Area of Study Guidelines: Historical Studies for Student Matriculated Before March 17, 2008 Policy

Area of Study Guidelines: Historical Studies for Student Matriculated Before March 17, 2008 Policy


Academic Affairs


Vice Provost





Effective Date:


Implementation History:



Area of study guidelines, Historical Studies

Background Information:


To provide context for the area of study guidelines for area of study Historical Studies.


Area of Study Guidelines: This set of guidelines helps students plan their degree plans by spelling out what the academic world and many employers understand a particular concentration to mean. The guidelines are found in many academic publications.

Disciplinary -- A program of study guided by the existing framework of a discipline.

Interdisciplinary -- The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines.

Problem Oriented -- A program of study organized around a problem.

Professional/Vocational -- A study which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills needed for specific career performance and applications. It also entails
inquiry into the conceptual foundations of the profession, the role of the professional in that career, and the relations between the profession and society
at large.

Thematic -- A program of study focusing on a particular theme or set of ideas.


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 work in Western civilization, American and other national histories, study of the Third World experience (such as the history of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East or Asia), work in historical methods and historiography, and appropriate supporting language 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 also 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 teaching, archival employment, historical preservation and restoration, scholarly editing, and the research and writing of 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, an understanding 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 just simply report; and
  • an understanding of the history as a creative art, a subjective discipline and an imaginative interpretation of the past.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Introduction to the Areas of Study

Area of Study Guidelines: Historical Studies for Student Matriculating After March 17, 2008 Policy

College Learning Goals Policy