Jul 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Scripps Catalog 

History Major

Requirements for the Major

There are a minimum of 11 requirements for a History major, which shall be satisfied by a minimum of nine courses plus the Proseminar in History and one course for a one-semester senior thesis or two courses for a two-semester 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

  1. Two introductory survey courses
  2. At least one course in each of the following areas:
  • Pre-modern period (before 1800)
  • Modern Europe
  • The United States
  • At least one course outside of the U.S. and Europe (e.g. 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 in consultation with their adviser.

Core Courses


  • Additional electives, if necessary, for a total of nine courses plus the Proseminar in History and senior thesis.
  • 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. Discuss this requirement with your major adviser. The requirement must normally be completed by the end of the junior year, and students should plan accordingly if they intend to study abroad.

Thesis Requirements

Students majoring in History are required, as are all Scripps students, to research and write a thesis during their senior year.

The History major provides one-semester and two-semester options for the thesis requirement.

One-semester thesis:

  • Result in an article-length essay, due by the December deadline.
  • Register for HIST191 SC Senior Thesis  in the fall semester.
  • Required to both submit a thesis proposal to their two thesis readers by the end of the spring semester of junior year, and complete specific thesis-related assignments over the summer.

Two-semester thesis:

  • Result in an article-length or a multi-chapter work, due by the April deadline.
  • Register for HIST191 SC  in the fall semester, and enroll in HIST192 SC  for the spring semester.

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, Chicanx Latinx Studies, Classics, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Humanities Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture, Politics, and Psychology. Such majors require advance planning and careful selection of courses. At least one thesis reader must be a Scripps historian. Majors should choose and consult their readers as early as possible in the thesis process.

Honors Requirements

Students may be eligible to graduate with honors in History if they fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Minimum GPA of 11.00 in the major;
  2. Earn a grade of A on the written thesis;
  3. Successful completion of an oral examination of the thesis that includes the two thesis readers in addition to a third reader chosen by students in consultation with their primary thesis reader.