History 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 focused analysis of primary sources in context.  In Level-II courses, students explore historiography and the constructed nature of history in topical, regional and thematic contexts.  Level-III seminars center research skills and challenge students to formulate their own questions about history, historiography, and historical methods.

Level-I seminars are open to juniors, sophomores and first-year students only.

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 Methods Seminar and three Research Seminar or DUR courses at Level III. Three Level-I courses may count toward the major. Students must take at least one course in each of three global areas: Category 1 (Africa, Asia, Latin America), Category 2 (United States), and Category 3 (Europe & Russia). Typically this area requirement should be fulfilled in Level-I or Level-II courses.

Petition to Transfer Credit for History Courses Taken Off-Campus

If you are planning to study abroad, please send the following information to History Professor Timothy Howe regarding the course(s) you plan to take:

  1. Syllabi for the course.
  2. Any assessment prompts.
  3. One paragraph outlining why this course should count toward the History major, and where it should count:
    • a) Africa, Asia, Latin America
    • b) American History
    • c) Europe and Russia

Careers in History

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