May 22, 2018  


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Professors: Aldridge, Barnes, Berkey (Chair), Dietz, Krentz, McMillen, Wertheimer
Associate Professors: Guasco (on leave 2013-2014), Mangan, Pegelow Kaplan, Tilburg
Assistant Professors: Mbah, Park, Shrout

Cultural Diversity Requirement

History 162, 163, 168, 169, 171, 175, 176, 183, 184, 218, 264, 273, 283, 302, 303, 335, 350, 357, 359, 364, 365, 368, 369, 375, 381, 383, 386, 388, 451, 464, 465, 466, 469,472, 473, and 475 are options for fulfilling the cultural diversity requirement.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students normally receive credit for History 122 and/or 141 or 142 when they have earned a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in European and/or American History of the College Entrance Examination Board.  Students normally receive credit for a 100-level course, as appropriate, when they have earned a score of 7 or 6 on the Higher Level Examination in History of the International Baccalaureate Program. No more than two such courses may count toward the major.

Major Requirements

Eleven courses in history above 101, including:

  1. At least three, but no more than four, 100-level courses above 101, normally to be completed by the end of the second year, divided among at least three of the following areas (see note 2):
    1. Pre-Modern Europe (109, 110, 111, 112, 119, Humanities I)
    2. Modern Europe (120, 121, 122, 125, Humanities II)
    3. United States (141, 142)
    4. Latin America, India, Far East, Middle East, China, Africa (162, 163, 168, 169, 171, 175, 176, 183, 184)
      Note: Students who have completed the Humanities Program receive credit for one 100-level course in either a or b, but not both.
  2. One or two courses numbered between 200 and 298, to be taken at Davidson College. 200-level courses should normally be taken by the end of the second year, and must be taken by the end of the third year.
  3. Three to six courses between 299 and 479, at least one of which must be a topical seminar at the 400-level.
  4. History 480 (Senior Research Seminar), or History 488/489 (Kelley Honors Seminar).
    Notes:(1) One regular course applied to the major must deal substantially with the pre-modern period (109–119, 162, 168, 169, 171, 175, 183, 215, 218, 311-319, 321, 322, 383, 385, 388, 414,  416, 421, 422, 465, 475, 478, HUM I, or suitable transfer course).
    (2) One regular course applied to the major must cover a topic outside Europe and the United States (162, 163, 168, 169, 171, 175, 176, 183, 184, 218, 264, 273, 282, 364, 365, 367, 368, 369, 375, 381, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 469, 472, 475, or an approved course taken elsewhere).
    (3) Normally, at least seven (7) of the courses used to satisfy the major are to be taken at Davidson.
    (4) If abroad or attending another institution, a student can receive up to two credits for a semester away from Davidson; for a year, up to three courses.  Any history course taken at another institution for which a student desires major credit must be discussed with the Department chair before leaving and after returning. 
    (5) Davidson’s Cambridge Summer Program counts as one history credit at the 300-level.

Honors Requirements

Candidates for admission to the honors program in history must have an overall grade point average of 3.2 after the fall semester of the junior year. Honors candidates must write an honors thesis and defend it orally in History 488/489 (the Kelley Seminar) during the senior year. To qualify for honors at graduation, candidates must have earned an average of 3.5 or above in the major, an “A” or “A-” or “B+” on the thesis (History 489), and an overall average of 3.2 or above.

The Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies represents a living memorial to Ken Kelley, Class of ’63, an honors history graduate who was killed in 1968 while serving in Vietnam. The Kelley Program seeks to enrich the academic experience of students majoring in history and to encourage them to emulate Ken Kelley’s virtues and achievements.

The program has three components. First, junior history majors who have grade point averages of at least 3.2 are invited to apply to the Kelley Program. Those admitted enroll in a year-long Kelley Seminar (History 488/489) for seniors which culminates in the writing of a thesis, which authors defend orally. Travel funds enable Kelley Scholars to pursue research in distant libraries and archives.  The Kelley Lecture Series brings distinguished historians to the Davidson campus. Also, the Kelley Award annually recognizes the senior history major who best exemplifies Ken Kelley’s personal qualities: superior academic performance, self-effacing leadership, and personal integrity.

History Courses

100-level courses cover a broad sweep of history and cover a particular region, such as Modern Europe, U.S. History to 1877, and Latin America to 1825. Most are open to all students except seniors; a few do admit seniors.

200-level courses teach skills in historical research and writing. They are limited to twenty students, and each one covers a fairly specific topic, such as Piracy in the Americas or Jihad and the Crusade. 200-level courses are open to first-, second-, and third-year students. One is required of all history majors before the senior year.

300-level courses focus on a particular topic, include more reading and writing than survey courses, and usually require a research paper. Typical courses are Civil War and Reconstruction, and The Explosion of Christendom. They are open to everyone except first-year students.

400-level courses are seminars that are limited to twelve students. They are discussion-based courses that require a major research paper. Examples include The French Revolution and Law, Justice, and Human Rights in China  They are open to juniors and seniors.

480 and the Kelley program, 488/489 are only open to senior History majors.

No history course has a prerequisite.

The department expects that all History courses below the 400 level will eventually satisfy the Historical Thought distribution requirement.  In the list below, only those courses taught in the 2013-2014 academic years  have thus far received approval to count for this requirement.  The department will seek faculty approval for this designation for the remaining courses when each is taught in the future.

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