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Major and Minor in History

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

updated August 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 Office of Academic Services (350 Buttrick 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 Office of Academic Services in 350 Buttrick 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 Edward Wright-Rios, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Link to the online Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 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 https://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/departments/tl/graduate_programs/masters_program_med/masters_degree_teacher_licensure/secondary_education/index.php or https://my.vanderbilt.edu/andrewhostetler/. Please contact Professor Andrew Hostetler, Coordinator of Social Studies Secondary Education, at a.hostetler@vanderbilt.edu 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 the Office of Academic Services, please contact  Amber Allen for more information. 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 2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog 

History

MORE than one hundred courses in the Department of History 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 professions.

The Department of History offers a major and minor in history; a major in law, history, and society; and, in cooperation with the Department of Economics, a joint major in economics and history, which is described in this catalog under Economics and History.

NOTE: New course numbers took effect in fall 2015. Former course numbers are included in course descriptions in this catalog and at this website: registrar.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/course-renumbering/course-lookup/.

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 Concentrations 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, 1161, 1200, 1881, 1882W, 2100, 2105, 2110, 2115, 2119, 2120, 2140, 2145, 2150, 2160, 2180, 3090, 3110, 3112, 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
1368, 1370, 1378, 1380, 1383, 1385W, 1469, 1650, 2450, 2457, 2470, 2480, 2490, 2510, 2530, 2535, 2540, 2570, 2845, 3100, 3230, 3280, and, as appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; AADS 4256.

Program C. Europe
1200, 1345, 1350, 1355W, 1360, 1470, 1480, 1500, 1510, 1510L, 1520, 1580, 1582W, 1584W, 1600, 1695W, 1700, 1725W, 1760, 2130, 2135, 2140, 2160, 2170, 2190, 2220, 2230, 2238, 2240, 2250, 2260, 2270, 2280, 2290, 2293, 2300, 2310, 2340, 2380, 2382, 2383, 2385, 2410, 2450, 2595W, 2660, 2720, 2760, 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; Classics 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; Russian 2800.

Program D. Early America and the United States
1200, 1383, 1385W, 1390, 1395, 1400, 1410, 1420, 1422W, 1427W, 1430W,1438, 1440, 1469, 1480, 1500, 1520, 1640, 1650, 1660, 1665, 1667, 1690, 1691, 1693, 1725W, 1730, 1740, 1770, 1780W, 2119, 2240, 2530, 2535, 2580, 2590, 2595W, 2600, 2610, 2620, 2630, 2640, 2655, 2660, 2662, 2685, 2686, 2690, 2700, 2710, 2720, 2721, 2722, 2725, 2730, 2735, 2740, 2749, 2750, 2752, 2760, 2780, 2800, 2810, 2840, 2845, 2855, 2860, 3010, 3112, 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; Economics 2150, 3150; HOD 1115; Jewish Studies 1240, 2540, 2560; Medicine, Health, and Society 2110.

Program E. Middle East and Africa
1161, 1190, 1200, 1269, 1270, 1280, 1281W, 1725W, 2137, 2138, 2139, 2140, 2155, 2160, 2170, 2180, 2190, 2510, 2660, 3150, 3190, 3200, 3210, 3230, and, as appropriate, 3746, 3850, 3882, 3883, 3890, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; AADS 2106; Classics 2180, 3010; Jewish Studies 1111.09, 1200, 1220, 1240, 2540, 2600, 2620, 3210.

Program F. Global and Transnational
1190, 1200, 1280, 1345, 1368, 1370, 1378, 1380, 1383, 1385W, 1469, 1470, 1600, 1650, 1665, 1691, 1692, 1695W, 1700, 1740, 1881, 2110, 2130, 2135, 2137, 2138, 2139, 2140, 2150, 2160, 2170, 2180, 2190, 2238, 2450, 2457, 2480, 2490, 2530, 2535, 2540, 2570, 2595W, 2660, 2700, 2710, 2721, 2722, 2725, 2735, 2740, 2760, 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; Jewish Studies 1200, 1220, 1240, 2450, 2540, 2845, 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, 2139, 2160, 2780, 2800, 2810, 3040, 3045W, 3050, 3070W, 3110, 3230, and, as appropriate, 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 appropriate, 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). Prerequisite: 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 director 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)

Program of Concentration in Law, History, and Society

As a human institution self-consciously aware of its past, "The Law" raises a complex set of issues that can be addressed historically. Legislation and jurisprudence, for example, allow historians a privileged perspective into how societies sought to define themselves, their values, and their membership. Constitutions provide maps of political power, and serve as sites of struggle over goods both real and symbolic. Records of legal practice are often well preserved, allowing access to the voices and actions of people who are usually left out of systems of political organization.

This major approaches law from both a historical and an interdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of legal documents, research in legal archives, and analytical writing. Students will be encouraged to develop reading programs and research topics that stretch across national and chronological boundaries, and to think comparatively. Stu- dents may not major both in history and in law, history, and society. Students majoring in law, history, and society may apply to receive honors through the History Honors Program.

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. No more than 6 credit hours may be from courses outside the Department of History.
Course work is distributed as follows:

1. History Workshop. 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. Law, History, and Society: Five courses from the following:
1345, 1383, 1385W, 1430W, 1580, 1584W, 1667, 2130, 2155, 2190, 2238, 2240, 2290, 2293, 2450, 2590, 2610, 2662, 2690, 2760, 2855, 2860, 3170, and, as appropriate, 3890, 3980, 4960, 4980–4981, and 4999; Classics 3150, 3160; Economics 4210; English 3734; French 4232; Jewish Studies 2150; Medicine, Health, and Society 2320; Philosophy 1100, 3610, 3610W, 3623; Political Science 1103, 2208, 2226, 2262, 2265, 2266, 3260; RUSS 2485; Sociology 3605, 3611, 3613, 3621; 3624; WGS 3271, 3281; and other courses, as appropriate, with approval of the director of undergraduate studies of Law, History, and Society.
Note: First-Year Writing Seminars (1111) in history may be used to satisfy the relevant program concentration with approval of the director of undergraduate studies of Law, History, and Society.

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, the topic of which must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies of law, history, and society. Any capstone course on a topic concerning law, history, and society will count toward the five-course requirement for the program concentration.

Option 1: 3883, Internship Research (3 credit hours). Must be taken in conjunction with 3880 (internship training). Prerequisite: 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 enrolled in the History Honors Program.
Note: At the discretion of the director of honors and the director of undergraduate studies in law, history, and society, 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 in history, depending on the nature of the capstone course)
Electives may include any courses, not used to satisfy any of the above requirements, offered by the Department of History or listed above in major requirement #2.

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: History 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 semester.

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.

Licensure for Teaching

Candidates for teacher licensure in history at the secondary level should refer to the chapter on Licensure for Teaching in the Peabody College section of this catalog.

Minor in History

The minor in history requires a minimum of 18 credit hours in courses that are offered by the Department of History or that are listed above in programs A–G of the history major, among which no more than two courses may be outside the Department of History. At least 9 credit hours must be taken at the 2000 level or higher. Students must complete 3000W. No more than 3 credit hours of AP or IB credit may count toward this total.

Course descriptions begin on page 174.