History Major


Total credit requirements for a History major: A student who enters Whitman without any prior college-level preparation in history will need to complete 36 credits.

Students declare a major in one of two tracks: History (Global) or History (Thematic).

  • Required Courses for All Tracks
    • History 299 and 401
      • A minimum grade of C is required in History 299.
    • One History seminar at the 390-level
    • History 402 or 498
    • At least one course in pre-modern history
    • At least one course in modern history
  • Elective Courses for Global Track
    • A total of four courses distributed across four of the following geographical areas:
      • Africa/African Diaspora
      • Ancient Mediterranean
      • Asia
      • Europe
      • Islamic World
      • Latin America
      • North America/United States
    • Two elective courses in any area
  • Elective Courses for Thematic Track
    • Four courses in one of the following pathways:
      • Cultures and Ideas
      • Empires and Colonialism
      • Revolution, War, and Politics
      • Social Justice
      • Before Modernity
    • Two elective courses in any area
  • Senior Requirements
    • History 401
    • History 402, in which students choose to write either:
      • An integrative essay (bringing together coursework completed in their Track)
      • A research essay (conducting further research on a topic related to their Track)
    • Honors candidates take History 498 instead of 402.
    • Oral defense of the senior essay
  • Honors
    • Students submit an “Honors in Major Study Application” to their department.
    • Students must submit a proposal for their thesis or project within the first six weeks of the two-semester period in which they are eligible.
    • Accumulated at least 87 credits
    • Completed two semesters of residency at Whitman
    • Major GPA of at least 3.500
    • Complete a written thesis or research project prepared exclusively for the satisfaction of this program.
    • Earn a grade of at least A- on the honors thesis or project and the honors thesis course.
    • Pass the senior assessment with distinction.
    • The department will submit the honors applications to the Registrar’s Office of students pursuing honors by the specified deadline.
    • The department will submit the “Senior Assessment/Major Study Certificate” to the Registrar’s Office no later than Reading Day.
    • An acceptable digital copy of the honors thesis must be submitted to Penrose Library no later than Reading Day.
  • Notes
    • No more than 8 credits at the 100-level may be applied toward the major.
    • No more than 8 credits earned in off-campus studies and transfer credits may be applied toward the major.
    • No courses may be taken P-D-F after declaration of major.
    • Students receiving a 5 on the AP U.S. History exam earn 4 credits for History 106.
    • Students receiving a 5 on the AP World History or European History exam earn 4 credits, but no course equivalency.
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