History Major and Minor at Vanderbilt University
How do I sign up to be a History Major or Minor?
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 Old Central, 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 through a simple 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 William Caferro, Director of Undergraduate Studies. Please click here for FAQ about the major.
Certification for Teaching
History majors may choose to "double major" in Social Studies education, a prudent choice if interested in teaching. This may allow majors to pursue teacher certification and licensure. Peabody College is the second-ranked graduate education school in the country (US News and World Report, 2008). Another option is Peabody's fifth year Master's program for History majors interested in teaching. Upon graduating with a B.A. in History, History majors in our fifth year program would spend the next summer and academic year earning their M.Ed. and teaching licensure. Please see more information on our Special Programs page.
History Major - the information below is from the 2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog,
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 295, 297, 298a–298b, and 299, courses numbered below 300 are open to all majors and nonmajors. History 295 is limited to seniors and juniors who have previously taken History 200W. History 297, 298a–298b, and 299 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 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.
Program of Concentration in History
The major program requires a minimum of 30 hours in history; no more than 3 hours of AP or IB credit may count toward this total. Note: AP and IB credit will not count toward the 15 hours
for the concentration. Course work is distributed as follows:
1. 200W or 297 (3 hours)
Note: 200W should be taken as soon as possible and must be taken no later than the second semester of the junior year. 200W is a prerequisite for the 295 capstone course. 297 is limited to second-semester juniors who have been admitted to the Honors Program. Students entering the Honors Program who have already taken 200W will receive elective credit for that course.
2. Five courses in one of the following concentrations (15 hours):
B. Latin America
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 (115F) in history may be used to satisfy the relevant program concentration with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
Program A. Asia
105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 116, 188a, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 211a, 212a, 216, 286c, 286e, 287a, 288a, 288d, and, as appropriate, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, 299; ASIA 230.
Program B. Latin America
137, 138, 165, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 251, 253a, 254a, 257, 268, 286b, 286d, 288W, and, as appropriate, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; AADS 205.
Program C. Europe
135, 136, 149, 150, 151, 160, 170, 172, 176, 183, 184, 187, 209, 210, 211a, 216, 217, 219, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 234, 238, 239a, 241, 243W, 244, 245, 280, 283, 284a, 285W, 286d, 286e, 286g, 287a, 287c, 287g, 288a, 288c, 288g, 289a, 289d, and, as appropriate, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; Classical Studies 207, 208, 209, 212, 213, 223; Economics 262, 271; EUS 201, 220; Jewish Studies 115F.09, 123, 124, 156, 158, 234, 256; Philosophy 210.
Program D. Early America and the United States
139, 140, 141, 142, 144, 149, 150, 153, 165, 166, 172, 173, 174, 184, 187, 243W, 253a, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272a, 272b, 272c, 272d, 275a, 280, 281, 284a, 284b, 284c, 285W, 286a, 286b, 286d, 286e, 287a, 287b, 287d, 287e, 288a, 288g, 288W, 291, 293b, 293c, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; AADS 201, 221, 265; Divinity 2750, 3217; Economics 226, 262, 266; HOD 1150; Jewish Studies 124, 252, 256.
Program E. Middle East and Africa
119, 127, 128, 211a, 213, 216, 217, 219, 268, 287c, 288a, 288b, 288c, and, as appropriate, 291, 293b, 293c, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; AADS 102; Classical Studies 223, 224; Jewish Studies 115F-09, 120, 122, 123, 124, 222, 234, 256.
Program F. Global and Transnational
119, 128, 137, 160, 165, 170, 172, 174, 183, 184, 187, 188a, 204, 209, 210, 211a, 212a, 216, 217, 219, 243W, 244, 245, 248, 249, 253a, 254a, 257, 270, 271, 272a, 272b, 272c, 283, 286a, 286b, 286d, 286e, 286g, 287c, 287d, 288a, 288d, 288g, and, as appropriate, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; Jewish Studies 122, 123, 124, 156, 158, 245, 256; Classics 209, 223, 224; EUS 220; Religious Studies 206.
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.
SMT HIST courses: 149, 150, 151, 153, 216, 280, 281, 283, 284a, 284b, 284c, 285W, 286e, and, as appropriate, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298a–298b, and 299; Anthropology 274; Astronomy 203; English 243 or 243W; Mathematics 252; Medicine, Health, and Society 230, 231, 238, 240, 244; Religious Studies 202; and other courses, as appropriate, with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
3. Capstone course (3–6 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: 293b, Internship Research (3 hours). Must be taken in conjunction with HIST 293a (internship training). Prerequisite: HIST 200W. Note: a student may take HIST 293b as an elective before completing HIST 200W but in this case 293b will not count as a capstone course.
