Requirements for the Major in History
History offers the following regional fields of study: Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. Some courses in history are designated as “transregional” because they cover more than one of these regional fields. The department also offers fields in Atlantic and Colonial Worlds, which may include these transregional courses, as well as courses that are not transregional but fit into these transregional concentrations. All history courses fall under one or more of these regional or transregional fields.
Before electing to major in history, a student should have completed or have in progress at least two college-level courses in history. In consultation with a faculty advisor in the department, a student should plan a program that begins at either the introductory or the intermediate level and progresses to the advanced level.
The major consists of ten courses, with the following stipulations:
Grades: Students must obtain a minimum course grade of C- to receive credit toward the major. Courses that will count toward the major must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail).
Study away: In the sophomore year, students anticipating study away from Bowdoin should discuss with the departmental advisor a plan for the history major that includes work at Bowdoin and elsewhere. Students participating in approved off-campus study may count no more than one history course per semester toward the history major. In exceptional cases, students may petition to receive credit for more than one course per semester toward the history major. In all cases, a maximum of three history courses taken away from Bowdoin can count toward the history major.
Honors: All history majors seeking departmental honors will enroll in at least one semester of the Honors Program (History 451, 452). Its primary requirement is the research and writing of the honors thesis. To be eligible to register for Honors, a student must have the equivalent of a B+ average in courses taken in the department and the approval of a thesis advisor.
Languages: History majors are encouraged to develop competence in one or more foreign languages and to use this competence in their historical reading and research. Knowledge of a foreign language is particularly important for students planning graduate work.
Requirements for the Minor in History
The minor consists of five courses with the following stipulations:
Although first-year seminars and 100-level courses are designed as introductory courses for students who have not taken college-level courses in history, first-year students and all non-majors may also enroll in any lecture course numbered 200–289.
Intermediate seminars are not open to first-year students. Most of these seminars have a prerequisite of one history course.
Advanced seminars or Problems Courses are open to history majors and minors and to other juniors and seniors with sufficient background in the discipline.