Requirements 

Requirements for the Major in History

HIS 105, 106 Western Civilization 6 hrs
HIS 103, 104 History of the United States 6 hrs
HIS 390 Historiography 3 hrs
HIS 422 Senior Thesis 2 hrs
HIS 423 Senior Thesis 3 hrs
HIS 424 Senior Thesis 1 hr
Four courses at the 300-level with at least one course with each permanent member of the department. 12 hrs
Total Hours 33 hrs
              

In their senior year majors must pass an oral examination based on their upper level history courses.

Additional Major Information:

HIS 103: U.S. History to 1890 Offered each fall semester

HIS 104: U.S. History since 1890 Offered each fall and spring semester

HIS 105: Western Civilization I Offered each fall semester

HIS 106: Western Civilization II Offered each spring semester and, depending on the qualifications of the Fulbright Professor, normally offered in the fall semester as well.

Four Upper-Level History Courses (300 level)

Upper-Level: McInneshin

Upper-Level: Lael

Upper-Level: Goodfellow

Upper-Level: Optional

HIS 390: Historiography Offered each spring semester.

A. Should be taken in the Sophomore or Junior Year, but for students who study abroad or have other good reasons, the department is flexible.

B. A student should have completed at least two courses from two different faculty members at Westminster before enrolling in the course. Transfer students may not be able to meet this requirement. Again, the department will work with students facing special circumstances.

HIS 422: Senior Thesis: Research Phase: 2 hrs. Offered in the fall semester of the senior year.

HIS 423: Senior Thesis: Writing Phase & Seminar Phase: 3 hrs. Offered in the spring semester of the senior year.

HIS 424: Senior Thesis: Rewriting Phase: 1 hr. Offered in the spring semester of the senior year.

Course Sequence: This order of courses is flexible and has to be because of all the courses required in the freshman year. Ideally majors will have completed their survey courses by the end of the sophomore year, although that frequently doesn’t happen because of other general education requirements. The required survey courses may be taken in any order. Students may take an upper-level history course once they have the proper prerequisites.

*Because of the time associated with the senior thesis, it would be highly desirable for students to complete this last upper-level history course, BEFORE the second semester of the senior year.



 General Thesis Instructions

The department expects you to work closely with your individual thesis advisor during both semesters of the senior year. In the fall semester you will enroll in History 422 and will identify your topic—if you have not already done so in HIS 390—and then COMPLETE your research on the topic you have selected. At the end of the semester you must turn in to your advisor a precis, a detailed outline, an annotated bibliography (and your notes if your advisor requests them), and at least a rough draft of one chapter (10-15 pages) of the thesis.

If any of your research is incomplete at the end of the semester, you must use the Christmas vacation to complete it. Since you will defend your thesis around midsemester— the last part of the semester is for rewriting for HIS 424 (1 hr.)—you will only have 9 or 10 weeks to write the thesis. That means that you must be writing the document from the very first day of the semester, NOT concluding research that should have been done earlier. Successful completion of the three stages of the thesis process (research, writing, rewriting) requires you to set realistic deadlines and then actually keep them. You do not have the luxury of extra time, so do not fall behind schedule.

Information concerning deadlines and seminar defenses for the thesis will be given to you early in the spring semester. You and your advisor will work out you own meeting times. Use the following instructions as your guide in preparing your thesis. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to seek out your advisor. Ignorance is no excuse for poor or misdirected work.

The final draft of the thesis should run approximately forty to fifty pages. These limits do not include the title page, table of contents, endnotes, bibliography, appendices, maps, pictures and the like. The paper must be typed, double-spaced and have a left hand margin of an inch and a half. Notes must be numbered consecutively and placed either at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or at the end of the main text (endnotes). The paper will be divided into at least six parts: the title page, table of contents, introduction, body of the paper, conclusion, endnotes (if used) and the annotated bibliography. The body of the paper may have further divisions.

Title Page: On this page you give the title of the paper, your name, the number and name of the course (History 423: Senior Thesis), the year in which the thesis is presented and the name of the professor who directed your thesis.

Table of Contents: This shows the divisions of the thesis and gives page numbers for the beginning of each. Introduction: This part should run no more than five pages. In this section, explain what your purpose and method were in writing the thesis and what particular problems you encountered in the process. Discuss your most important sources and comment on the literature concerning your subject, showing how your research parallels, conflicts with, or supports other interpretations of you topic with which you are familiar.

Body of the Thesis: in the body of the paper you set forth the results of you research in a clear, well-written narrative. The Elements of Style by William Strunk is a good resource on writing style. Avoid scissors and paste history, i.e., the stringing together of quotations without explanations and critical comment. NO MORE THAN A FIFTH OF THE THESIS MAY CONSIST OF QUOTATIONS. Particularly relevant documents may be reproduced in the appendices. Consider using maps and pictures that will enhance the understanding of your thesis, and footnote the source if you do.
 
Conclusion: Here you express your thoughtful reflections on the subject you have treated. The conclusion should be more than a mere summary of what you have already said. Try to situate your topic in the larger historical picture. The length of this section should be three to five pages. Endnotes: If used, these should come after the conclusion and before the bibliography. Follow the form prescribed in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, 6 th edition. Although Turabian allows a choice on the form of second citations, the department insists that you use the last name of the author and a short title (except when using “ibid”). DO NOT MAKE UP YOUR OWN FORM FOR NOTES. Annotated Bibliography: This should include everything you have consulted in your research, whether cited in notes or not. It should be arranged in systematic fashion and divided into primary and secondary sources. Again, rely on Turabian. Make your annotation informative and critical. A comment such as “This was interesting” has little value.

PROOFREAD YOUR THESIS BEFORE YOU TURN IT IN.

In History 423 you must provide a copy of you thesis for every student in the seminar plus one for each member of the history faculty (but not the visiting professor of British History). However, only copy of the revised thesis in History 424 is required. Since your final revised copy goes into the archives, please put your thesis in a permanent binding that has the title, author, advisor and date on it.

Exit Interview

Questions for Senior Exit Interviews: History Majors

1. (Present seniors with a copy of the departmental mission statement and learning goals.) Comment on how well/poorly the department has met its mission statement and learning goals.

2. What do you identify as the strengths of the department?

3. What do you identify as the weaknesses of the department?

4. If you had it to do over again, would you have declared history as your major? Why/why not?

5. What recommendations would you make to the department so that it could better meet student needs/expectations in the future?

 Suggested Schedule for the Major in History

First Semester Hours

Second Semester

Hours

WSM 101

3

Tier II course (science with lab)

4

ENG 103

3

Tier II course

3

HIS 103, 104, 105 or 106

3-5

HIS 104 or 106

3

MAT114, 121, 124

3

Tier II course

3

PE activity

1

Tier II course

3

TOTAL 14-16

TOTAL

16

Third Semester

Fourth Semester

HIS 103, 104, 105 or 106

3

HIS 104 or 106

3

Upper Level HIS (desirable)

3

Upper Level HIS (desirable)

3

Tier II

3

Tier II

3

Tier II

3

Tier II

3

Tier II

3

Tier II

3

TOTAL 15 TOTAL

15

Fifth Semester

Sixth Semester

Upper-Level HIS

3

Upper-Level HIS

3

Tier II

3

HIS 390 (required in sophomore

or junior year)

3

Elective

3

Tier III

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Total

15

Total

15

Seventh Semester

Eighth Semester

Upper-Level HIS (if still needed)

3

*HIS 423 (required)

3

HIS 422 (required)

2

*HIS 424 (required)

1

Tier II

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective

3

Elective (as needed)

3

Total

14-16

Total

13