ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

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Undergraduate: History

  • Program Overview

    History (HIS)

    History is the systematic study of peoples, states, and societies from antiquity to our current times. Using both written records and material artifacts, historians attempt to reconstruct and interpret change over time in every facet of human experience, from political and economic systems to family life and gender roles, to name a few. The study of history is not only intrinsically interesting, but also contributes useful insights into the contemporary world and its problems.

    History majors develop an in-depth knowledge of a specific region of the world, including its history, geography, and culture. In the process, they also learn how to conduct historical research, and to develop convincing arguments based on the evidence they uncover. Effective oral and written communication skills are strongly emphasized in all history courses.

    Many History majors choose careers in law, teaching, archival or library science, or museum work. Because it emphasizes research and writing, history is also excellent preparation for many fields, including journalism, diplomacy, and international business. Combined with a concentration in science, the History major is also a good background for medicine or other health science professions.

    The Department's offerings range over many eras, regions, and topics, concentrating on the United States, Europe, Latin America, East Asia, the history of science, and women's history. Surveys of these fields are offered at the 100 level for the United States and Europe and the 200 level for other areas. Students interested in the study of history should take these survey courses first,  as prerequisites for more advanced coursework. American and European courses at the 200 level customarily examine a specific period, while 300-level courses typically examine specific topics (such as social or political history) or countries (such as Germany, Brazil, or China). History colloquia at the 400 level are small classes offering intensive reading and discussion on closely focused themes. The study of history emphasizes the mastery of large amounts of information and the ability to demonstrate that mastery through skillful writing.

    Each semester the Department issues a booklet with detailed descriptions of its offerings. Students interested in history, whether as a major, a minor, a social science course related to their major, or for general liberal arts purposes, are invited to read this booklet and to seek advice from the Department's director of undergraduate studies and other faculty members.

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major and Minor in History (HIS)

    Requirements for the Major

    The major in History leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. All courses taken to meet Requirements A and B must be taken for a letter grade. No grade lower than C may be applied toward the major. At least 12 credits in Requirement A must be taken within the Department of History at Stony Brook.

    Completion of the major requires 39 credits.

    A. Study within the Area of the Major 

           A minimum of 12 courses (33 credits) distributed as follows:

    1. Two courses at the 100 level
    2. A primary field of four courses to be selected from one of the following: African, Asian,  European, Latin American,  United States, ancient and medieval, or global history (see  Note 2). Primary fields developed along topical or thematic lines may be selected with approval of the Department's undergraduate director. The primary field shall be distributed as follows: 
      1. Two courses at the 200 level
      2. Two courses at the 300 level
    3. HIS 301 Reading and Writing History (must be taken prior to HIS 401) 
    4. HIS 459 Write Effectively in History, taken in conjunction with HIS 301 or (with approval of the course instructor) another upper-division History course
    5. HIS 401  Senior Colloquium
    6. Three courses selected from outside the primary field and above the 100 level, with at least one of these courses at the 300 or 400 level.

    B. Courses in a Related Discipline 

    Two upper-division courses in one related discipline. Courses that are crosslisted with a history course do not satisfy this requirement.   

    Examples of Related Disciplines include: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Asian and Asian American Studies, English, Hispanic Languages & Literature, Globalization Studies and International Relations, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies. A student may petition to have courses from a different external discipline accepted if the case can be made that they are directly relevant to the student's area of concentration within the History major.

    C. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

    A student can fulfill the upper-division writing requirement for History by submission of one ten-page paper or two five-page papers produced in HIS 301.  (With approval of the course instructor, a paper(s) produced in another upper-division History course may be considered for the writing requirement.)  A paper grade(s) of B- or higher is usually sufficient to fulfill the requirement. 

    The student will register for HIS 459 and inform the instructor of the course in advance that the paper(s) for the course is to be evaluated to fulfill the upper-division writing requirement. The student will submit an approved paper(s) with an approval form signed by the instructor to the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD) in History. The UPD may require further revisions to the paper(s) before approval of the requirement.

    Successful completion of HIS 459 will satisfy the SBC WRTD requirement as well as the History major upper-division writing requirement.  

    Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with  university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

    Notes: 

    1. No transferred course with a grade lower than C may be applied toward Requirement A.

    2.  The course lists for the areas of concentration  are below:

    History Courses by Areas of Concentration

    African

    • HIS 206: Europe in the Age of Discovery, 1348-1789
    • HIS 211: Early African History
    • HIS 221: Introduction to Modern African History
    • HIS 223: Regional History of Africa
    • HIS 227: Islamic Civilization & Muslim Societies
    • HIS 346: Political and Social History of Africa
    • HIS 350: Topics in African History
    • HIS 368: Health and Disease in African History
    • HIS 369: Religion and Politics in Africa

    Ancient & Medieval

    • HIS 100: The Ancient World
    • HIS 201: The Ancient Near East
    • HIS 202: Ancient Greece
    • HIS 203: Ancient Rome
    • HIS 204: Egypt of the Pharaohs
    • HIS 211: Early African History
    • HIS 212: Ancient History of Mesoamerica
    • HIS 218: Ancient, Medieval, & Early Modern South Asia
    • HIS 225: The Formation of the Judaic Heritage
    • HIS 227: Islamic Civilization & Muslim Societies
    • HIS 235: The Early Middle Ages
    • HIS 236: The Late Middle Ages
    • HIS 319: Assyrians, Babylonians, and Hittites
    • HIS 324: Lost Languages, Ancient Civilizations, and Decipherments
    • HIS 334: Women and Gender in Pre-Modern European History
    • HIS 364: Oceans Past: World History from a Maritime Perspective
    • HIS 385: Aztec Civilization
    • HIS 386: The Maya
    • HIS 390: Topics in Ancient History
    • HIS 391: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Europe

    Asian

    • HIS 206: Europe in the Age of Discovery, 1348-1789
    • HIS 218: Ancient, Medieval, & Early Modern South Asia
    • HIS 219: Introduction to Chinese History and Civilization
    • HIS 220: Premodern Japan
    • HIS 227: Islamic Civilization & Muslim Societies
    • HIS 247: Modern Korea through Visual Culture
    • HIS 300: Topics in Global History
    • HIS 302: Environmental History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 324: Lost Languages, Ancient Civilizations, and Decipherments
    • HIS 332: Postcolonial South Asia
    • HIS 333: Suburbanism in International Perspective
    • HIS 337: History of Korea
    • HIS 338: Asian and Pacific Islanders in American History
    • HIS 340: Topics in Asian History
    • HIS 341: 20th-Century China
    • HIS 344: Modern Japan
    • HIS 345: Women and Gender in Chinese History
    • HIS 348: Colonial South Asia
    • HIS 351: Revolutionary China: Politics, Culture, and Power
    • HIS 352: Environmental History of China
    • HIS 353: Postwar Japan

    European

    • HIS 101: European History: from Antiquity to Revolution
    • HIS 102: Modern European History, 18th c. to the Present
    • HIS 113: America in the Atlantic World
    • HIS 206: Europe in the Age of Discovery, 1348-1789
    • HIS 209: Imperial Russia
    • HIS 210: Soviet Russia
    • HIS 213: Colonial Latin America
    • HIS 225: The Formation of the Judaic Heritage
    • HIS 226: The Shaping of Modern Judaism
    • HIS 227: Islamic Civilization & Muslim Societies
    • HIS 229: Victorian Britain
    • HIS 230: Britain Since 1945: Postcolonial Disruptions
    • HIS 235: The Early Middle Ages
    • HIS 236: The Late Middle Ages
    • HIS 237: Science, Technology, and Medicine in Western Civilization I
    • HIS 238: Science, Technology, and Medicine in Western Civilization II
    • HIS 241: Nazi Genocide and the Holocaust
    • HIS 248: Modern Europe, 1815-1914
    • HIS 249: Modern Europe, 1914-1945
    • HIS 250: The Second World War, 1939-1945
    • HIS 251: Europe Since 1945
    • HIS 302: Environmental History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 303: The Crusades and Medieval Society
    • HIS 304: Religion, Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe
    • HIS 308: Britain and France in the Age of Revolution
    • HIS 312: From Empire to Third Reich: Germany, 1890-1945
    • HIS 315: Nazi Empire
    • HIS 318: Modern European Intellectual History
    • HIS 333: Suburbanism in International Perspective
    • HIS 334: Women and Gender in Pre-Modern European History
    • HIS 336: Women and Gender in Modern European History
    • HIS 356: Zionism and the State of Israel
    • HIS 364: Oceans Past: World History from a Maritime Perspective
    • HIS 368: Health and Disease in African History
    • HIS 369: Religion and Politics in Africa
    • HIS 378: War and the Military
    • HIS 383: The World of Jane Austen; Jane Austen in the World
    • HIS 391: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Europe
    • HIS 392: Topics in Early Modern Europe
    • HIS 393: Topics in Modern European History
    • HIS 395: Topics in Russian History 

