The University Core requirement is a two-semester sequence in history from late medieval times to the present. Every student must take two halves of a sequence: one first half, which covers ca. 1500-1800, 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. Through the History Core, students will learn how to (1) use primary sources to interpret the past, and (2) explain change over time.
NEW PROCEDURE FOR CORE COURSE SUBSTITUTIONS
Fill out this pre-approval form for non-BC or summer Core courses
- October 1 (for students who studied abroad/took non-BC classes the previous fall/spring semesters, spring semester, or during the summer).
- March 1 (for students who studied abroad/took non-BC classes the previous fall semester).
CORE REQUIREMENTS FAQ
What courses fulfill the History Core?
All History Core courses are marked on Agora and listed on this webpage. No other courses can count as a Core course unless students receive written permission from the department’s Director of 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 frame 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 Director of the Core, 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. 1500-1800 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. 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 Director of the Core. As with study-abroad, the course must cover the time periods outlined above (ca. 1500-1800 for the Core I, and 1800 to the present for the Core II) and survey historical developments in a global or world-regional framework. 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.