Catalog • 2011-2012

History - Major/Minor

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

Program Description

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.

Program Mission Statement

The history major provides excellent undergraduate preparation for students who will pursue careers in education, government, law, communications, business, and many culture-related fields. The major provides students essential experience in learning to express themselves effectively in speaking and writing. Students learn to employ new information technologies in effective and efficient ways. A major in history prepares students to participate as leaders and engaged citizens in the world around them in its multiple dimensions, local, national, and global.

The minor in history introduces students to the discipline, including its key components of research, scholarship, and the illumination of situations and problems in the contemporary world. As such it provides a valuable complement in both knowledge and skills to majors in other fields, from politics and business to the arts and the sciences.

Total Number of credits required by the program

History major—36 credits; history minor—18 credits

Program Requirements

To count toward the history major or minor, all courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher. At the time of graduation, a student must have a history grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

To apply transfer credits toward the completion of major requirements, students must have earned a grade of “C’ or better in each course to be transferred. Courses completed more than ten years ago will not be accepted for purposes of completing the requirements of the major.

History Major

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

HIS 107 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

History Minor

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.

Fulfillment of LAC Requirements

Students can fulfill the college’s technology and information literacy requirement by successfully completing the history major’s foundational courses.

To satisfy the college’s mathematics and logic requirement, students are strongly recommended to choose from among MAT 102 College Mathematics, Math 110 Probability & statistics, and PHI 131 Introduction to Logic.

To satisfy the college’s oral presentation requirement, students are strongly recommended to take either CST 270 Debate and Argumentation or THS 105 Public Speaking.