Modified Major

Steps to take

The Modified Major in History consists of the successful completion of twelve courses, eight of them in History, and four from one or more modifying departments/programs. The modified major should have a clear purpose and intellectual coherence.

Students planning a modified major should contact the Vice Chair, Jennifer Miller (Jennifer.m.miller@dartmouth.edu) to discuss their plans. In order to have the modified major approved, they will be required to submit two documents: the modified major worksheet and a short statement articulating the intellectual coherence of their modified major. This statement should be 2 – 3 paragraphs and offer a clear rationale for the modification. It should answer two key questions.  1.  What are you hoping to achieve by modifying the major and bringing these courses together?  2.  How are these courses in conversation with each other?  Here you should make specific references to the courses that you plan to take.

Modification works best early in major planning. Generally, modifications will NOT be approved in the last two terms of a student's enrollment.

Class of 2023 and Before Modified Major Worksheet

Class of 2024 and Beyond Modified Major Worksheet

Approvals

If the four modifying courses are in a single department/program, your Modified Major plan and rationale must be approved by Vice Chair Jennifer Miller of the History Department and the modifying department/program. If the four modifying courses are drawn from more than one department/program, your plan and rationale for a Modified Major needs to be approved only by the Vice Chair of the History Department. Modified Majors must meet the requirements below.

Modified Major Requirements for Students in the Class of 2023 and Before

Refer to the Class of 2023 and Before Modified Major Worksheet for the successful completion of at least twelve courses meeting the requirements.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION

For the purposes of the major requirements applicable to the class of 2023 and earlier, most courses fall into one of four areas: (1) United States (designated Major Dist: US in the course listing below); (2) Europe (designated Major Dist: EUR in the course listing below); (3) Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (designated Major Dist: AALAC in the course listing below); or (4) Interregional and Comparative (designated Major Dist: INTER in the course listing below).

Your eight History courses must contain at least one course from each of the following areas:

  1. United States
  2. Europe
  3. Africa, Asia, Latin America & Caribbean
  4. Interregional  

CHRONOLOGICAL DISTRIBUTION

Your eight History courses must contain at least two pre-1800 courses. In the course listing below, courses fulfilling the pre-1800 requirement are designated <1800.

SEMINARS AND COLLOQUIA

Modified majors must complete one course involving advanced historical practice which will represent the culminating experience. Most students meet this requirement by enrolling in HIST 96, a small course (normally capped at 12) that allow students to work closely with a faculty member and to produce a final project that represents either original research in primary sources or (with colloquia) a historiographical contribution to the existing scholarly literature. HIST 98 (Honors Seminar) and the London FSP may not count as a culminating experience for Modified Majors.

FIELD OF CONCENTRATION

All Modified Majors are encouraged to identify an area of concentration within the broad field of History. Establishing a critical mass of classes each related to a geographic, chronological or thematic concentration will enhance a student's ability to develop expertise and make connections. (All students graduating in or before 2016 are required to identify at least four History courses related to a field of concentration.) One of these must be a culminating experience in the form of a HIST 96.

LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS described under the Standard Major also apply to the Modified Major.

Modified Major Requirements for Students in the Class of 2024 and Beyond

Refer to the Class of 2024 and Beyond Modified Major Worksheet for the successful completion of at least twelve courses meeting the requirements.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

For the purposes of the major requirements applicable to the class of 2024 and later, most courses fall into one of six areas: (1) Africa, (2) Asia, (3) Europe (4) Latin America & the Caribbean, (5) Middle East, (6) United States. Your eight History courses must include one course from at least three of these six areas.

CHRONOLOGICAL DISTRIBUTION

Your eight History courses must include, at a minimum, two pre-modern courses and two modern courses.

SEMINARS AND COLLOQUIA

All modified majors in the department must complete at least one course (HIST 96) on campus involving advanced historical practice, which will represent the culminating experience. Careful advanced planning regarding enrollment in 96 is necessary for two reasons. First, the capped enrollment means that several 96s will have more students who wish to take the course than there are available spots. In these cases, the department and the instructor will prioritize enrollment. Second, work at the advanced level is most rewarding when it builds upon previous exposure to a field. Students should work with their advisors to select a number of classes related to a geographic, chronological, or thematic area that will prepare them for their advanced coursework. Students should then consider which seminars can best build on this previous coursework.

LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS

  1. At least five History courses must be taken in residence at Dartmouth College, one of them being HIST 96.
  2. HIST 7 (First-Year Seminar), HIST 98 (Honors Seminar) and History 99 (Honors Thesis) may not be counted toward the modified major.
  3. Students may not use more than two independent study courses (HIST 97) in satisfying the requirements of the modified Major.
  4. Modified major GPA is figured on all History courses taken.
  5. Only those major courses passed with a letter grade may be counted in satisfaction of the major. Courses taken under the Non-Recording Option (NRO) may not be used toward completion of the modified major.
  6. The Department will consider approving transfer credits for History majors and non-majors only for History courses taken at institutions with which Dartmouth College has institutional exchange programs.
  7. Only transfer students may receive credit for courses taken at other colleges or universities prior to matriculation at Dartmouth.