2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History Major

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Major Requirements

There are two pathways through the history major: The Field of Focus (FOF) Program and the Global Program. Both require nine courses.

The programs are described below:

Field of Focus

The first pathway, the Field of Focus Program, allows students to devise individualized, but also intellectually coherent, specializations. Possible fields of focus include:

  • Black History
  • Capitalism, Commodities, and Class
  • Cultural History
  • Empires and Colonialism
  • Environmental History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Indigenous History
  • Intellectual History
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Race and Racism
  • Religion and Society
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Social Movements and Human Rights
  • War and Violence

Students in the Field of Focus Program develop their specialization (i.e., field of focus) in consultation with their academic adviser. Students who choose this program are required to submit a field of focus statement within one semester of their major declaration and can be revised in later semesters. Students may select their courses to fit one of the department’s suggested fields (see above), or they may design their own field of focus in consultation with their adviser.

History Workshop

Seven Electives

  • Students select seven HIST courses of their choosing, at least four of which should relate directly to their field of focus


  • One seminar at the 400 level other than HIST 490 , normally taken in the junior or senior year

Additional Stipulations

  • At least two of the nine courses must be designated other than (EU) or (US)
  • One of the nine courses may be taken outside the department at Colgate, subject to the approval of the student’s academic adviser and the History Curriculum Committee. These courses might include advanced (300-level) foreign language courses or courses from other disciplines closely related to their field of focus.

The Global Program

The second pathway, the Global Program, draws on long-standing regional, geographic, and national frameworks that have organized historical inquiry. These are:

  • Africa (AF)
  •  Asia (AS)
  • Europe (EU)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
  • Middle East (ME)
  • Transregional (TR)
  • United States (US)

The Global Program in history consists of nine courses, structured as follows:

History Workshop

100- and 200-Level Courses

  • Three courses at the 100- or 200-level 
    • To encourage breadth of study, each of these three must carry a different geographic designation (see list above).

300-Level Courses

  • Three courses at the 300 level
    • At least one of these courses must be designated other than (EU) or (US)

Additional Elective

  • One additional history course at the 200 level or above, or any 300-level foreign language course. (Foreign language courses taught in translation do not meet this requirement.)


  • One seminar at the 400 level other than  , normally taken in the junior or senior year

Additional Stipulations

  • Only one of the nine courses for the major may be taught by a non-departmental historian. This includes history courses offered in off-campus study groups, at other institutions, and at Colgate; all such courses are subject to the approval of the student’s academic adviser and the History Curriculum Committee. 

GPA Requirement

Students must have achieved a minimum GPA of 2.00 over all courses taken in the department.

Major Declaration

To be admitted to the major, students must have earned a GPA of 2.00 in all history courses taken. Students not meeting this requirement may petition the department for permission to begin the major.

History Department

For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the History department  catalogue page.

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