    Global History

    • HIS 113: America in the Atlantic World
    • HIS 206: Europe in the Age of Discovery, 1348-1789
    • HIS 237: Science, Technology, and Medicine in Western Civilization I
    • HIS 238: Science, Technology, and Medicine in Western Civilization II
    • HIS 281: Global History and Geography
    • HIS 286: The Global History of Human Health
    • HIS 300: Topics in Global History
    • HIS 302: Environmental History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 321: Humans and Animals in the Modern World
    • HIS 324: Lost Languages, Ancient Civilizations, and Decipherments
    • HIS 333: Suburbanism in International Perspective
    • HIS 364: Oceans Past: World History from a Maritime Perspective
    • HIS 398: Topics in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology 

    Latin American

    • HIS 113: America in the Atlantic World
    • HIS 206: Europe in the Age of Discovery, 1348-1789
    • HIS 212: Ancient History of Mesoamerica
    • HIS 213: Colonial Latin America
    • HIS 214: Modern Latin America
    • HIS 216: History of U.S.-Latin American Relations
    • HIS 256: Latin American Popular Culture
    • HIS 300: Topics in Global History
    • HIS 302: Environmental History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 324: Lost Languages, Ancient Civilizations, and Decipherments
    • HIS 333: Suburbanism in International Perspective
    • HIS 361: Slavery and Freedom in the Making of the Atlantic
    • HIS 379: Rebels & Revolutionaries: 1960s Latin America
    • HIS 380: Topics in Latin-American History
    • HIS 381: Empire of Goods: Latin America and the World, 1500-2000
    • HIS 385: Aztec Civilization
    • HIS 386: The Maya
    • HIS 387: History of Cuba
    • HIS 388: Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean
    • HIS 389: Modern Mexico 

    United States

    • HIS 103: American History to 1877
    • HIS 104: United States Since 1877
    • HIS 111: Environmental History of America
    • HIS 113: America in the Atlantic World
    • HIS 115: American Women's History to 1900
    • HIS 116: American Women's History Since 1900
    • HIS 215: Long Island History
    • HIS 216: History of U.S.-Latin American Relations
    • HIS 261: Change and Reform in the United States, 1877-1919
    • HIS 262: American Colonial Society
    • HIS 263: Age of the American Revolution
    • HIS 264: The Early Republic
    • HIS 265: Civil War and Reconstruction
    • HIS 266: History of the United States West
    • HIS 270: US in the World, 19th Century
    • HIS 271: The United States in the World: the 20th Century
    • HIS 273: U.S. History, 1900-1945
    • HIS 274: U.S. History, 1945-2000
    • HIS 277: The Modern Color Line
    • HIS 280: The History of the U.S. Working Class
    • HIS 282: African American History Since 1877
    • HIS 283: The History of Latinos in the United States
    • HIS 285: History of Popular Culture in 19th Century America
    • HIS 287: Crime and Criminal Justice in the U.S.
    • HIS 288: Wealth and Inequality in Early America
    • HIS 289: Wealth and Inequality in America's Corporate Age
    • HIS 293: Disease in American History
    • HIS 295: History of North American Cities and Suburbs
    • HIS 299: College Regional Studies Program
    • HIS 302: Environmental History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 314: Indigenous-Settler Relations in the United States
    • HIS 320: Latino New York
    • HIS 321: Humans and Animals in the Modern World
    • HIS 322: Origins of American Religious Liberty
    • HIS 323: Women of Color in the U.S.
    • HIS 325: Civil Rights and Black Power
    • HIS 327: The Arts as History
    • HIS 328: History of New York City
    • HIS 329: History of Industrial Hazards
    • HIS 331: Immigration in American History
    • HIS 333: Suburbanism in International Perspective
    • HIS 335: Social History of American Advertising
    • HIS 338: Asian and Pacific Islanders in American History
    • HIS 339: Recent African American History
    • HIS 360: U.S. Social History to 1860
    • HIS 361: Slavery and Freedom in the Making of the Atlantic
    • HIS 362: Unsettled Decade: The Sixties
    • HIS 363: Topics in American History
    • HIS 364: Oceans Past: World History from a Maritime Perspective
    • HIS 365: Environmental History of North America
    • HIS 366: New Jim Crow: Race, Punishment, Police and Prisons since the Civil War
    • HIS 370: US Social History from 1860 to 1940
    • HIS 371: Law and Society in American History, 1620-1877
    • HIS 372: U.S. Constitutional History and Civil Rights
    • HIS 374: Surveillance State: A History of U.S. Domestic Spying
    • HIS 375: American Politics and Diplomacy to 1898
    • HIS 376: American Politics and Diplomacy, 1898-1945
    • HIS 377: American Politics and Diplomacy Since 1945
    • HIS 378: War and the Military
    • HIS 396: Topics in U.S. History
    • HIS 397: Topics in History of U.S. Immigration and Ethnicity
    • HIS 398: Topics in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology
    • HIS 399: Topics in U.S. History 

