Q: What courses should be taken during the first year?
First-year students are advised to take introductory level courses, most of which are broad overviews that not only prepare students for more in-depth, upper-level courses but also introduce students to the discipline of history. All emphasize basic skills of good writing and clear thinking. Introductory courses are those that start with either a 0 (e.g. History 016) or 1 (e.g. History 118). Click here to see History course availability.
As history is a discipline with connections to many other fields of study, the History Department recommends that students explore the Program of Liberal Studies during their first years. Many courses that you will take to fulfill your perspectives will prove to be valuable to your major in history.
Q: What courses should first year students steer clear of?
History 120, Writing History, should ideally be taken in the sophomore year or after at least one course in the History Department. We strongly recommend that students take introductory-level courses before enrolling in 200-level courses. If you feel an exception should be made to this general rule, please consult the chair or course instructor.
Q: If key introductory courses are filled, are there recommended alternatives?
Every year we set aside spaces in our introductory courses for first-years. The major requirements are reasonably flexible and history 120 is the only course that is required for all history majors. Thus we expect that most students who want to study history in their first semester at Clark will have that opportunity.
Q: What courses in related departments do your majors usually take?
History majors should aim to be liberally educated. That means being exposed to a variety of disciplines that provide them with a broad perspective and which will sharpen their critical thinking skills as well as their verbal and written expression.
Our majors tend to take a wide variety of courses across many departments. Among the most popular are
Political Science courses (e.g. Introduction to American Government, Comparative Politics of Women, Introduction to International Relations), English courses (e.g. Major American Writers, Shakespeare); Sociology (Intro. to Sociology, Media and Society); and Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese).
Q: How and when does your department assign advisors for declared majors?
Once students declare a history major, they may choose an advisor in the History Department. Usually the advisor is someone the student has gotten to know through his/her coursework and teaches in the student’s area of specialization.
Q: Where should students or faculty go for more information?