Instructions for History Majors

I. Faculty Advisor.

Each history major must have a faculty advisor. The advisor ideally should be a full-time member of the Department with whom the student has taken or intends to take a course. Students should request a faculty member to serve as their advisor when they declare their history major. Students whose advisors are on leave or otherwise unavailable should go for advising to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

II. Requirements for the Major.

While history majors should have considerable choice in their selection of courses, they should also achieve some breadth and depth in their historical studies. Both are essential to a liberal education and to a solid grounding in history. Consequently, the minimum requirements for history majors are the following:

  1. Two semesters of the approved Core History courses: see the Undergraduate Bulletin for details.
  2. Nine additional elective courses (numbered 1000+) so distributed:
    • Four courses in one region from either Group A or Group B, including at least one numbered at 3000+.
      • Group A:
        • Africa
        • Latin America
        • Middle East
        • Asia
      • Group B:
        • Russia and Eastern Europe
        • Europe
        • US/North America
    • Note: see this list for designation of courses according to region; some inter-regional courses may be applied to different regions.
    • At least three courses from the regions in the Group other than the one to which the main region of concentration belongs.
    • Two electives taken in any region.
  3. Majors who do not take HIST 4998 (the Senior Honors Seminar) in the Fall of their senior year need to take HIST 4900.

Note: Students may take more than 11 total courses in History, but College rules limit the number of courses they can take in any major to 14.

Note: Majors are encouraged but not required to use the flexibility available in their choice of courses to focus their work on any of the themes that cut across the Department’s curriculum, such as the environment, gender, race and slavery, labor, cities, food, intellectual history, etc.

Course Level Requirement: At least three of the courses must be numbered 3000 or above (including the one in point a. above). The courses numbered 3000+ must be taken at Georgetown and in the History Department (i.e., they cannot be transferred or cross-listed; the only exception is courses taught at Georgetown by History Faculty, but under other programs, such as INAF or AMST).  Because of their substantial focus on student writing in various formats, all our 3000+ courses count for the University’s “Integrated Writing” general education requirement for students who are History majors.

III. History Honors Program.

The Department of History encourages excellent students to participate in its Honors Program.  Admission to the History Honors Program is by invitation of the Department and is decided in February/March of each year.  Interested junior History majors may also contact the Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Ordinarily, the minimum requirement for admission to the Program is a ranking in the top one-third of each class and a GPA of 3.667 in the major.  Students will need to maintain the GPA of 3.667 in the major and write a thesis of high quality to receive History Honors at graduation.  Students who are accepted into this Program take a two-semester Senior Honors Seminar, in which they produce a distinguished piece of research.  This Seminar (HIST 4998-4999) fulfills the requirements for two courses numbered 3000 or above.

IV. History Minor. 

The History Minor consists of six courses (18 credits).  At least one course (three credits) must be numbered 3000 or above.

V. Transfer credits and AP/IB. 

The Department accepts up to four transfer courses for the major, and two for the minor.  These can come from study abroad or from other universities.  Ordinarily, transfer courses that will count should focus on history, be taught by historians within a history program, and in most cases include some writing other than examinations.  Please consult the Department’s web site for more information.

For information about AP or IB credit, please consult the Undergraduate Bulletin of the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences, or contact the History Director of Undergraduate Studies.

VI. Morris and Davids Medal.

The Morris and Davids Medals for History are awarded for the best undergraduate essay in history written by a graduating senior major. The Morris Medal is open to College students, the Davids Medal to SFS students. A faculty committee will select the recipient of each award. The Department reserves the right not to award the Medals if none of the essays submitted are of sufficient quality. The deadline for submitting essays will generally be in early May.

VII. Foley Award.

Each year the Director of Undergraduate Studies solicits résumés from senior History Majors in the College for the Foley Award, which is given to the graduating History major with the strongest record of engagement with social justice and community service, as chosen by a departmental committee. The Foley Award consists of a medal and a cash award.

VIII. Nevils Medal.

The Nevils Medal is awarded to the senior SFS student majoring in IHIS with the best record in the study of U.S. diplomatic history, as selected by the Professor or Professors who teach courses on that topic.

IX. Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Professor Amy Leonard, 612 ICC 7-7831,  [revised 05/25/2023]