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CATALOG • 2009-2010


History – Major/Minor

For information, contact Dr. James Ward, Dr. Barton Shaw or Dr. Kim Spiezio.

The history program at Cedar Crest emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and skills applicable across a broad spectrum of  careers and professions and an engagement with values, ethics, and choices that will prepare students for responsible democratic citizenship and fulfilling lives.  Many of the skills acquired in history courses are shared with other disciplines, among them critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and mastery of an ever-widening range of sources of information.  Particular to history, however, are other skills essential for engaged citizenship and for participation in a global society.  History teaches the importance of understanding change over time and of knowing how to place events, individuals, and experiences in the context of time and place.  These objectives are highlighted in the 2008 report  of the National History Center Working Group entitled “The History Major and Undergraduate Liberal Education.”  To quote from the report, “History as a discipline contributes to civic engagement by focusing on citizenship and how shared civic ideals have developed over time.  History provides important knowledge of the development of public policy, the institutions of civic society, and how individuals constitute societies and relate to one another.”

A student’s progress in studying history is measured by the grades she earns in individual history courses, her grade point average in the major, and her grade in the senior research seminar.  As the final measure of how well a student has mastered advanced levels of knowledge and skill, the research seminar is designed to demonstrate the ability to conduct research, to interpret primary and secondary sources, to draw conclusions, and to produce an original, independent , and literate piece of scholarship.  Each student is also required to present a portfolio of evidence that documents her progress through the major.  Students should begin assembling their portfolio as soon as they have declared their history major and in no case later than the beginning of the junior year.  Portfolio components can include tests and exams, reports and papers, and any other materials the student believes demonstrate her increasing proficiency in the study of history.  The portfolio will not be graded and will have no impact on a student’s grade point average.  However, it will provide the student with tangible evidence of her learning progress and will give her a substantive record of her mastery of the discipline of history.

Requirements for the History Major—All Majors (15 credits)

HIS107   European Civilization I 3 credits
HIS 108   European Civilization II 3 credits
HIS 121   Survey of US History I 3 credits
HIS 122   Survey of US History II 3 credits
HIS 350   Research Seminar (Capstone) 3 credits

Requirements for the History Major—
Concentration in American History (21 credits)

Choose  four from the following courses:
HIS 221 The Revolution and the Early Republic 3 credits
HIS 223   The Civil War and Reconstruction 3 credits
HIS 224   America as a World Power   3 credits
HIS 230   The American South since the Civil War  3 credits
HIS 231   American Cultural Traditions   3 credits
HIS 232   The African-American Liberation Struggle  3 credits

Plus the following two courses:
HIS 210   Liberal Democracy and Capitalism 3 credits
HIS 211   20th-Century Dictatorships   3 credits

Plus one other history course   3 credits

Requirements for the History Major—
Concentration in European and World History (21 credits)

Choose four from the following courses:
HIS 210   Liberal Democracy and Capitalism 3 credits
HIS 211   20th-Century Dictatorships   3 credits
HIS 218   The City as History   3 credits
HIS 250   Germany and the Path to European Union  3 credits
HIS 251   Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia   3 credits
HIS 278   Terror: The History of an Idea   3 credits

Plus the following two courses:
HIS 224   America as a World Power   3 credits
HIS 270   China and Japan in the Modern Age 3 credits

Plus one other history course   3 credits

While it is anticipated that most majors will choose to concentrate in American or European and world history, it is possible for a student to design an individual concentration that combines elements of the two, based on her future academic or career aspirations.  To do so, she must present a persuasive rationale together with a coherent sequence of courses to accomplish her educational purposes.  In every case, she is expected to work closely with her faculty advisor and she must obtain approval by the department.  The base requirements (100-level courses and 350) and the total number of credits required for the major (36) remain the same.

Cognate Courses

All majors are encouraged to take one or more of the following cognate courses, which would complement her study in history.  Taking any of these courses is optional on the student’s part and is not required to complete the major.
ECO 222   Economic Geography   3 credits
PSC  202   Law and Justice   3 credits
PSC 207 Law and Women’s Rights   3 credits
PSC  211   Globalization and Governance 3 credits
PSC  251   Modern Political Thought   3 credits

Requirements for the History Minor (18 credits)

Two history courses at the 100-level and at least four courses at the 200-level.  In selecting the courses that will constitute her minor, the student should develop a well-thought-out combination that reflects her intellectual interest in the discipline of history, the skills she wants to master, and how the history minor will add strength to her overall undergraduate education.

The evening history major, offered through LVAIC, is especially designed to meet the scheduling needs of adult students.