Advising is an essential part of a student's experience at The City College of New York. Advising is offered at a number of different levels at the College. Whether you are freshman, a transfer, or continuing student and are a history major or a thinking of becoming one, you should consult a history department advisor at least once per semester. If you are new to City College, and wish to sign up as a history major, you should start off by talking to an advisor in the Division of Humanities & the Arts (NAC 5/225), since the history major falls under the authority of that division.
Humanities staff will give you advice about your overall undergraduate program, including general education requirements, and then direct you to the History Department for specific advising about the history major, the history minor, or any course offered by the department. The main office of the History Department is located in NAC 5/144A. At that office, or on the History Department's website, you can learn who the undergraduate history advisers are and when they hold their office hours. Advisers serve on a rotating basis and their office hours change each semester, so it is important that you check this information at the beginning of each semester.
When should I consult a history adviser?
History department advisers can help students develop a curriculum that best fits their interests and needs. They can also discuss with students what sorts of fellowship and job opportunities might be available for history majors and the kinds of factors that a student should consider in choosing his or her classes and major.
The requirements for a history major are 11 history electives (33 credits) of which 5 must be in a specific concentration. This concentration is usually geographically-based: the United States, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, etc. However, a student may also work with an adviser to devise a transnational or thematically-based concentration. The other six courses required by the major are to be taken outside the student's area of concentration. It is crucial that students contact an advisor about choosing and fulfilling their concentration. For undergraduate history majors, a history elective is defined as any history course whose five-digit number (HIST XXXXX) begins with a 2, 3, or 4. In addition, a student may receive credit towards the major for up to two courses taken in other departments or programs that are deemed by a history adviser to meet the requirements of a history elective. Finally, of the 33 credits, 20 must be completed at CCNY.
The History Department, through its advisers and, if necessary, the department chair, has the final say on what fulfills the requirements for the history major and the concentration. Therefore, any questions that may arise from Degree Audit or Degreeworks, from transfer credits, from study abroad programs, or from any other situation that may be applicable to a student's fulfillment of the history degree should be directed to a history department advisor. Finally, a student must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to complete the history major.
What specific tasks can a history adviser help me with?
Along with advising students on course offerings, there are three main tasks of the undergraduate history adviser: Registration; Major Forms; and Graduation Checks.
Registration: Ideally, every history major should talk to an adviser before completing his or her registration each semester. This will ensure that the student is on track for successful completion of the history major. In addition, there will be cases where students will need the help of an adviser to register for a class. These cases include: 400-level classes (courses whose 5-digit number HIST XXXXX begins with a 4, for which some students will need special permission to attend) and classes that are full but may be able to accommodate an additional student or two. Registering for a class that is full is called an over-tally. In addition, BA/MA students and undergraduates who have been given permission by an instructor to take a Master's class will need to see an adviser to register for Master's classes. In all of these cases, a student will need to fill out a "Registration Form" with the help of an adviser. Once completed, the student will then take the Registration Form to the Humanities Division (NAC 5/225) to finish the registration process.
Major Form: Students who choose to major or minor in history will need to obtain a "Major Form." Forms are available from the Humanities Divisions or from an undergraduate history adviser. This paperwork needs to be completed by a history adviser. After filling out the form with a history adviser, the student will take the form to the Humanities Division for processing, if they are a history major, or to the relevant division (e.g. Social Sciences) if they are a history minor. Graduation Check: Every graduating senior must have a "Graduation Check" form filled out by a history adviser and then turned into the Humanities Division towards the beginning of the semester a student plans to graduate. These forms may be obtained from an adviser or from the History Department office (NAC 5/144A). The purpose of the graduation check is to ensure that a student has fulfilled all the requirements necessary for a history major. In addition, history majors will complete a general graduation check with the Humanities Division to ensure that the student has met all other non-major requirements for graduation.
- Graduation Check: Every graduating senior must have a "Graduation Check" form filled out by a history adviser and then turned into the Humanities Division towards the beginning of the semester a student plans to graduate. These forms may be obtained from an adviser or from the History Department office (NAC 5/144A). The purpose of the graduation check is to ensure that a student has fulfilled all the requirements necessary for a history major. In addition, history majors will complete a general graduation check with the Humanities Division to ensure that the student has met all other non-major requirements for graduation.
History advisers can also inform students about fellowship opportunities open to history students. These fellowships include the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the City College Fellowship, both of which target students interested in careers in academia or research. In addition, history students have the opportunity to apply for the Kaye Scholars Program, which provides support for students across the humanities.
In addition to a B.A. in history, the History Department also offers a combined B.A./M.A. degree and an M.A. in history. Undergraduate advisers can discuss the general outlines of these programs, but if you are interested in finding out more about them, you will ultimately need to speak with a graduate adviser. More information about these programs may be found here: http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/humanities/history/graduate.cfm
What if I have a question about something that is not mentioned on this page?This description of the undergraduate advising process is not meant to cover every instance when a student might wish or need to speak with an adviser. History advisers are always happy to speak with students interested in pursuing a history major or who simply want to inquire about a history class. Please do not hesitate to contact an adviser with any question you may have. If we cannot answer it, we will direct you to someone who can.
For more information contact:
Prof. Anne Kornhauser
Head Undergraduate Adviser
Tel: (212) 650-7471