Jul 06, 2020  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog 

History Major

Requirements for the Major

A major in History requires a minimum of nine courses plus a senior thesis. Students are encouraged to count courses for multiple requirements within the major in order to have flexibility in their selection of courses.

Breadth of Study:

  • Two introductory courses
  • At least one course in each of the following areas—the pre-modern period (before 1800), Modern Europe, and the U.S.—and at least one course outside of the U.S. and Europe—Latin America or the Caribbean, Asia, Africa or Middle East. Introductory courses can be used to meet this distribution requirement.


  • At least three courses that comprise a thematic or topical concentration of the student’s choosing and in consultation with the student’s adviser. Examples of concentrations include: Comparative Revolutions; Gender and Sexualities; Knowledge and Power; Media and Popular Culture; Migrations and Diasporas; Race and Empire; Resistance and Rebellion; Scientific Practices; Social Movements. Students are welcome to formulate their own concentrations.


  • Additional electives, if necessary, for a total of nine courses.


Students may, with approval of their major adviser, have one or two courses from outside the discipline of History count toward electives within the major. Students should make it clear why the course(s) are essential to their major, for instance, to the area of concentration.

Research requirement: To help prepare for writing the senior thesis, majors are required to write at least one research paper in one of their upper-division, non-introductory history courses taken at Scripps. This paper may or may not relate to the senior thesis topic. The instructor of the course must indicate by initialing the senior major form that the student has fulfilled the requirement. The requirement must normally be completed by the end of the junior year, and students should plan accordingly if they plan to go abroad.

Honors Requirements

A student may receive honors by attaining a GPA of 11 in the major, earning an A- or A on the thesis, and orally defending the thesis before a faculty honors committee. A student who intends to compete for honors in History should notify the department chair, who will assist in the formation of the faculty honors committee. The honors committee normally consists of the first and second senior thesis readers and a third reader for the oral defense.

Dual and double majors: Dual and double majors combining History with another field of study are a useful option for students with substantial interdisciplinary interests that cannot be pursued within one discipline alone. Recent examples include combining History with Africana Studies, American Studies, Chicano Studies, Classics, Gender and Women’s Studies, Humanities, Politics, and Psychology. Such majors take advance planning and careful selection of courses. At least one Scripps historian must be among your thesis readers. Consult your advisers as soon as possible.