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The History Major and Advising


The History Major and Advising

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 a transfer student, a freshman, or a continuing student and are a history major or a thinking of becoming one, you should consult a history department adviser at least once per semester. If you wish to sign up as a history major, you should begin by talking to an undergraduate adviser in the Division of Humanities & the Arts (NAC 5/225), since the history major falls under the authority of that division.

The 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 homepage, 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.

Requirements for the History Major and Minor

The requirements for a history major are 11 history electives (33 credits). The only required history elective is The Historian's Craft (HIST 21300), which history majors should enroll in as early in their career at City College as possible. (HIST 21300 is required for all students who declare a history major after September 1, 2015.) In addition, students are encouraged to choose a concentration, which may be thematic but is usually geographically-based: the United States, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, etc. The concentration should consist of 4 or 5 history electives, with the remaining courses to be taken in any area the student wishes. For undergraduate history majors, a history elective is defined as any history course whose five-digit course number (HIST XXXXX) begins with the number 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. Of the 33 credits, 20 must be completed at CCNY. Finally, a student must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to complete the history major.

The requirements for a history minor are 5 history electives (15 credits) whose course number begins with the number "2" or higher.

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. Therefore, any questions that may arise from Degreeworks, transfer credits, e-permit, 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 adviser.

Honors in History: History majors who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major and who have completed 12 credits in History are eligible to apply. The deadlines to apply for honors on a transcript are November 15 and April 15. To receive honors students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major and submit an honors thesis based on original research. To prepare the thesis, students are encouraged to enroll in the honors section of the Research Colloquium (HIST 30300). Students must take at least one and may take up to two honors Independent Studies with course numbers HIST 30100 (Honors I) and HIST 30200 (Honors II). These Independent Studies will be supervised by a full-time History faculty member who has agreed to be the student's thesis advisor. Approval by the departmental honors committee is required.

What specific tasks can a history adviser help me with?

History deparmtent advisers can help students develop a curriculum that best fits their interests and needs. They can also discuss with students fellowships and job opporutnities available to history majors as well as factors a student should consider in mapping out their course of study based on their long-term goals and academic strenghts. Advisers can also offer information about the Department's course offerings.There are three main tasks for which students should seek the advice and help of an undergraduate history adviser: registering for classes, declaring a history major or minor, and completing a graduation checklist.

  1. Registration: Ideally, every history major should talk to a history adviser before registering for courses each semester. This will help keep students on track for the 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 particular class. These cases include any course listed on CUNYFirst for which "permission" is required and courses that have reached their enrollment limit but that might be able to accommodate an additional student or two, depending on what the instructor decides. To enroll in ("over-tally" for) a course that is full, a student will need to obtain a "permission" from an adviser in order to register for the course on CUNYFirst. In addition, B.A./M.A. students and undergraduates who have received authorization from an instructor to take an M.A. class will need to see an adviser to be granted "permission" on CUNYFirst to enroll in graduate history courses. In most cases, the student will then be able to register on their on for the M.A. class. In some cases, students may need to seek additional assistance from an adviser in the Division of Humanities & the Arts (NAC 5/225) to complete the registration process in these instances.

  2. Major Forms: Students who choose to major or minor in history will need to obtain a "Major Form." These forms are available from the Humanities Division, the History Department (NAC 5/144A), 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 Office of the Registrar for processing.

  3. Graduation Check: Every graduating senior must have a "Graduation Check" form filled out by a history adviser and then filed with the Humanities Division, This should be done toward 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 document 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 indicate that the student has met all other non-major requirements for graduation. These forms must be completed in order for a student to graduate.

The Combined B.A./M.A. Degree

In addition to the B.A. in history, the History Department offers a combined B.A./M.A. degree for undergraduate students. Undergraduate advisers can discuss the general outlines of this program and if the student meets the requirements they may be signed into the program by filling out a major form with the help of an adviser. For more information on this program and on the Department's M.A. program in history, students should consult a graduate history adviser and view the information on the Department's homepage.

Fellowship Opportunities

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.

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 who are 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 a history department adviser or the department chair. Contact information may be found at the bottom of the Department's homepage.