History Majors


Students who are interested in majoring in History should consult a History professor or the Chair in their sophomore year to plan their academic programs. They may choose to focus their study of history on a region (such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, U.S., transnational), period (such as ancient, medieval, early modern), or theme (self-designed; see samples of popular ones under the “Thematic Concentration” tab).

The History major consists of eleven courses, eight in the area of concentration and three outside. Six of the eleven courses must be taken at Barnard or Columbia.


The eleven required courses should include:

1. Three introductory survey courses (all 1000-  and some 2000-level lecture courses);
2. Two seminars (3000- or 4000-level courses), one of which must be taken at Barnard or Columbia;
3. The two-semester senior research seminar (HIS BC 3391-3392), normally taken in sequence, beginning in the Fall and continuing into Spring of the senior year.

Majors may, with the approval of their advisers, include two non-history courses in their list of eleven if the subjects are closely related to their concentrations.