Degree Essentials



Associate Professor Frank T. Proctor III, Chair

Professor Mitchell Snay; Associate Professors Lauren Araiza, Adam J. Davis, Catherine L. Dollard, Frank T. Proctor III, Karen Spierling, Megan Threlkeld; Assistant Professors Lauren Hammond, Joanna Tague, Shao-yun Yang; Academic Administrative Assistant Deborah Riley

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

The Department of History seeks to develop in its students an appreciation for the richness, diversity and complexities of human history. In the course of their studies, students are exposed to a wide range of different historical periods and geographic regions, including courses on the history of America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The requirements of the major and minor ensure that students are exposed to a broad spectrum of human historical experience, including the history of peoples whose cultures, experiences, and mentalités are substantially different from their own. The department also offers students various opportunities to explore particular historical problems or questions in depth and engage in original historical research. Thus, the department endeavors not only to help students further develop their analytical and rhetorical abilities, but to formulate historically informed arguments. Students also have the opportunity to reflect on history as a discipline and the nature and uses of historical evidence in seminars on methodology, practice, and theory.

The department encourages a close working relationship between students and faculty in both introductory survey courses and advanced seminars. We also hold regular lunches as a way of bringing students and faculty together in an informal setting, while the History Forum provides a formal opportunity for faculty members to share their research with colleagues and students. The Phi Alpha Theta history honorary society is active in organizing meetings, hosting film nights, and facilitating contacts between majors.

History Major

Students who major in history should select an advisor in the department. This person will be best prepared to assist students in meeting major requirements and assessing the relationship between their work in history and their future life and career goals.

The department requires 36 hours (or nine courses) distributed to ensure both breadth and depth in the major. The major requirements are discussed in greater detail below and must be fulfilled as follows:

  • Two Required Courses: History 290 and Senior Experience

  • Three Area requirements (met by most 100 & 200 level courses)

  • Three Upper level seminars, at least one of which contains a research component

  • One Elective in History

Required Courses: Two courses in the history major are specifically required:

  • HIST-290: Doing History 290 is a methods course which should be taken upon declaring a history major, preferably in the sophomore year and no later than the first semester of the junior year.

  • Senior Experience: This is fulfilled in the senior year by taking either: HIST 430 Senior Seminar or HIST 451/452 Two-semester Senior Research.

Area Requirements: To ensure that students engage diverse fields of history, the department requires that each major complete one introductory course at the 100 or 200 level (excluding Hist-190 and Hist-290) in three of the following geographic areas: Europe, the United States, the Atlantic World, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and Latin America. One of these courses must focus on history prior to 1800 (pre-modern). One of these three courses must cover the West and one must cover the World.

Upper-Level Seminars: Majors are required to take three advanced courses at the 300 level, one of which must be a research seminar. Research seminars will be indicated by special notation at the time of course registration. The upper division course with the research component must be completed prior to enrolling in History 430: Senior Seminar or conducting senior or honors research in history.

Advanced Placement history courses for which the student has earned a 4 or 5 may not be used to meet the requirements of the major, but do count as credits towards graduation from Denison.

A working knowledge of a foreign language is desirable for all majors; those planning on graduate work in history should start a second language if possible. (Graduate schools usually require a reading knowledge of at least two languages. Requirements vary depending upon the area of study and research interests of the candidate. Suitable language choices should be made in consultation with your history advisor.)

History Minor

The department requires a minimum of 24 hours (or six courses) of work in history for a minor. Students must complete three area requirements as defined for the major, History 290-Doing History, and one 300 level course.