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history department

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR "COURSE AUDIT."

A course audit is not the same as a transcript of your courses. Learn how to read the audit; each semester, check to make sure that all of your courses are placed where they should be. It is the course audit that the Senior Records Advisor in the Office of Student Services checks to see whether you have fulfilled all of the requirements for your major (and for the Core), so that you can graduate. You can request an up-to-date course audit, which can be downloaded onto your computer, from Student Services through Agora.


EXAMINE CAREFULLY THE LIST OF COURSE OFFERINGS AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE.

This list can be found in our courses section and can also be picked up in the department office on the fourth floor of Maloney Hall during pre-registration each semester. It classifies the prospective course offerings according to the kind of requirement each course fulfills. The list of course offerings from Student Services does not do this. Course descriptions and syllabi are also available through Agora.


REGISTRATION

Majors must meet with their advisors during the advisor's posted office hours before they register. Your advisor will have your registration materials. Look over your course audit with your advisor and discuss the progress you are making toward fulfilling your major. Use the opportunity to clear up any questions or problems you may have. Please note that students should start planning their area of concentration within the major.


THE DROP-ADD PERIOD

This period presents an opportunity to make alterations in your schedule. Most electives, you will find, will remain open. However, some courses do fill up quickly, including the American Civilization sections. Normally, the department will not approve overrides into these sections. If you request an override into a course that is closed, you must see a Department Administrator.


FIND TEACHERS WHO ARE PARTICULARLY SUITED TO YOUR LEARNING STYLE; GET TO KNOW THEM.

The Department of History is noted for its research and publication, for its breadth and diversity, and particularly for its fine teachers. Nevertheless, each student has her or his own style of learning. It makes sense to take classes whose teachers have a teaching style most suited to your learning style. So choose your teachers carefully.

And get to know them! The history major is more than just taking classes. Finding a mentor, for example, can be an important part of being a history major. Getting to know your professors has practical advantages as you approach your senior year. You may want to take a Readings and Research course. Since such a course is, in effect, an individual course organized by the professor and the student, it is only common sense that a professor will be more inclined to work with a student he or she knows. The same is true should you want to write a departmental Honors Thesis. Finally, consider that as you approach graduation, you may need letters of recommendation from some of your professors.


READING AND RESEARCH COURSES (HIST-4901)

Such courses are, in effect, specially tailored tutorial courses on a specialized topic, constructed by a professor and a student. They usually involve weekly discussion and a research paper. Normally, a student can create such a course only after having taken a related survey course with the professor and having done well in that course. Therefore, it is really a specialized course that grows out of a previous survey course.

The computer automatically lists an HIST-4901 course for each faculty member. However, to sign up for such a course you need departmental permission, which means obtaining the approval of the professor with whom you wish to work. There is a form which the professor must fill out, describing the individualized course. The form is then turned in by the student to a Department Administrator.


For additional information on the history major, please click on the specific topics listed on the left.