As a History AOC at New College, you can study alongside a faculty member who was awarded a Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Or you can have coffee and discuss your future with professors who have published work on everything from the Harlem Renaissance to the Great Depression, progressive energy policy, race relations and international development. Regardless of your choice of specialization, our faculty bring history to life in the classroom, through campus events and activities, and through the close, one-on-one relationships they develop with students. They will also help you sharpen your analytical powers, develop your verbal and written communication abilities, and learn research techniques to help improve your graduate school and career success.
An Area of Concentration in History should include both survey and specialized courses in a wide range of fields. Students are expected to complete at least 12 courses or tutorials in history, with at least two courses each in four of the five fields of history offered regularly at New College: American history, East Asian history, premodern history, modern European history, and transnational history; the four chosen must include the premodern field and one non-western field.
At least one course in each field should be an upper-level course. (Field and level designations are noted in each course description.) For students with interests outside these categories, the discipline will consider requests to substitute one related field such as Latin American history for one of the fields normally required. Students are also expected to complete the discipline’s course in Historical Methods, as well as three semesters of a foreign language (non-native to the student), or to demonstrate competence in one at an equivalent intermediate level. Students are encouraged to choose their advanced course work and tutorials with the goal of laying the foundations for future thesis work. Students wishing to combine history with another discipline to complete a double AOC are required to complete the same requirements stated above. The student’s thesis must contain some historical component, but a separate thesis is not required.
Students concentrating in another field who wish to add History as a joint (“slash”) concentration are expected to fulfill two-thirds of the requirements for a full AOC, that is: a total of seven courses overall, with a required distribution of Historical Methods plus either (a) two courses in each of three fields, or (b) two courses in each of two fields, with one course in each of two more. The usual rules about distribution of lower- and upper-level courses apply. Joint concentrators must also fulfill the language requirement.
In addition to the formal disciplinary requirements for the AOC, students in history are strongly encouraged to take courses in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, to pursue relevant ISPs and/or internships and to make use of opportunities for off-campus study (whether in the US or abroad). Students considering graduate study in history should be aware that admission to doctoral programs is extremely competitive, and should consult early and often with their advisors to make their academic records as strong as possible. While individual plans of study will vary, a competitive record will normally include in-depth study of history and related disciplines, advanced mastery of at least one (and preferably two) foreign languages, and a well- researched and well-written senior thesis that makes extensive use of both primary and secondary sources.
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