Registering for History Courses
How do I sign up for seminars? Do I need to sign up in advance? I missed seminar preregistration. Can I still get into a seminar?
See information on seminar applications here.
When do I sign up for discussion sections associated with lecture courses?
CU often has discussion sections and times on the course listings page. Barnard does not. Sign-up for sections generally occurs during the first week or two of the semester.
Classes and Credits for Majors
Is there a limit to the number of classes I can take at Columbia?
No. Only the senior thesis must be taken at Barnard.
Is there a limit to the number of classes taken abroad that can count toward the major?
Yes. At least six classes, including one of the two required seminars, must be taken at Barnard/Columbia.
Can I count courses outside the department toward the major?
Yes. You are allowed to take two courses outside the department as long as your adviser agrees that they contribute to your concentration within the History major.
Are there any required core courses for the History major?
There is no single required course. However, the seminar “Introduction to the Theory and Method of History” prepares students to think about History as a subject in itself and to think about the writing of the senior thesis. It would therefore be valuable to all majors regardless of their concentrations.
I took AP European history. As a History major, do I still need to take three introductory lectures?
Answer: If you got a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam in history, you are allowed to substitute an elective course for one of the intro lectures. If you got a 4 or a 5 on 2 AP history exams, you are allow to substitute two electives for two intro courses. Everyone must take at least one intro lecture. Note: being relieved of a intro lecture does not relieve you from the requirement to take eleven classes towards the major.
Can I make up my own thematic concentration?
Yes, but you must have a strong sense of the direction and coherence of the concentration and a list of eleven possible courses that would satisfy it. At that point, you should speak with your adviser.
Can I choose my adviser or change my adviser? Will I have the same adviser for my whole History career?
When you declare your major, you can either ask a faculty member whom you know to be your adviser or the chair will assign you to an adviser in keeping with your probable concentration. You always have the right to change advisers if you wish to. Many faculty go on sabbatical; if your adviser goes on leave, you will be assigned to another adviser.
Research and Publication
Are there any opportunities to do archival research outside NYC?
Yes. See more information on research opportunities here.
Are there any opportunities to publish my work?
Yes. Learn more about History Matters, an undergraduate history journal published at Appalachian State University and the Michigan Journal of History, a journal run by undergraduate students out of the University of Michigan.
Events for Majors
What opportunities are there to interact with fellow History majors or Department faculty outside the classroom?
Several times a semester, the History Department hosts events for faculty and majors. There are also, of course, many events related to the study of History on campus. See the Barnard or Columbia department pages for more information on upcoming events. Or see our facebook page