contemporary world. The skills developed
in gathering, assessing, and synthesizing information have
wide application in many careers, including business and the
The Department of History offers a major and minor in
history and, in cooperation with the Department of Econom-
ics, a joint major in economics and history, which is described
in this catalog under Economics and History.

New course numbers took effect in fall 2015. Former course num
bers are included in course descriptions in this catalog and at this website:

Program of Concentration in History

The major program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in
history; no more than 3 credit hours of AP or IB credit may
count toward this total. Note: AP and IB credit will not count
toward the 15 credit hours for the concentration.

Course work is distributed as follows:
1.3000W or 3980 (3 credit hours)
Note: 3000W should be taken as soon as possible and must
be taken no later than the second semester of the junior year.
3000W is a prerequisite for the 4960 capstone course. 3980 is
limited to second-semester juniors who have been admitted to
the Honors Program. Students entering the Honors Program
who have already taken 3000W will receive elective credit for
that course.

2.Five courses in one of the following concentrations (15
credit hours):

A. Asia
B. Latin America
C. Europe
D. Early America and the United States
E. Middle East and Africa
F. Global and Transnational
G. Science, Medicine, and Technology
H. Comparative History/Special Topics

See below for a list of courses that count for Concentra-
tions A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Students choosing concentration
H must have the approval of their adviser and the director of
undergraduate studies for a specific program of study. First-Year
Writing Seminars (1111) in history may be used to satisfy the
relevant program concentration with approval of the director of
undergraduate studies.

Program A. Asia
1050, 1060, 1070, 1080, 1085W, 1090, 1160, 1200, 1881, 2100,
2105, 2110, 2115, 2119, 2120, 2140, 2145, 2150, 2160, 2180, 3090, 3110,
3190, 3220, 3230, and, as appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890,
3980, 4960, 4980–4981, 4999; ASIA 2511, 2630; MHS 2310.

Program B. Latin America
1370, 1380, 1383, 1385W, 1650, 2450, 2457, 2470, 2480, 2490,
2510, 2530, 2535, 2540, 2570, 3100, 3230, 3280, and, as appropriate,
3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999;
AADS 4256.

Program C. Europe
1200, 1350, 1355W, 1360, 1470, 1480, 1500, 1510, 1510L, 1520,
1580, 1582W, 1600, 1695W, 1700, 1760, 2130, 2135, 2140, 2160, 2170,
2190, 2220, 2230, 2250, 2260, 2270, 2280, 2290, 2300, 2310, 2340,
2380, 2382, 2383, 2385, 2410, 2450, 2595W, 2660, 2720, 2800, 2835,
2840, 3010, 3050, 3070W, 3100, 3110, 3120, 3150, 3180, 3190, 3210,
3230, 3240, 3260, 3270, 3275, and, as appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882,
3883, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; Classical Studies
2100, 2110, 2120, 2150, 2160, 2180; Economics, 3160; EUS 2201,
2208, 2220; German 2442; Jewish Studies 1111.09, 1220, 1240,
2450, 2540, 3100, 3210; Philosophy 2100, Religious Studies 3316.

Program D. Early America and the United States
1200, 1383, 1385W, 1390, 1395, 1400, 1410, 1420, 1422W, 1438,
1440, 1480, 1500, 1520, 1640, 1650, 1660, 1665, 1690, 1691, 1693,
1725W, 1730, 1740, 1770, 1780W, 2119, 2530, 2535, 2580, 2590,
2595W, 2600, 2610, 2620, 2630, 2640, 2655, 2660, 2685, 2690,
2700, 2710, 2720, 2721, 2722, 2725, 2730, 2735, 2740, 2750, 2780,
2800, 2810, 2840, 3010, 3030, 3040, 3045W, 3050, 3070W, 3100,
3110, 3140, 3170, 3190, 3230, 3240, , and, as appropriate, 3746,
3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; AADS
2214; Divinity 6730, 6740; Economics 2150, 3150; HOD 1115; Jew-
ish Studies 1240, 2540, 2560; Medicine, Health, and Society 2110.
*Note that 2855 and 2860 count in Program D. but got left off of the catalog.

Program E. Middle East and Africa
1190, 1200, 1270, 1280, 1725W, 2137, 2138, 2140, 2155, 2160,
2170, 2180, 2190, 2660, 3150, 3190, 3200, 3210, 3230, and, as
appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 4960, 4980–4981, and
4999; AADS 2106; Classical Studies 2180, 3010; Jewish Studies
1111.09, 1200, 1220, 1240, 2540, 2600, 2620, 3210.

