04/23/14 2:46 AM






 
Academic Programs

History

History Department Overview

Goals

Departmental Honors

Objectives

Historical Methods

Major

Senior Seminar

Major Electives

Senior Thesis

Minor

Study Aboard &
Domestic Exchange

Area of Concentration

Teacher Certification


GOALS

The study of history, an important component of a meaningful and comprehensive liberal arts education, provides a unique opportunity for students to understand relationships between phenomena past and present. The department of history encourages an interdisciplinary examination of varying cultures to develop an understanding of difference, convergence, and continuity with an emphasis on the social dimension.

In addition to focusing on content, the history major develops and enhances certain skills, which, if properly nurtured, will serve the student well in any postgraduate endeavor.

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OBJECTIVES

As a result of majoring in history, the student will be able to:

  1. Define and explore major historical problems
  2. Employ critical methods of analyzing those problems
  3. Develop research skills required to fully investigate those problems
  4. Write formal papers which lucidity and cogently reflect critical analysis research, and consequent conclusions
  5. Engage in collaborative scholarship
  6. Write research designs
  7. Utilize the discipline content in teaching history in secondary schools

With these skills in hand, the student will be in a position to compete for admission into a variety of fields, including graduate study in history; graduate study in international studies, broadly conceived; law school; library and museum work; the teaching profession at the secondary level; both public and private sectors of the work place; and community or foreign service.

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MAJOR

The history major is intended to provide the student with an educational experience, which is predicated on a sequence of courses. Courses taken at the beginning of the major will serve as the foundation for more advanced study with regard to both content and skills. To receive the B.A. in history, the student is required to successfully complete a minimum of eleven courses, or forty-four credit hours (eleven in history). The course distribution is as follows:

3

Area of Concentration

1

Historical Methods (SHIS 203)

1

Senior Seminar

5

Major Electives (one from each area other than concentration)

1

Making of the Modern World (SHIS 303)

11

Total

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MAJOR ELECTIVES

The remaining five major electives are to be taken as one from each area outside of the area of concentration. No more than 3 of these 5 electives can be at the survey (200) level.

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MINOR

A minor consists of six courses, or twenty-four hours. The following courses are required:

  • Historical Methods (SHIS 203)
  • Making of the Modern World (SHIS 303)
  • Senior Seminar

At least two of the four remaining courses must be taken in two different areas.

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AREA OF CONCENTRATION

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

Students interested in a more rigorous curriculum should consider applying for departmental honors. It is highly recommended that those planning to pursue graduate studies in history seriously consider this option. To qualify for departmental honors, students must meet the following criteria:

1. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 in history.
2. Maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.

To receive the BA in history with departmental honors, the student is required to successfully complete a minimum of thirteen courses, or fifty-two credit hours (eleven in history plus the senior thesis).

The course distribution is as follows:

3

Area of Concentration

1

Historical Methods (SHIS 203)

1

Senior Seminar

2

Senior Thesis (SHIS. 491, 492)

5

Major Electives (from each area other than concentration)

1

Making of the Modern World (SHIS 303)

13

Total

Students interested in graduating with departmental honors must submit an application to the department by April 20th of the junior year.

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HISTORICAL METHODS

The student is expected to take History 203, Historical Methods, in the fall of the sophomore year. This course provides an introduction to the historical discipline by focusing upon those skills needed to successfully complete the major.

MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD

The student is expected to take SHIS 303, Making of the Modern World in the spring of the sophomore year. This course provides broad coverage across and beyond areas of concentration, thus allowing students to see and understand interconnectedness of themes and world developments.

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SENIOR SEMINAR

The senior seminar is the culminating experience for the history major. To fulfill the senior seminar requirement, a series of 400-level courses specifically designated as seminars are offered in both the fall and the spring semesters. The seminar is designed to allow students to maximize their participation in, and contribution to, discussions about both reading and research assignments. The students will be expected to more fully integrate primary sources and journals into their research for this course. Please note that not all 400 level courses are designated as senior seminars.

Students who do not plan to take the senior thesis sequence should attempt to enroll in a seminar in the area of their concentration.

Non-thesis students will be required to complete a major paper as a part of the seminar.

Seminar requirements for students enrolled in the thesis will be shorter than those for non-honors students.

A seminar taken prior to the senior year will not fulfill the senior seminar major requirement.

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SENIOR THESIS

The senior thesis (SHIS 491, 492) is a two-semester sequence designed for those seeking to graduate with departmental honors. It is to be carried out within the area of concentration. More specific guidelines for the exercise are provided at the beginning of the sequence.

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STUDY ABROAD AND DOMESTIC EXCHANGE

A significant percentage of history majors participate in either study abroad or domestic exchange programs. Those who plan to do so should observe the following:

1. For all courses taken outside of Spelman, prior departmental approval is required for more than one course to count toward fulfilling the area of concentration requirement.

2. Both Historical Methods and the Senior Seminar must be completed at Spelman.

3. No more than two history courses taken on one semester study abroad and three for one year can be counted toward requirements for the major. In any event, no more than three history courses taken outside of Spelman College can be counted for major credit.

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TEACHER CERTIFICATION

Students interested in teaching history and social studies at the elementary or secondary level should consult with the department of education in the first semester of their sophomore year.