Jun 13, 2021  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022

History Major

Required Units

Total number of units required for major, excluding any required Intensive(s): 10

Required Intensive units, if any: 1

Total units required: 11

Total Number of Specific Courses Required

  • Two 300-level seminars one of which must be taken in the senior year. 300-level seminars may also do double duty as pre-1800 or geographical area requirements.
  • Cross-listed courses originating in another department (i.e., taught by faculty who are not in the History Department) may not be used for distribution requirements. No more than two cross-listed courses originating in another department can count toward the history minimum requirement of 11 units.


Two additional electives from any level or area of the history curriculum.


Thesis Intensive

Credits from outside Vassar

Majors may apply up to four credits earned from other schools or AP/ IB credit to the major. However, only one AP or IB credit may be used, and none of these credits can satisfy a distribution or 300-level requirement.


The department strongly encourages all students interested in majoring in History to take at least one 100-level course to learn historical methodology at the college level. While the department requires only one pre-1800 and four geographical area courses, students are encouraged to go beyond the minimum to examine the deeper roots of history and develop a more nuanced global understanding. Reading knowledge of a foreign language is highly recommended. The department encourages students to study foreign languages at Vassar to work toward the goal of going to the original sources. Students thinking about going on to graduate school or further study should find out about language requirements for those fields.