Contact History

Chair: Carolyn Vacca
Phone: (585) 385-8244

History Program Requirements

Note: The Undergraduate Catalog contains the most current history program requirements.

The History Major

You may choose a general major in history (minimum 18 credits beyond the 5 required courses) or a departmental concentration focusing on a specific area of historical study.

Introductory courses required for both the general major and the concentration areas establish a foundation in the primary concepts and methods of historical analysis. These include:

  • Western Civilization: Europe and the World Since 1500 (two courses)
  • The United States Since the Colonial Era (two courses)
  • Modern Japan or Modern China (one course)

The department concentrations are divided into four broad areas:

North American Studies

This area of concentration invites you to develop your analytical skills by examining the significance of America's successes and failures in both domestic and foreign policies. It provides a solid foundation for graduate study or American government service.

European Studies

This concentration emphasizes the homeland of Western civilization. Though European powers no longer dominate the world, the culture of Europe is still enormously influential. The purpose of this concentration is to make you aware of the richness and variety of the European tradition and its influence on the rest of the world. Particular emphasis is given to the concept of Europe, which includes a community of nations related by common bonds extending to the borders of Asia.

Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies

This program introduces you to the principal issues that have shaped the history of foreign relations and global affairs through the study of policies, strategies, wars, and ideologies that have produced the most profound conflict and compromise in human history. Designed for the general history major, it is especially useful if you are interested in pursuing graduate or legal studies or careers in government, defense or foreign service occupations.

Asian Studies

Why study the history of Asia? In the first place, we are at the dawn of what some predict will be the "Pacific Century," when Asian countries may exert more power and influence that they have for centuries. History courses in the Asian concentration are thus an excellent preparation not only for teaching, but also for a variety of careers, such as business, politics, and the law. Many Europeans and Americans have also been driven by intellectual curiosity to examine the traditions and cultures of the Asian world, and thereby acquire a fresh perspective on their own lives and times.

Public History Concentration

In addition to the four departmental concentrations listed above, you may also choose a concentration in Public History, which is history practically applied and made available to a public audience. Museum presentations or exhibits, television documentaries, and historic preservation initiatives are among the many forms of public history. Public historians are employed by a wide variety of institutions such as archives, historical houses or societies, museums, government institutions, consulting firms, history libraries, and websites.

Kearney Hall

Minor in History

A minor in history consists of 18 credits of history courses with at least one of the classes at or above the 300 level.

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