We invite you to browse through the courses offered by the Department of History. Undergraduate majors in history can choose from among a wide range of history courses to fulfill their degree requirements. Graduate courses generally fall into two categories: colloquia (reading courses) and seminars (research courses). 


The numerically predominant type of course in our graduate program is the readings course at the 600-level, often called a colloquium. Colloquia constitute the majority of the courses which a student completes, and it is in them that students develop the detailed understanding of the subject matter of their field. Colloquia are devoted to reading and critical discussion of the current secondary literature related to a specific topic, historical problem, or period and/or place in history. Students can expect to write bibliographical essays as the primary grading instrument. Another way to achieve the same aims as the colloquium is to do an individual directed reading (numbered at the 900 level) under the guidance of a specific instructor; this is usually done when one or two students and a professor agree to such an arrangement, which must be at the convenience and within the time limits of those involved.


Courses at the 800-level (and courses at the 900-level entitled "Directed Research") are defined as seminars. Students must complete two seminars for the M.A. and two additional seminars for the Ph.D. In these courses students conduct and present primary research projects. The major requirements of these seminars is the preparation of a paper or journal-article length and style, involving the use of primary sources (in the original language where necessary). Bibliographical essays, specifically, do not meet the seminar requirement.

Some students may elect to take the thesis option for the M.A., but this does not reduce the requirement for seminars.

Ph.D. students have the option of taking History 603: Historical Teaching in place of one of the four required research seminars. M.A. students may not substitute History 603 for one of their two required research seminars, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged to take the course.