Historical Studies Guidelines for Students Matriculated Before March 17, 2008
Students interested in historical studies may choose from a wide range of possibilities. Studies may be organized by types of history (e.g., social, political, religious, economic, diplomatic, quantitative), by national experiences or geographical areas (e.g., American history, Western civilization, Far Eastern history, Third World studies), by time periods (e.g., ancient history, medieval civilization, modern history), and in other ways.
Concentrations in historical studies may use any of the college’s five organizing frameworks. Students may wish to plan disciplinary degree programs. Typically, such concentrations include:
- Western civilization, American and other national histories
- the Third World experience (such as the history of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East or Asia)
- historical methods and historiography
- supporting language studies.
Interdisciplinary Historical Studies
Interdisciplinary concentrations in historical studies represent a conscious attempt to explore linkages among allied disciplines from a historical perspective (e.g., ancient history, literature, culture and language).
Study in comparative history is frequently interdisciplinary in approach, as is work in emerging areas such as psychohistory and cliometrics. The thematic framework allows a student to trace and explore one or more problems in historical studies with emphasis on considering the origins, development and possible resolution of the issue.
Professional programs include studies vital for developing career-entry skills in areas such as:
- archival employment
- historical preservation and restoration
- scholarly editing
- research and writing official histories for state and federal agencies and private corporations.
Students with a professional/vocational emphasis frequently include internship experiences in their degree program plans.
The faculty of the college expects that students who design degree programs in historical studies will acquire the following enabling skills and understandings:
- communication skills, including effective writing and speaking skills, and the ability to read critically
- research skills, including a basic understanding of how to use libraries, and of the diversity of materials that record and interpret the past
- a broad knowledge of the historical literature that pertains to the topics of study included in the degree program
- an understanding of the linkage between historical studies and allied disciplines
- an understanding of the historical experiences that go beyond a single time period and national or cultural experience
- an understanding of historical forces that have shaped social change and contemporary human problems
- the ability to analyze historical material and make judgments, to establish causal relationships between facts, to find order and patterns, to answer why and how, not simply report
- an understanding of the history as a creative art, a subjective discipline and an imaginative interpretation of the past.
Revised February 1993