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Core Requirements

history department

The University Core requirement is a two-semester sequence in modern history from late medieval times to the present. Every student must take two halves of a sequence: one first half, which covers ca. 1300-1800, and one second half, which covers 1800-present.

History Core courses examine the complex historical processes that lie behind modern-day transnational relationships, values, and ideas. They introduce students to key historical concepts, methods, and controversies and examine how present-day concerns shape our understandings of the past. Covering several centuries of time, all History Core courses trace the political, social, economic, and cultural changes that created the modern world. As part of the Core Curriculum, these courses seek to broaden students’ intellectual horizons by exposing them to new places, periods, and perspectives.
 

CORE REQUIREMENTS FAQ

What courses fulfill the History Core?
All history courses numbered between HIST1001 and HIST1111 fulfill this requirement. No other History courses, including upper-level courses, will count towards the Core.

Do I have to take them in order, or can I take the second half of the sequence first?
We strongly recommend that you take the courses in order—History Cores build on each other, and you might find the second half more difficult if you haven’t taken the first. However, if you and your advisor feel you have a strong enough historical background, you may take the second half before the first.

Can I switch to a different sequence for my Part II Core?
Although students are expected to take both halves in the same sequence, switching to a different sequence at midyear is permitted. That is, you may start with Modern History I and then switch to Asia in the World II; just make sure to take one first half and one second half, as taking two courses that cover the same time frames will not complete the Core.

Can a study-abroad History class count towards my History Core requirements?
Yes, but study-abroad courses need to be approved by the Core Moderator, and we strongly suggest that you seek approval before going abroad. In order for a course taken abroad to fulfill the History Core requirement, it must cover the time periods outlined above (ca. 1300-1800 for the Core I, and 1800 to the present for the Core II) and survey historical developments in a global or world-regional framework; in other words, it may not be national history or the history of bi-national relations. For example, "Modern China" will not count, but "East Asia 1800 to the present" will.

Can I satisfy a Core requirement over the summer?
Yes, but you may only take one of your two core courses during the summer, for enrichment credit only. Usually, students take courses through the BC summer school or at another institution.

If you take a summer course at BC and you want it to count towards your Core, you will need to get department approval before you sign up. You will need to bring a Student Services course approval form to the History Department.

If you take a summer course at another institution, you will need approval from the Core Moderator. As with study-abroad, the course must cover the time periods outlined above (ca. 1300-1800 for the Core I, and 1800 to the present for the Core II) and survey historical developments in a global or world-regional framework. You can submit a syllabus for the course to hscore@bc.edu and, if approved, you will need to bring a Student Services course approval form to the History Department. Remember that transfer credits from another institution, excluding study-abroad programs, will be given for no more than one of the two Core courses.

Are there ways to place out of the Core?

  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP European or World History examination fulfills the history core completely.
  • A score of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Exam in history fulfills the history core completely.
  • A score of C or better on the CGE Advanced Level exam in history fulfills the history core completely.
  • A score of C or better on the CGE Advanced Subsidiary Level exam in history fulfills the second half of the history core. Such students would still need to take the first half of the core.