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The distinguished faculty in Tulane University's Department of History teach and write about Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States, extending from the ancient to the contemporary world. Not simply the study of the past, history provides us with the tools and knowledge to assess where humanity has been and contextualize our future. History helps us build bridges across time, culture, and geography. Majoring in History provides students the vital tools of the 21st century: analysis, argument, understanding and communication.

Choosing a Course

If this is your first history course at Tulane, you may want to start with a 1000 level class. These courses welcome students to the study of history at the college level. They give you a base on which to build. If you have already done advanced work in history at high school, or are not interested in an introductory level survey, feel free to take a 2000, 3000 or 4000 level course. These courses will require some more work, but they are generally taught with the expectation of no special prior knowledge. 6000 level courses are not generally appropriate for freshmen, but if you would like to take such a course, please consult with the professor concerned to make sure that the course would be suitable for you.

For further advice on history courses, please go to see one of our faculty advisors. Their names and office hours are on the Contact Us page.

If you wish to declare history as a major or minor, pick up the Declare a Major/Minor form your Dean's office and bring this to Professor Emily Clark the undergraduate director, or the faculty advisors during office hours.

Major Requirements {students declared major after January 1, 2013}

The history major requires all students to take a minimum of 30 credits or ten courses (excluding one-credit courses). The major aims to assure that all students have taken at least one course in a broad range of areas of the world, including at least two outside the history of Europe and the United States. It also aims to assure some exposure by all students to history prior to 1800, when there is much less evidence for making historical judgments than in the modern era, as well as requiring at least one course from the modern era. Apart from these distribution requirements, students are free to pursue their interests in one or more areas of history in as much depth as they choose.

The history major has two methodological requirements. The aim of these requirements is to train students how to understand the contingency of historical interpretation and the kinds of debates that result to frame historical questions, to learn to use primary sources, to find the evidence necessary, to develop historical analysis and prove historical arguments, and to write papers that develop those arguments in clear and coherent prose. First, all history majors are required to take a 3000-level seminar that has a one-credit Historical Methods laboratory co-requisite (with the number 3000). It is not sufficient to take the 3000-level seminar without the co-requisite laboratory in order to satisfy this requirement. Second, all history majors must take one of the department’s 6000-level advanced seminars. For majors, the Historical Methods laboratory is a prerequisite for taking the advanced seminar. All 6000-level seminars have, as one of their central requirements, a major research paper of at least 20 pages that incorporates the analytical, research and writing skills.

The Requirements of the History Major
  • The History major consists of ten courses totaling at least 30 credits, excluding one-credit courses.
  • All majors must take at least three seminars.
    • One of those must be a 3000-level Historical Methods Seminar.
    • One of those must be a 6000-level Advanced Seminar.
    • Both of these courses must be taken at Tulane.
  • No more than three 1000-level courses may count toward the major.
  • Courses that do not have a letter grade cannot count toward the major.
  • History majors must satisfy the following distribution requirements:
    • Students must take at least one pre-1800 course and at least one post-1800 course.
    • Students must take at least one course in four of the following six areas: Africa (HISB), Asia (HISC), Europe (HISA and HISE), Latin America (HISL), Middle East (HISM), and United States (HISU)

    Advanced Seminars
    Advanced seminars -- numbered 6000 to 6999 -- are open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, and also to graduate students. Sophomores may require permission from the course instructor to enroll in a 6000-level seminar. In these courses, students will develop specialized historical and theoretical knowledge through the integration of approaches, cases, skills, and ideas from across the breadth of their major that they have learned in earlier courses. The skills integrated will include the understanding of what it means to go into a subject in-depth, the development of a defensible thesis, the use primary sources (when available) critically to support historical argument, a sophisticated understanding of historical context and change over time, and differences in historical interpretation and methodology. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding in written work (including a major independent research paper), oral presentation, and/or classroom discussions. Students may not complete the Advanced Seminar requirements until their junior/senior year. History majors should take one 3000-level Methods Seminar before registering for an Advanced Seminar.

    The Requirements of the History Minor
    The History Minor consists of six courses distributed as follows:

    • No more than one course at the 1000-level,
    • At least one 3000-level seminar,
    • At least one Advanced Seminar numbered 6000-6999.

    Pre-1800 and Post-1800 Courses
    [There is a separate list of courses that count for each of these.]

    Major Requirements {students declared major before January 1, 2013}

    A history major ordinarily consists of 30 credits (10 courses) distributed over three fields:

    • a minimum of four courses in the first field,
    • three courses in the second field,
    • two courses in the third field,
    • and a 10th course may be taken from ANY field.

    The fields are:

    • Ancient and Medieval Europe
    • The Middle East/North Africa
    • Africa
    • Modern Europe
    • United States
    • Latin America

    Students may select no more than four courses numbered 1990 and below (and no more than two in one field). The department also requires three or more courses numbered 4000 and above, with at least one of these being in the first field. In addition, the department offers two alternative tracks:

    • Mediterranean World
    • Atlantic World

    Minor Requirements {students declared minor before January 1, 2013}

    A minor in history consists of at least 18 credits, one-half of which must be numbered 2000 and above, with one course numbered 4000 and above. They must be distributed among at least two fields, with a minimum of two courses in each field. The approved fields are as defined in the requirements for the major.

    Accelerated MA Degree

    We are delighted to be able to offer a graduate degree: an accelerated Master of Arts Degree. This is available only to Tulane undergraduate history majors. By allowing you to transfer 12 semester hours of graduate level courses in history (6000 or 7000 level) into the graduate program, this option will enable you to earn an M.A. in history one year after your undergraduate degree. More details can be found on the Graduate Study Page.


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    Department of History
    Tulane University
    6823 St. Charles Ave.
    115 Hebert Hall
    New Orleans, LA 70118
    Phone: 504-865-5162
    Fax: 504-862-8739
    Email: pollock@tulane.edu
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