This information is part of the Colgate University catalog, 2023-24.

Major Requirements

There are two pathways through the history major: The Field of Focus (FoF) Pathway and the Global Pathway. Both require nine courses.

The pathways are described below:

Field of Focus

The Field of Focus Pathway allows students to devise individualized, intellectually coherent specializations. Possible fields of focus include:

  • Black History
  • Capitalism, Commodities, and Class
  • Cultural and Intellectual History
  • Empires and Colonialism
  • Environmental History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Indigenous History
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Political History
  • Public History and Memory
  • Race and Racism
  • Religion and Society
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Social Movements and Human Rights
  • Urban History
  • War and Violence

Students in the Field of Focus Pathway develop their specialization (i.e., field of focus) in consultation with their academic adviser. Students who choose this program are required to submit a field of focus statement within one semester of their major declaration, and it can be revised in later semesters. Students may choose one of the department's suggested fields (see above), or they may design their own field of focus in consultation with their adviser.

History Workshop
Seven Electives
  • Students select seven HIST courses of their choosing 
    • at least four of which should relate directly to their field of focus
    • one 300-level language course may be counted toward one of the seven electives 
  • One seminar at the 400 level other than , normally taken in the junior or senior year
Additional Stipulations
  • At least two of the nine courses must be designated other than (EU) or (US)
  • One of the nine courses may be taken outside the History department, subject to the approval of the student's academic adviser and the History Curriculum Committee. Students who count a 300 level language course may not count another course from outside the department.

The Global Pathway

The Global Pathway emphasizes broad geographic exposure and ensures that students' coursework, at all levels, covers different parts of the world.

  • Africa (AF)
  • Asia (AS)
  • Europe (EU)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
  • Middle East (ME)
  • Transregional (TR)
  • United States (US)

The Global Pathway in history consists of nine courses, structured as follows:

History Workshop
100- and 200-Level Courses
  • Three courses at the 100- or 200-level 
    • To encourage breadth of study, each of these three must carry a different geographic designation (see list above).
300-Level Courses
  • Three courses at the 300 level
    • At least one of these courses must be designated other than (EU) or (US)
Additional Elective
  • One additional history course at the 200 level or above, or any 300-level foreign language course. (Foreign language courses taught in translation do not meet this requirement.)
  • One seminar at the 400 level other than , normally taken in the junior or senior year
Additional Stipulations
  • Only one of the nine courses for the major may be taught by a non-departmental historian. This includes history courses offered in off-campus study groups, at other institutions, and at Colgate; all such courses are subject to the approval of the student's academic adviser and the History Curriculum Committee. 

GPA Requirement

Students must have achieved a minimum GPA of 2.00 over all courses taken in the department.

Honors and High Honors

Students interested in pursuing honors can find the additional requirements on the  department page.

Major Declaration

To be admitted to the major, students must have earned a GPA of 2.00 in all history courses taken. Students not meeting this requirement may petition the department for permission to begin the major.

History Department

For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the  catalog page.