Requirements for the Major in History

For Students entering the major after January 2018, in other words, generally starting with the class of 2020


In General: The major program in History consists of at least 9 History courses. These must include at least one introduction to History course (numbered from 150-90), normally taken in the first or sophomore year and 8 other courses, numbered 201 or higher. Students must also complete 2 modules and do a capstone research requirement.

In detail, a major will have:

  • 9 History Department courses, INCLUDING
    • Strongly recommended for Class of 2020, required for class of 2021 onwards: Introduction to History course numbered between 150-189 (An Introduction to History course), normally taken in first two years and only at Wesleyan.
    • 8 other History department COURSES (minimum)
      • INCLUDING the following:
        • at least one PRE-1800 COURSE: All majors must include at least one course focussed on the period before 1800 in their nine HIST courses. It can also count to a module.
        • HIST 362, the REQUIRED SEMINAR
          • All majors must take HIST 362 (Issues in Contemporary Historiography), which is mormally taken during the fall semester of the junior year.
        • and TWO OTHER SEMINARS:
          • Majors must take two additional History department seminars, numbered 300 or above.
          • All qualifying seminars must be taken at Wesleyan.
      • Note that only two History courses taken outside of Wesleyan may be counted toward the 9 required History courses and these will count as non-seminar classes.
  • Modules: Students pursue two modules, each composed of four courses with a thematic, geographic, or chronological unity, assembled from both history and non-history department courses.  Students may create their own modules but most select their modules from the large list prepared by the department faculty. In either case, students work closely with their advisors to identify their modules and the specific courses which are at the core of their major programs.
  • Here are a few things to remember about the courses in your modules:
    • A course may be used in only one of a student's modules;
    • most courses in modules will be history courses but:
    • up to three courses from other departments or programs may count towards the modules
  • History 362 cannot be included in any module.
  • Pre-1800 courses may count towards modules.
  • First year-courses do not count towards modules.
  • Research Project: Every major must complete a substantial research project completed at Wesleyan under departmental faculty supervision.
This project may take the form of an Honors thesis or a senior essay done through an individual tutorial (e.g. HIST 409 or 403), or a research paper completed in an advanced seminar (300-level) in one of the student’s chosen modules, with the approval of the student’s advisor and the instructor of that course. A paper completed in an advanced seminar must be additional normal requirements of the course.