Program F. Global and Transnational
1190, 1200, 1280, 1370, 1380, 1383, 1385W, 1470, 1600, 1650,
1665, 1691, 1692, 1695W, 1700, 1740, 1881, 2110, 2130, 2135, 2137,
2138, 2140, 2150, 2160, 2170, 2180, 2190, 2450, 2457, 2480, 2490,
2530, 2535, 2540, 2570, 2595W, 2660, 2700, 2710, 2721, 2722, 2725,
2735, 2740, 2835, 2840, 3010, 3100, 3110, 3120, 3150, 3190, 3220,
3230, 3240, and, as appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890,
3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; Classics 2120, 2180, 3010; Jew-
ish Studies 1200, 1220, 1240, 2450, 2540, 3000, 3100; EUS 2220;
Medicine, Health, and Society 2110; Religious Studies 3306.

Program G. Science, Medicine, and Technology
Students may meet the requirement by taking five courses
from the SMT list, among which not more than two may be
courses outside the Department of History.
1385W, 1470, 1480, 1500, 1510, 1510L, 1520, 1780W, 2160, 2780,
2800, 2810, 3040, 3045W, 3050, 3070W, 3110, 3230, and, as appro-
priate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and
4999; Anthropology 4373; Asian Studies 2630; Astronomy 2130;
English 3720 or 3720W; Mathematics 3000; Medicine, Health,
and Society 2110, 2310, 2320, 2430; and other courses, as appro-
priate, with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

3. Capstone course (3–6 credit hours)
One of the following, to be taken in the junior or senior
year; all of the options will require the student to write a
major paper. Any capstone course within the student's area of
concentration will count toward the five-course requirement
for that concentration.

Option 1: 3883, Internship Research (3 credit hours).
Must be taken in conjunction with 3880 (internship training). Prereq-
uisite: 3000W. Note: a student may take 3883 as an elective
before completing 3000W but in this case 3883 will not count
as a capstone course.

Option 2: 4960, Majors Seminar (3 credit hours).
Prerequisite: 3000W.

Option 3: 4980–4981, Senior Honors Seminar (6 credit
hours). Limited to seniors in the History Honors Program.
Note: At the discretion of the director of honors and the direc-
tor of undergraduate studies, a student who has taken 4980
but does not take 4981 may be considered to have fulfilled the
capstone requirement for the major.

4. Electives (6–12 credit hours, depending on the nature of the
capstone course)

Honors Program

The Honors Program in History is a three-semester program
of study. It offers superior undergraduate history majors a
program of advanced reading, research, and writing. The
Honors Program combines seminar work and independent
study under the supervision of a thesis adviser. This structure
provides participants an introduction to historical research
and writing, as well as the opportunity to study defined areas
of history and significant historical problems that accord with
their own interests. The final objectives of the Honors Program
are successful authorship of the honors thesis and graduation
with honors or highest honors in the major.
Students apply to the Honors Program in the first semester
of the junior year. Students meeting college and departmental
requirements will enroll for a total of 12 credit hours: His-
tory 3980, Junior Honors Seminar in History (3 credit hours);
History 4980–4981 Senior Honors Research Seminar (6 credit
hours); and 4999, Senior Honors Thesis (3 credit hours). In
addition, the Honors Program requires an oral defense of the
honors thesis before a faculty committee at the end of the third

Program of Concentration in Economics and History

This is an interdisciplinary program split between Economics
and History that provides a more focused program of study
while requiring fewer credit hours than a double major in
the two fields. See the Economics and History section of this
catalog for details.

Minor in History

The minor in history requires a minimum of 18 credit hours
of course work in one area of concentration. No more than
3 credit hours of AP or IB credit may count toward this total.
The following options are offered:

I. Asian History
Six of the courses listed under "Program A. Asia"

II. Latin American History
1. 1370 or 1380 and
2. Any five of the courses listed under "Program B. Latin

III. European History
1. 1350 or 1360 and
2. Five of the courses listed under "Program C. Europe"

IV. Early America and United States History
1. 1390, 1400, 1410, or 1420 and
2. Five of the courses listed under "Program D. Early
America and the United States"

V. Middle East and Africa
1. Six of the courses listed under "Program E. Middle East
and Africa"

VI. Global and Transnational
1. Six of the courses listed under "Program F. Global and

VII. Science, Medicine, and Technology
1. Six of the courses listed under "Program G. Science,
Medicine, and Technology," among which no more than
two may be courses outside the Department of History.

Course descriptions begin on page 167.