History General Education Requirements
History is the integrated study of all elements of the human experience as they change over time. It therefore introduces students to the interrelations between political, social, economic, cultural, religious, intellectual, artistic, and other developments, and expands their ability to engage with complex causal analysis. This gives students a sound understanding of the complex links that characterize societies and cultures, in the past as well as in our own time. The History general education requirement thus calls for students to be exposed to both the recent and the more distant past, so that they may explore changes and continuities in all spheres of human endeavor, and understand the human experience as a process of long-term dynamic evolution.
In addition to covering long time spans, the required courses also have a wide geographic scope, and thus offer students access to trans-national and cross-cultural developments, raising their awareness of global themes and issues and leading them to examine the interaction of diverse cultures and groups. The vast geographic scope and long time spans covered in the required courses also give students insight into the deep roots of contemporary globalization.
All required History courses feature small-group discussion, through which students familiarize themselves with history as an analytical tool. In addition to engaged participation in discussions of primary and secondary sources, the courses also include substantive writing assignments. Altogether the courses thus help students hone their critical reading and writing skills, develop their ability to examine evidence, and improve their capacity for verbal and written argument.
Both the knowledge and the skills learned in History general education courses therefore contribute to raising students into informed, thoughtful, and active modern citizens.
All students in the College are required to complete two one-semester courses in history, ordinarily these two courses: Intro Early History, with sections focusing on World History, the Atlantic World, or Europe (HIST-007); and Intro Late History, wtih sections focusing on World History, the Pacific World, or Europe (HIST-008). [Note: until Spring 2010 these two courses were know as HIST-001, 003, and 033, in the case of HIST-007; and HIST-002, 006, and 034, in the case of HIST-008.]
Students who wish to study different world regions, and who feel prepared for the more complex demands of higher-level courses, may replace one semester of the courses described above with one semester of the following courses, always maintaining the requirement for an “early” and a “late” course. Again, all students must take at least one of either HIST-007 or HIST-008:
Early courses (that may replace HIST-007):
* HIST-111 Africa I
* HIST-128 South Asia I
* HIST-158 Latin America I
* HIST-160 Middle East I
Late courses (that may replace HIST-008):
* HIST-112 Africa II
* HIST-129 South Asia II
* HIST-159 Latin America II
* HIST-161 Middle East II
It is strongly recommended that majors in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian satisfy the history requirement by completing the two-semester regional history survey appropriate to their major:
Middle East I & II (HIST-160, 161)
History of China I & II (HIST-122, 123)
History of Japan I & II (HIST-124, 125)
History of Russia I & II (HIST-170, 171)
Students who complete a specific area history survey as part of their initial major and then change majors do not incur an additional history requirement.
Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement tests in European or World History will be awarded three credits and will place out of the required general education courses; they still need to take any HIST course of their choice, numbered 100 or above. Students with these scores on both of the European and the World history tests will receive six credits and have completed all history requirements. Students with a score of 3 on the Advanced Placement test in European or World History will receive no credit, but may fulfill the History requirement with any two History courses. No credits or exemptions are granted for the AP test in US history or for the SAT II tests. Students with a score of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate higher-level test in History of the Twentieth Century/Regional Topics receive credit for HIST-008. Students with a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level exam in History of Europe and the Islamic World receive credit for HIST-007; students with a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level exam in History of the Twentieth Century/Regional Topics receive credit for HIST-008. Students with scores of 6 or 7 on both Higher Level exams receive credit for both HIST-007 and HIST-008: in the COL, they have no further History requirements.