History Major

Overview of the Major

St. Olaf’s history offerings are structured to help students achieve different learning goals at different levels.
In Level-I seminars, students approach history as a way of learning through a variety of historical topics and
through the reading of primary sources.  In Foundation Courses, they explore the broad historical development
of the world’s major societies and cultures.  In Level-II courses, students examine more specialized national,
area, and topical developments.  Finally, Level-III seminars challenge students to recognize historical problems
and to formulate their own questions about history, historiography, and historical methods.

History courses at Levels I and II generally do not have prerequisites.  Level-I seminars are only open to
first-year students.  Before entering Level-III courses, students with little or no background in a particular area
or period should consult with the instructor.

Requirements for the Major

History majors are required to take nine courses, including one Level-II major seminar and three courses at
Level III.  Three Level-I courses (but no more than two seminars) may count toward the major.  Students must
take at least one course in each of three general areas, i.e., Europe, United States, and the non-Western world
(Africa, Asia, Latin America). This area requirement should be fulfilled in Level-I or Level-II courses.  At least two
courses in the major must deal with the pre-modern period; see the departmental website or the History
Department chair for the approved list of pre-modern courses.  Other courses may meet this requirement if
approved by the department chair.  For students entering St. Olaf in Fall 2013 or later, although multiple
AP History exams (score of 5) may be accepted by the College for credit toward graduation, only one of these
exams can be counted toward the History major.  Please consult the Department Chair to determine which
one will be counted for the major.

   Pre-Modern courses taken prior to the 2004-’05 academic year:
101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 125, 130, 131, 190, 191, 195, 196, 205, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214,
220, 221, 222, 225, 226, 230, 231, 235, 240, 242, 246, 248, 251, 259, 260, 262, 266, 270, 275,
277, 281, 302, 303, 309.
Other courses may meet this requirement if approved by the Department Chair.

   Pre-Modern courses taken during 2004-’05 and later:
101, 111, 115, 117, 125, 126, 140, 151, 161,165, 188, 190, 191, 194, 195, 198, 201, 202, 203, 204,
205, 210, 211, 212, 217, 218, 219, 220, 222, 224, 226, 230, 237, 238, 239, 241, 250, 252, 270, 272,
282, 292, 296.

Other courses may meet this requirement if approved by the Department Chair.

Please note: during the summer of 2004 all of the History courses were re-numbered.  Any courses taken
before the fall of 2004 will reflect the old numbering system, any courses taken in the fall of 2004-’05 and
later will reflect the new numbering system.

Matrix Requirements 2004-’05 and After*
Suggestion: use the Matrix as a Worksheet. Take the Matrix with you when you meet with your Advisor.


Petition to Transfer Credit for History Courses Taken Off-Campus

If you are planning to study abroad, you need to meet with History Professor Robert Entenmann
prior to going to discuss the course(s) you plan to take while abroad and whether the course(s) will count
toward your History major.  You should print off the Petition to Transfer Credit for History Courses Taken
 and take it with you when you meet with Prof. Entenmann.


Course Descriptions
If you want to view a list of all the courses in the History curriculum at St. Olaf, along with course descriptions,
consult the Academic Catalog.  If you want to see which of those courses are offered this academic year,
click on Course Descriptions, which will also include extended course descriptions.

Additional helpful documents when considering a History major and planning which courses to take, are
listed below:

The History Major
History Major Plan
Doing History:  What is a History Major?

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