Yale changing requirements for history majors

Historians in the News
tags: Yale, history majors



Two alterations to the history major represent the most significant change to the History Department in a generation, according to History Director of Undergraduate Studies Beverly Gage.

The changes were approved at Thursday’s faculty meeting and will impact current freshmen and sophomores. Students are now required to pursue one of two tracks: either a “global” track, consisting of five courses spread across five different geographic regions, or a “specialist” track, which allows a five-course specialization in one geographic area or thematic “pathway.” Some examples of “pathways,” which are already offered as suggestions to students are “Religion in Context” and “War and Society.” Additionally, students will now be allowed to write a one-semester thesis instead of a year-long one.

History professor Julia Stephens said she is in favor of these changes because they allow for more flexibility within the major.

“What strikes me as really great about these changes is that the major will be more self-directed and give students the power to carve their own path,” she said. “Rather than one model fits all, students suddenly can put together a program more tailored to their individual interests.”

The new track options will replace the current geographic distribution requirement for history upperclassmen, but will not do away with the requirement of taking two courses from the pre-industrial era. ...




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