     

    The Honors Program in History

    Departmental majors with a minimum  g.p.a. of 3.50 in history courses and related disciplines as specified in the major requirements are eligible to enroll in the History honors program at the beginning of their senior year.

    The student, after asking a faculty member to be a sponsor, must submit a proposal to the Department indicating the merit of the planned research. The supervising faculty member must also submit a statement supporting the student's proposal. This must be done in the semester prior to the beginning of the project.

    The honors paper resulting from a student's research is read by two historians and a member of another department, as arranged by the director of undergraduate studies. If the paper is judged to be of unusual merit and the student's record warrants such a determination, the De­partment recommends honors.

    Requirements for the Minor

    The minor is organized  around one particular area of history (of the student’s choice), defined  either by geography (e.g., United States, Latin America) or topic (e.g., imperialism, social change). Courses offered for the minor must be taken for a letter grade. All courses offered for the minor must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

    Completion of the minor requires 21 credits. At least nine of the 21 credits must be taken at Stony Brook, with three of the courses at the upper-division level. The specific distribution of the credits should be determined in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. An example of an acceptable distribution would be the following:

    1. Two 100-level HIS courses 
    2. Two 200-level courses in field of concentration 
    3. Three 300-level courses in field of concentration, with option of substituting one 400-level course for one of the three 300-level courses

    Note: HIS 447, HIS 487, HIS 488, HIS 495, HIS 496 may not be used to satisfy major or minor requirements.

     

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in History

    A course planning guide for this major may be found hereThe major course planning guides are not part of the official Undergraduate Bulletin, and are only updated periodically for use as an advising tool. The Undergraduate Bulletin supersedes any errors or omissions in the major course planning guides.  

    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
    WRT 101 3
    HIS 101 or HIS 103 3
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC
     3
     Total 16
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102 3
    HIS 102 or HIS 104 3
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC
     3
     Total 16
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    Primary Field Course #1 (200 level) 3
    SBC
    3
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    HIS 200-level outside primary field 3
    Primary Field Course #2 (200 level) 3
    Elective  3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
    Upper-division elective 3
     Total 18
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    Primary Field Course #3 (300 level) 3
    HIS 300-level outside primary field 3
    Upper-division elective 3
    HIS 301  3
    Elective  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Primary Field course #4 (300 level) 3
    HIS 301 writing seminar 3
    Related discipline 300-level course 3
    Upper-division SBC 3
    Upper-division elective 3
     Total 15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    Primary Field course #5 (400-level special topics seminar)  3
    HIS 300-level outside primary field   3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
    Elective  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Related discipline course (300 or 400-level) 3
    Upper-division SBC  3
    Upper-division SBC   3 
    Elective  3
    Elective  3
     Total 15

     

  • Contact

    History (HIS)

    Major and Minor in History

    Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences

    Chair: Paul Gootenberg

    Director of Undergraduate Studies: Eric Zolov

    Assistant to the Chair: Susan Grumet

    Office: S-301 Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Phone: (631) 632-7500

    Email: Susan.Grumet@stonybrook.edu

    Website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/history

    Minors of particular interest to students majoring in History: Africana Studies (AFS), International Studies (INT), Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LAC), Political Science (POL), Women's and Gender Studies (WST), Foreign Languages

     

     

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