Welcome to the History Department

Read what alums have to say about majoring in History!!

History encompasses the whole of human experience, helping us understand ourselves in the context of our times and traditions through the study of times and traditions other than our own. History means not only the record of the past but also the discipline of investigating and interpreting the past. The study of history develops habits of critical thinking and effective writing, as well as it cultivates the careful analysis of various types of quantitative and qualitative evidence. It should be of value not only to undergraduates who intend to pursue advanced degrees in the field, but also to students interested in exploring the diversity and complexity of the human past, even as they hone their analytical and expository skills.


Carl B. Boyer Memorial Prize in The History of Science

The Carl B. Boyer Memorial Prize in the History of Science awards $7,000 annually to an undergraduate in Columbia College, Barnard College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or the School of General Studies for the best essay on any topic in the history of science or mathematics as judged by a faculty committee.

Prize essays are normally no more than 12,000 words (approximately 40 pages of double-spaced typescript) in length and must be typed in standard double-spaced format, properly paginated and each page clearly marked with the candidate’s name. Essays should contain appropriate references to original sources and a bibliography of all major works consulted. There are no particular restrictions as to subject, period, or style. “Science or mathematics” may be taken to include medical sciences and technology where related to scientific development. The deadline for submission is Monday, April 15, 2019!

Applications and more information can be found here.