History Department


Admission to the Minor.

Why History?

History is a way of understanding the whole of the human condition as it has unfolded in time. Without history, nothing makes sense, from the meaning of words to the formation of identities, to institutions, states, and societies. History straddles the boundary between the social sciences and humanities. Like the other social sciences, it has established methods of investigation and proof, but it differs from them in that it encompasses, potentially, every area of human culture from the beginning of recorded time. Like the other humanities, it uses ordinary language and established modes of telling its stories, but it is constrained by evidence left us from the past.

Minor in History will help you develop valuable skills valuable skills transferable beyond the classroom: critical thinking and interpretation, persuasive writing, as well as analytical and research skills for tackling complex questions History is inherently complex and requires the ability to generate knowledge from large amounts of information and assess evidence and conflicting interpretations of the past. As a History minor you will learn to make sense of complexity and tell a good story.

To become a Minor in History, go to your portfolio and declare it! Simple as that!

Minor Requirements.

What Next?

Take History courses! The breadth of topics covered by the History Department allows students to create geographic, thematic, or chronological unity in their own unique course of study. 

To minor in History you need six History credits, four in one of the modules (the full list of modules is provided below).

What counts?

  • At least eight of the eleven courses must be History courses, and at least two of those should be History seminars
  • You may also count one first-year seminar, and one senior research tutorial towards the major.

  • One of the courses must deal with the pre-industrial era.

  • Two courses taken outside of Wesleyan, for example during the semester abroad, may be included among the History courses. 

  • Up to three courses in other departments, programs, or colleges may be counted towards the total of eleven required courses with the approval of the student’s advisor.  

What Are the Modules?

To help you forge coherence as a minor in History, modules are fields of concentration that provide a thematic, geographic, or chronological unity for the courses (flip over for the list of modules). Note that a course may belong to several modules.

  • Religion
  • Nation and Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Thought and Ideas
  • East Asia
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • War and Violence
  • Europe
  • Empires and Encounters
  • Revolution and Social Movements
  • Jewish History, Society, and Culture
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • North America 
  • Before Modernity:  The Pre-Industrial Era
  • Africa
  • Geographies:  Space and Mapping
  • Migration
  • South Asia
  • The City
  • Environment and Food
  • History and Theory/Historiography
  • Economy and Society
  • Contemporary History:  (1945  - )  
  • Middle East
  • African-American History
  • Britain and the British Empire
  • Visual and Material Culture
  • Early Modern Globe (1500-1800)
  • Latin America