Option 2: 295, Majors Seminar (3 hours). Prerequisite: 200W.
Option 3: 284a–289d (except for 286c, 287a, 287d, 288a), 294, Undergraduate Seminar (3 hours). This option requires permissionof the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisite:
Option 4: 298a–298b, Senior Honors Seminar (6 hours). Limited to seniors in the History Honors Program. Note: Atthe discretion of the director of honors and the director ofundergraduate studies, a student who has taken 298a but doesnot take 298b may be considered to have fulfilled the capstonerequirement for the major.
4. Electives (6–12 hours, depending on the nature of the capstone course)
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 history. 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 297, Junior Honors Seminar in History (3 hours); History 298a–298b, Senior Honors Research Seminar (6 hours); and 299, Senior Honors Thesis (3 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. The program consists of 45 hours of course work of which 9 hours are from a common economic history core and the remaining 36 credit hours are evenly divided between economics and history. Students are expected to observe course specific requirements in each department. See the Economics and History section of this catalog for details.
Program of Concentration in English and History (Note from Department of History: This major is no longer offered. For those finishing the program please see the requirements at the bottom of the page)
This interdisciplinary program, shared by English and History, requires fewer credit hours (36 hours) than a double major in the two fields. The program includes special team-taught, cross-disciplinary workshops whose topics vary from semester to semester. See the English and History section of this catalog for details.
Minor in History
The minor in history requires a minimum of 18 hours of course work in one area of concentration. No more than 3 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. 137 or 138 and
2. Any five of the courses listed under “Program B. Latin America”
III. European History
1. 135 or 136 and
2. Five of the courses listed under “Program C. Europe”
IV. Early America and United States History
1. 139, 140, 141, or 142 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 Transnational”
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.
Note: The Department of History renumbered its courses effective for the 2008/2009 academic year. In most cases, the courses with new numbers serve as repeat credit for the same course with the old number taken prior to fall 2008. Please check the course descriptions for specific details.
Course descriptions begin on page 181 of the 2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog.
Economics and History (p.118 in 2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog)
The joint major in economics and history makes an important contribution to liberal education at Vanderbilt by helping students understand the origins and organization of modern society. It also provides a unique preparation for careers in business, the professions, and other fields by combining all the analytical tools of the regular economics major with history’s emphasis on clear and effective writing and on developing skills in gathering, assessing, and synthesizing information.
The program consists of 45 hours of course work: 9 hours in an economic history core, and an additional 18 hours in economics and 18 in history. Students declare their major through the Department of History office.
Note: All students must have at least one semester of calculus; two are strongly recommended for the economics component. Calculus is a prerequisite for ECON 150, 155, 231, and 232, which are required for the major. It is also a prerequisite for all economics courses numbered above 250.
Course work for the major is distributed as follows:
Economic History Core (9 hours)
Three of the following courses, one of which must be an economics course numbered above 250:
HIST 160, HIST 165, HIST 166, HIST 286a, HIST 288a, HIST 288b, HIST 288W, ECON 226, ECON 262, ECON 266, ECON 271. Note: ECON 231 is a prerequisite for ECON 262, 266 and 271.
Economics (18 hours)
ECON 100, 101, 150 or 155, 231, 232; one economics course numbered above 250 not included in the economic history core.
Note: The following course sequences may be substituted for ECON 150 or 155: (1) MATH 218, 218L, and 219 or (2) MATH 218, 218L, and ECON 253. ECON 253 will also count as an elective.
History (18 hours)
No more than 3 hours of AP or IB credit in history courses may count toward this total. Two courses numbered 142 or below; HIST 200W; HIST 295 or a course from Option 3 on page 120 in the history pages for a capstone alternative; two electives above 142 and not included in the economic history core (note that 169 is NOT accepted as an elective for the major). These two electives may also include any of the following: AADS 201, 205; Classical Studies 207, 208, 209, 212, 213, 224; Divinity 2750, 3217; Jewish Studies 156, 222, 252, 256, 257; Philosophy 210.
Honors Program (9 more hours)
Students apply to the Honors Program in History in the first semester of the junior year.
54 hours: students will take the four-course honors sequence, HIST 297, 298a–298b, 299; they will not be required to take HIST 295, though they may enroll for 295 as an elective. They will write an interdisciplinary thesis under the direction of an adviser from each department.
updated October 12, 2012