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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

History (HIST)

College of Arts and Humanities
2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, 301-405-4265
Chair: P. Soergel (Prof & Chair)
Professors: I. Berlin (Distinguished University Professor), A. Eckstein, R. Friedel, J. Greene, J. Herf, A. Karamustafa, P. Landau (Prof), H. Lapin, R. Price, M. Ross (Prof), M. Rozenblit (Prof and Director of Graduate Studies), J. Sumida, D. Sutherland, M. Zilfi
Associate Professors: E. Barkley Brown, R. Bell, J. Bianchini, A. Borrut, H. Brewer, A. Caneque, B. Cooperman, M. Dolbilov, D. Freund (Assoc Prof & Director of Undergraduate Studies), J. Gao, S. Giovacchini, C. Lyons, R. Muncy, W. Ridgway, K. Rosemblatt, L. Rowland, D. Sartorius, D. Sicilia, S. Villani, P. Wien (Assoc Prof & Assoc Chair), D. Williams, T. Zeller
Assistant Professors: C. Bonner, M. Bradbury, S. Cameron, P. Kosicki, C. Rodriguez, C. Woods, T. Zhang
Lecturers: R. Chiles (Lecturer), C. Ho, K. Keane, E. Landau, C. Lilley, B. Mendelsohn, A. Rush, E. Smead
Affiliate Associate Professors: J. Taddeo (Visit Assoc Prof)
Affiliate Assistant Professors: S. Baron (Visit Asst Prof)
Professors Emeriti: H. Belz (Prof Emeritus), M. Breslow (Assoc Prof Emeritus), S. Brush (Distinguished University Professor Emeritus), G. Callcott (Prof Emeritus), C. Foust (Prof Emeritus), J. Gilbert (Distinguished University Professor Emeritus), D. Grimsted (Assoc Prof Emeritus), G. Gullickson (Prof Emeritus), J. Harris (Prof Emeritus), J. Henretta (Prof Emeritus), K. Holum (Prof Emeritus), J. Lampe (Prof Emeritus), G. Majeska (Assoc Prof Emeritus), M. Mayo (Assoc Prof Emerita), S. Michel (Prof Emerita), A. Moss (Assoc Prof Emeritus), A. Olson (Prof Emerita), K. Olson (Prof Emeritus), M. Vaughan (Prof Emerita), J. Warren (Prof Emeritus), W. Wright (Prof Emeritus), G. Yaney (Prof Emeritus)

The Major

The Department of History seeks to broaden the student's cultural background through the study of history and to provide preparation for those interested in publishing, teaching, museum work, law, journalism, civil service, military, archival and library work, diplomacy, business school, and graduate study.

Undergraduate advisors assist each major in planning a curriculum to meet his or her personal interests. We expect students to meet with a history undergraduate advisor once every semester.

Courses offered by the Department of History may be found under the acronym HIST.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to distinguish among a variety of genres of primary and secondary historical texts (e.g. documents, monographs, letters, novels, film, political cartoons, essays) and use them appropriately and effectively in academic work.  Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct research using primary and secondary sources including archival, print and non-print, and web-based texts.  Students will demonstrate the ability to define and defend a historical thesis.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

Courses in Immigration and Migration Studies (IMMR) examine how migration shapes the United States and the world from historical, political, cultural, and social perspectives and from multiple disciplines. The Immigration and Migration Studies notation is geared toward students interested in studying migration's impact on global society and institutions.

The transcript notation is ideal for students considering careers in law, public policy, social work, and related fields.

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the History major are 39 hours of history course work distributed as follows:  12 hours in 100-200 level introductory courses selected from at least two general geographical fields of history and including HIST208; 15 hours in one major area of concentration (see below); nine hours of history in at least two major areas other than the area of concentration; HIST408. All courses for the major must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-", and 21 hours of the 39 total hours must be at the junior-senior (300-400) level. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

At least one course (three credits), must be taken from an approved list of courses on regions outside both Europe and the U.S. The list may be obtained from the History Undergraduate Advisor's Office.

AP and IB credits are accepted.

Introductory Courses 12
1. To be taken at the 100-200 level taken in at least two geographical fields.  
2. One of these must be HIST208.  
3. In considering courses that will fulfill this requirement, students are encouraged to:  
  • select at least two courses in a sequence
  • select at least one course before 1500 and one course after 1500
  • sample both regional and topical course offerings. Students will normally take one or more introductory courses within their major area of concentration
Major Area of Concentration 15
Students may choose an area of concentration that is either geographic, chronological, or thematic. Areas include:  
  Geographic regions: Africa, Britain and Western Europe, East Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia, Latin and South America, Middle East, United States;  
  Chronological periods: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Europe, 20th Century World;  
  Themes: African-American, Economic and Business, Jewish, Military, Religious, Science and Technology, Social and Cultural, Women and Gender. 
Nine Hours of History in at Least Two Areas Outside the Area of Concentration 9
1. Students are encouraged to select mainly upper-level courses.  
2. Students are encouraged to consider regional diversity.  
Capstone 3
HIST408 will be taken in the senior year and may be inside or outside the area of concentration.  
Supporting Courses Outside History 9
To be taken at the 300-400 level in appropriate supporting courses; the courses do not all have to be in the same department.  Supporting courses should study some aspect of culture and society as taught by other disciplines. A minimum grade of "C-" is required.  


Other Requirements for the Major

HIST208 is a prerequisite for HIST408.

Requirements for the Minor

Minor in History

The History Minor is designed to introduce students to the broad field of historical study, both by deepening their knowledge and understanding of the past and by developing their ability to do critical, historically-minded analysis. In working with both primary and secondary texts, students will hone their skills in research methods, critical thinking, and expository/analytical writing. The requirement that courses are distributed across geographic fields and chronological periods ensures that students consider the variety and range of historical experiences. History courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to count toward the minor. Additionally, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required across all courses counted toward the minor.

Participating students must complete 18 credits (6 courses) in History.

  • The courses must be distributed in at least 2 geographic fields (Asia, Europe, United States, Middle East, etc.).
  • The courses must include at least one course in each of two chronological periods (pre-1750/post-1750).
  • At minimum of 9 credits (3 courses) must be taken at the 300 or 400 level.
  • No more than 3 credits (1 course) may be taken at the 100 level.
  • No more than 3 credits (1 course) may be fulfilled by AP, IB, or transfer credit.
  • A student may use a maximum of 6 credits (2 courses) to satisfy requirements for both a major and a minor. Courses completed for one minor may not be used to satisfy the requirements for another minor.
  • Any student is eligible to pursue the minor, with the exception of a student majoring in History.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors

Minor in Middle Eastern Studies
2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, 301-405-4265

Advisor:  Antoine Borrut ( aborrut@umd.edu ); 301-405-7448

Requirements:  15-18 credits (5 courses; some language courses carry more than 3 credit hours per course) towards the Minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Coursework must be distributed to meet the overlapping requirements below. (For example, HIST120:  Islamic Civilization can be used to meet both the pre-modern requirement and the Arab world requirement, but does not count doubly in terms of credit.)

6 credits (2 courses) in Area distribution:  At least one course in each of two of the following Area categories:  (a) the Arab world; (b) Iran and the Persian/Iranian world; (c) (Middle Eastern) Jewish and Israel; (d) Turkish and Ottoman; and (e) Middle Eastern Diasporas and All Middle East.  Other areas of concentration may be considered and require the director’s approval.
6 credits (2 courses) in Pre-Modern:  At least two courses (6 credits) must focus on the pre-modern period (the 7th century through the 19th century).  Students may fulfill this requirement through their area distribution or elective courses.

3 credits (1 course) in Electives:  The fifth course may be chosen from the list of approved Middle East Studies courses.  A language course of 3 or more credits may be used to satisfy this requirement.  Advanced Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish language courses that are content courses rather than grammar-based can be used for the Elective category or count toward Area Distribution and/or Pre-Modern, depending on subject matter.

Additional requirements: 
  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credits) must be at the upper level (300- or 400-level).
  • All credits must be earned with a grade of "C-" or above (no Pass/Fail option).
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.
  • A list of qualifying courses in each category is available from the academic advisor of the minor and on the MESM’s webpage.
  • Only one lower-level or grammar based course in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish may be credited toward the Minor.
  • At least six credits of upper-level credit must be taken at the University of Maryland.
  • No more than six credits may be taken at an institution other than Maryland.
  • A maximum of two courses can count towards both the major and the minor.
  • Courses cannot count towards multiple minors.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors


Academic advising is available daily on a walk-in basis in the History Undergraduate Advising Office, 2131C Key Hall.


Juniors and seniors may take up to 6 hours of credit in historically-related internships, of which three hours may be counted toward the 39 hours in history required for graduation.  All internships must have a direct relationship to the work of understanding, interpreting, presenting or preserving history and/or historical evidence.  Students must have both a site supervisor at the place of the internship and a history faculty mentor for their internship project.  Student internships must be approved by the History Department Internship Coordinator.  Internships are generally only open to students who have an overall GPA of 2.5 or better.

Honors Program

The purpose of the Honors Program in History is to allow promising undergraduates to develop historical and historiographical skills, in an atmosphere that guarantees personal attention and that encourages hard work and excellence. The Program is a four-semester sequence, the culmination of which is a senior thesis--a major research paper written under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. There are two phases to the program: in the junior year, students are introduced to the problems of history-writing at a sophisticated level, via two seminars on problems of historiography; in the senior year they complete two supervised courses in the writing of the senior thesis.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

History majors and other interested students are encouraged to join the History Undergraduate Association (HUA), which sponsors events such as an annual Film Festival and special seminars and activities.  History majors edit and publish a web-based journal, Janus: The University of Maryland Undergraduate History Journal ( www.janus.umd.edu/ ), which features student writing relevant to history.  Janus also sponsors an annual conference where undergraduates present their research and are awarded prizes.  The department also hosts the Beta-Omega chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society.  Information on these organizations can be obtained from the History Undergraduate Office, 2131 Francis Scott Key Hall.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

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