The History Department offers a global curriculum to expose students to the disciplined study of the human past. As the cornerstone of the liberal arts, students can take history classes for enrichment, to develop their perspective and understanding of context, and to advance their creative and analytical skills. Majors pursue a course of study emphasizing both breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding. Through a combination of survey courses and focused seminars they learn to: read and analyze scholarly sources; interpret the past through historical documents; practice historical empathy; devise and execute research strategies; and craft meaningful historical narratives with evidence.
For a complete list of our classes, visit the Pomona College catalog
The major in history requires a minimum of eleven history courses, distributed as follows:
- Field specialization: at least five courses in a field, including two core courses for that field. Fields: Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean; Europe Since the Renaissance; United States; Africa/African Diaspora, South Asia, and the Middle East; Asia; Latin America and Caribbean; and comparative/transregional/thematic (CTT).
- Breadth: At least three courses outside the primary field, drawn from at least two other areas representing both western and non-western fields. At least one course, in any field, must concentrate on any period before 1800.
- Two of the courses must be seminars, at least one of which must be a 110 research seminar, and at least one of which must be in the primary field.
- A ninth course either in the field specialization or another area.
- A two semester senior exercise culminating in either a senior thesis, senior essay or a senior tutorial in the field of specialization, in addition to the minimum five courses in that field.
Additional information, rules, and requirements:
- History courses not taken at Pomona College may count toward the History Major, unless they are cognates of courses available at Pomona.
- All courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the History Major. All history majors must have a history faculty advisor.
- No more than two courses for the major in history may satisfy requirements for another major.
- Students who waive a core course in a field, through placement examination or some other method approved by the department, must substitute another course from that field.
- Students opting to make CTT the primary field must develop a proposal by the end of the first semester of the junior year in consultation with their adviser and subject to approval by the department.
By the end of the spring semester of the junior year, students submit a one-paragraph senior exercise proposal specifying a possible topic, potential sources, and their preparation for the exercise. All majors must enroll in HIST 190 PO - Senior Seminar in the fall of senior year. In the spring of the senior year they enroll in either HIST 191 PO - Senior Thesis, HIST 192 PO - Senior Essay or HIST 193 PO Senior Tutorial. A senior thesis should make extensive use of primary sources and original research. It should normally be 50-100 pages long.
A senior essay should be approximately 25-35 pages long. It may be primarily a research paper or an historiographical essay. It may use a combination of primary and other sources.
A senior thesis should make extensive use of primary sources and original research. It should normally be 50-100 pages long. A senior essay should be approximately 25-35 pages long. It may be primarily a research paper or an historiographical essay. It may use a combination of primary and other sources.
Note: The Senior Thesis and Senior Essay conclude undergraduate study in history and may only be taken during the senior year.
In order to minor in history, a student must complete at least six history courses. No course for the minor may satisfy requirements for another major. At least three courses, including a course from the History 100- or 110-series, must be in one historical field. All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade.