The History Department's Graduate Program offers both a Ph.D. in History and a Master of Arts in Global, International, and Comparative History. There are two joint-degree programs: Arab Studies, leading to an M.A. in Arab Studies/Ph.D. in History; and German and European Studies, leading to an M.A. in German and European Studies/Ph.D. in History. There is also the M.S.F.S./M.A. in History offered jointly with the Service.School of Foreign
The Georgetown History Department offers a rich choice of courses to undergraduate students. The Department is unusually varied in the areas it covers: our Faculty includes specialists on virtually every major region in the world, and we offer courses at both the introductory and the advanced levels on many periods of history and most areas of the world. We also offer many courses that present thematic, comparative, and global perspectives. Majors and minors enjoy considerable freedom to focus their work on their own areas of interest and to design programs that complement the rest of their academic work; students form all other majors can also easily link history courses with their studies in politics, international affairs, literature, world cultures, the arts, and the social
Our undergraduate curriculum consists of courses at several levels:
1. 001-099 are general education courses. These courses fulfill requirements for students in the College and the SFS. These courses aim to present broad introductory coverage of different areas of world history, as well as to introduce students to history as a discipline. The general format for these courses consists of lectures and regular small-group discussions. These courses usually have midterm and final examinations, and require written work of about 10-15 pages over the course of the term, in any combination of specific assignments.
2. 100-299 are lecture courses that survey specific regional and national histories or more thematic courses focused on a shorter period or a particular theme. The coverage in these courses is still for the most part broad and introductory, and the format of instruction still mixes lectures and discussion. Readings in these courses may include more secondary readings than courses at the lower level. Assignments also vary greatly, but often 15-25 pages of written work per semester may be assigned.
3. 300-499 are seminar classes. These courses are capped at 20 students, and count as upper-level courses for History majors. The primary form of instruction is in-depth discussion of primary and secondary readings, usually on specialized topics. Written assignments may be around or above 25 pages over the semester. While these courses generally do not have pre-requisites, students who take them are expected to be capable of more advanced discussion and written work.
In order for History majors to develop both breadth and depth in their historical knowledge, they are required to take at least three classes in any two world regions: one from the western world, and one from the non-western world. Moreover, majors must take at least three seminar classes, as described above, which will allow them to deepen their knowledge of particular areas and themes, and to improve their ability to formulate research questions and to write substantive papers.
Though usually History majors tend to take seminar classes in their junior or senior year, they enjoy great freedom in the choice of their regions of concentration, and in the order in which they take their History classes. Moreover, many of our seminar classes (and some of our lecture classes as well) are trans-regional and thematic in focus, and can be counted for different regions, adding to students’ choices and flexibility in designing their own program.
To find out more about the structure of the major, read the instructions for History Majors and Minors and the most current information about regional distribution requirements for majors. For information about applying non-Georgetown history courses to the undergraduate history major or minor, please read the instructions for transfer credit.
The Department of History encourages excellent students to participate in its Honors Program. Junior majors apply and are selected for the Program on the basis of their GPA and research project. The Program consists of a two-semester Senior Honors Seminar, in which students produce a distinguished research thesis. Since 2009 the theses are available electronically through the Lauinger Library catalogue. The Department also bestows a number of awards to undergraduate students.
Phi Alpha Theta
Phi Alpha Theta is the National History Honor Society. Georgetown's Chapter, Beta Pi, was founded in 1948. We invite all students--undergraduate and graduate--interested in history to learn more about Phi Alpha Theta and Beta Pi.
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