The History Department offers a vast number of different courses each term. To search for courses and get information about the college level requirements they fulfill, please refer to the LSA COURSE GUIDE.
To check if a given course satisfies a certain requirement for the concentration, consult the list of CURRENT COURSES offered this term. Here the courses are listed in regional clusters. Accordingly, you can easily verify towards which regional distribution a given course may count. The right-hand column of this document also identifies all courses that satisfy the pre-1800 chronological requirement, Race & Ethnicity requirement, and the Social Science or Humanities Distribution requirement.
A preliminary list of courses offered in the UPCOMING TERM will be available here, once registration resumes.
You can also browse through our pack of Course Flyers Winter 2013.
A comprehensive list of ALL ACTIVE COURSES provides information about the concentration requirements each course is able to fulfill. Please note that NOT all courses are offered every year or at set intervals. Departmental curricular needs and faculty initiative together determine the courses to be offered in any given term. Course scheduling is moreover affected by faculty leaves, sabbaticals, retirements, and administrative assignments. Visiting faculty may teach an established course, but some courses are unique to an individual professor and are not offered during his or her absence. Accordingly, the department is not able to provide information as to when a given course will be offered again.
Unlike some departments, our courses do not build upon each other in ways that require you to take a 100 level course before taken a 200 level course, and so on. Nor does a particular level number indicate that the topic of the class is more or less broad—it is possible to have an advanced class on a long time span and an introductory course dealing with one historical episode. What differentiates our classes is the level of difficulty and the work load demanded of the students. Broadly speaking, those differences are as follows:
100-level courses are designed as general introductions to the discipline of history. They cannot be applied towards a concentration or a minor in history, so they are targeted at the broadest possible audience. With this in mind, the workload is relatively light. They usually involve a lecture and a discussion section, and assessment is usually based on in-class exams. Research papers are not typically assigned, though there might be some short writing assignments.
200-level courses are introductory classes for history concentrators, and they come in two varieties. Some 200-level classes are large surveys covering major world regions or countries, and the workload in these classes would only be slightly heavier than a 100-level class. Others are seminars for concentrators, emphasizing historical methods and writing skills.
- 300- and 400-level courses have a relatively greater reading load than lower-level courses, and include substantial writing assignments. Some assign a formal research paper; others are based on a series of shorter projects. Although 300- and 400-level courses are harder than those at lower levels, they do not usually require any previous familiarity with the subject matter.
There are a few courses that are key to the history concentration.
Every concentrator who declared in or after Fall 2012 will take a section of History 202 "Doing History." This course introduces students to historical sources, modes of inquiry and methods. History 202 also teaches students essential skills that will enable them to succeed in their subsequent history classes.
Every concentrator will take either History 396 or 397, the junior/senior colloquium, or complete the departmental honors sequences History 398/399. The emphasis in each case is on critical discussion, in-depth reading, research and writing.
Students are strongly encouraged to use the waitlist for any closed History course. Students should register on the waitlist according to their preferred section AND attend the first two classes. Overrides will be issued automatically, in waitlist order, up to the first day of class by the department as space becomes available. Students are notified by email and given two days to use the override; the seat may go to an alternate student on the waitlist if the override is allowed to expire. Students should remember that for cross-listed courses, their waitlist position as seen on Wolverine Access is relative to the unit under which they are enrolled. Unused overrides may result in the student being removed from the waitlist completely. No overrides will be issued automatically after the first day of classes; students (waitlisted or not) must attend the first two class sessions and obtain an override from the instructor or GSI.
History 195, “The Writing of History,” is designed to help students learn college-level writing in the context of history. This course satisfies the LSA first-year writing requirement. Section topics vary from term to term, each one taught by an advanced graduate student in the final stage of degree completion. Classes are limited to 18 allowing much individual attention and student participation.
History 195 may not be included in a History concentration.
First-Year Seminars, History 196 and 197, offer an opportunity to study history in a small seminar setting (20 students) with a history professor teaching a topic in his or her area of expertise. The topics are chosen especially to stimulate and engage incoming students in the historical discipline. Students are active participants in discussion and develop a real sense of college-level history critical thinking, reading, and writing.
History First-Year Seminars satisfy LSA area distribution for non-concentrators
(History 196 = Social Science; History 197 = Humanities).
First-Year Seminars may not be included in a History concentration.