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  Academic Programs / Liberal Arts


Andrew C. Isenberg, Chair
913 Gladfelter Hall

Beth Bailey, Director of Undergraduate Studies
944 Gladfelter Hall

David M. Jacobs, Undergraduate Advising Coordinator
927 Gladfelter Hall

913 Gladfelter Hall

The faster our lives change, the more we need to understand our past, reflect on our present, and make decisions for our future. History helps us to understand who we are and where we came from. It provides unique insights and perspectives for our personal and professional pursuits.

The study of history incorporates all people and all societies from the dawn of civilization to the present. As such, students can specialize in certain countries, regions, eras, or other aspects of these areas. The History Department divides its courses between American History, European History, and Comparative, Global, Third World History. Within each division, one can choose history courses in political, diplomatic, social, cultural, economic, gender, and ethnic history.  Students should concentrate in one field of history and also be well-versed in the three main divisions.

Temple History graduates have gone into a wide range of careers; business, law, politics, education, historical preservation, and information resources are just a few of the many areas. History arms the student for a maximum amount of flexibility for career choices.

Temple students regularly participate in the intellectual life of the region through their connections to such organizations and institutions as the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Atwater Kent Museum, and the American Philosophical Society.

The Department of History offers an Honors Program for majors with outstanding academic records. Qualified majors are invited to join Phi Alpha Theta, the History honor society; both minors and majors participate in the Undergraduate History Association. Special Programs allow undergraduates to major in History and earn teaching certification, or to major in history and earn a Masters in Education in five years (program administered through the School of Education).

The History Major

The History major consists of a step approach in which 1000-level courses are beginning courses. Courses numbered between 2000 and 3000 are intermediate courses, and courses numbered 4000 are advanced courses.

  • The major in history requires thirty-six (36) credit hours, of which at least twenty-four (24) must be at the 1000 or 2000 level, and at least twelve (12) credits must be at the 3000 and 4000 levels.
  • Courses are divided into three categories: a) Comparative, Global, and Third World; b) European; and c) United States.  Students must take a minimum of two (2) courses whose predominant content is Third World, two (2) in US, and two (2) in European.  In each area, one course must be 2000 level or above.
  • Each major should take four (4) courses that represent an area of concentration based on some geographic or thematic intellectual rationale.  The area of concentration should be defined in writing and approved by a departmental advisor, ideally at the start of the junior year and no later than the start of the senior year.
  • Majors must take a Capstone Writing Seminar: History 4296, Writing Seminar in American History; 4497, Writing Seminar in European History; 4696, Writing Seminar in Third World History; or History 4897, Writing Seminar in the Contemporary Theory and Practice of History.  This course counts as one of the four required at the 3000 or 4000 level.

Requirements for the Major

Minimum of 12 courses in History, distributed as follows    
Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
Select up to eight courses at the Lower or Intermediate Level 24  
History 1000 Introductory Level    
History 2000 Intermediate Level    
Select a minimum of three courses at the 3000 level 9+  
History   3000 Intermediate History Courses     
History 3711-4282 Advanced History Courses    
Select one Capstone Writing Seminar: 3  
History   4296 Writing Seminar in American History   WI*
History   4497 Writing Seminar in European History   WI*
History   4696 Writing Seminar in Comparative, Global, Third World History   WI*
History   4897 Writing Seminar in Contemporary Theory and Practice of History   WI*
Total     36  
* Indicates writing capstone for major    


Distinction in Major

Students must successfully complete a sequence of History 4034, Historiography and Research Methods (first offered in Spring 2005) and the History Honors Capstone (also offered in Spring 2005).  The end product of the History Honors Capstone is an Honors Senior Thesis to be presented in a public forum.  Students must continue to maintain a 3.5 GPA in all history courses and a 3.3 GPA in Temple courses overall.

History Honors Program

Requirements for admission: History majors must have a GPA of 3.5 in at least five history courses, three of which must be 2000-level or above; an overall GPA of at least 3.3; and a writing sample for submission to the Honors Committee.  Students may apply for admission by submitting the writing sample and verifying their GPAs to the History Honors Committee or to any member of the History faculty. For more information, contact Professor Elizabeth Varon, Director, History Honors Program, evaron@temple.edu

Requirements for the Minor

A History minor is an ideal complement to other majors and programs at Temple, from medicine to journalism, from computer science to finance, from film to marketing. Students with a minor in history are required to take six (6) courses totaling eighteen (18) semester hours. Of the six courses, at least two (2) must be numbered 2000 or above and at least two courses (2) must be numbered 3000 or above.

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
Select up to two from the following: 6  
History 1501 Third World History   IS
History 1701 World History—Ancient   IS
History 1702 World History—Modern   IS
History 1705 War and Society   IS
History 1708 Gender and History   IS
History 1301 Modern Europe   IS
History 1101 U.S. History to 1877   AC
History 1102 U.S. History Since 1877   AC
Select at least two 2000 level courses. 6  
History   2000 Intermediate History Courses    
Select at least two 3000 level courses. 6  
History 3000 Advanced History Courses    
TOTAL     18  


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