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History Major

The mission of the Department of History at Providence College is to encourage a sensitivity to the past in order that students might better understand the present and prepare intelligently to deal with the challenges of the future. Moreover, the department seeks to train and instruct students in historical method, with emphasis on doing the work of history with the greatest possible objectivity, resisting personal and social prejudice and ideological fashion.

History courses are intended to develop in students a basic grasp of both European and American civilizations and to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of non-Western civilizations.

The department emphasizes an appreciation of the Judaeo-Christian heritage in keeping with the character and mission of the College as a Roman Catholic and Dominican institution. It also promotes an understanding of democratic tradition and practice and their relation to the responsibilities of citizenship and humane development of the nation and the world.

History majors are required to complete 33 credits in history. These are normally fulfilled by completing a 3-credit gateway course, 9 credits each in United States history and European history, and 12 from departmental electives, of which a non-Western history course and a junior/senior seminar are required. Necessary adjustments and appropriate substitutions for departmental requirements may be made in accordance with approved department policy and with permission of the chairperson of the department.

Required Courses:

American Requirements ( 9 credits):

  • HIS 255- History of the United States: From the Beginnings to 1815
  • HIS 256- History of the United States: From 1815 to 1900
  • HIS 257- History of the United States: From 1877 to 1939

American Requirements (9 credits from the following selections, including specifically one Pre-1877, one Post-1877, and one Pre-or Post- 1877):

  • HIS 255- History of U.S. from pre-Colonial to 1789
  • HIS 256- History of U.S. from 1789 to 1877
  • HIS 257- History of U.S. from 1877 to 1939
  • HIS 258- History of U.S. from 1939 to Present

 European Requirements (9 credits from the following selections):

  • One Pre-1715 European History Course
  • One Post-1715 European History Course
  • One Pre- or Post-1715 European History Course

Remaining 15 Credits:

  • HIS 100- Thinking and Writing about History
  • One Non-Western History Course
  • Two History Electives
  • One Junior/Senior Seminar

 Non-Western Requirement

History majors are required to take at least one non-Western History course as part of their History requirements. History/Secondary Education majors are required to take two non-Western History courses.

Courses that fall into the following categories can be used to fulfill the Non-Western requirement: Asian, Russian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, African, and Native American histories, or any histories that focus on autochthonous peoples, provided that they (a) include a significant amount of content beyond the scope of the study of Western history and/or (b) offer alternative perspectives to those peoples who emanate from Western Europe or the United States by focusing on the response to contact, conquest, and colonialism.Russian History may not count as non-Western history for Secondary Education majors. We always suggest students consult with the assistant chair or with their advisor for clarification.

Courses not explicitly included in the above categories may fulfill the non-Western requirement with the approval of the instructor and the chair or assistant chair.

  • HIS 230 – Early Latin American History 3 Credits
  • HIS 231 – Modern Latin American History 3 Credits
  • HIS 240 – Native American History to 1815 3 Credits
  • HIS 241 – Native American History since 1815 3 Credits
  • HIS 298 – East Asian History I 3 Credits
  • HIS 299 – East Asian History II 3 Credits
  • HIS 312 – Nationalism and Independence in Eastern Europe 3 Credits
  • HIS 339 – Ancient Egypt 3 Credits
  • HIS 342 – History of the Middle East to 1920 3 Credits
  • HIS 344 – History of Africa Since 1850 3 Credits
  • HIS 345 – History of the Modern Middle East 3 Credits
  • HIS 352 – Global Feminisms in the Age of Empires and Beyond 3 Credits
  • HIS 368 – Modern Japan 3 Credits
  • HIS 369 – Modern China 3 Credits
  • HIS 421 – History of Russia I 3 Credits
  • HIS 422 – History of Russia II 3 Credits
  • HIS 481 – Seminar 3 Credits
  • HIS 482 – Seminar 3 Credits

Majors with an AP grade of “5” in the AP American exam will be given a one course reduction in the required courses for that area and will be given flexibility in choosing the remaining two courses (any two courses for that particular area).

Majors with an AP grade of “5” in the AP European exam will be given a one course reduction in the required courses for that area and will be given flexibility in choosing the remaining two courses to satisfy the pre-1715 or the post-1715 requirement.

Majors with an AP grade of “5” in the World History exam will be given a one course reduction, which will satisfy the requirement for a course in non-Western history.

Majors with an AP grade of “4” in the AP American and/or European History exam(s) will be given flexibility in choosing any three courses in place of the required sequence of courses for U.S. and at least one pre- and one post-1715 European History.

Please refer to the Providence College Undergraduate Catalogue for a detailed description of required courses.