The goal of the history major at Purchase College is to provide students with the intellectual foundation of a liberal arts education that is suitable for a wide variety of professions, including law, education, government, business, journalism, and public relations.

The history curriculum seeks to foster the development of a historical perspective on the forces and processes that have shaped and continue to shape our communities, our country, and the world at large.

In keeping with the cultural resources of our area and the special profile of Purchase, the history program has generally, though not exclusively, emphasized the social, intellectual, and cultural dimensions of the historical discipline.

  • Students may define their area of interest within the major in terms of nine broadly conceived areas.
  • When appropriate, students may also pursue topics of special interest through tutorials and directed independent studies, which may be arranged with individual instructors.
  • Coursework in the history program includes intensive writing and an emphasis on primary source material, which can range from government documents to diaries, novels, and films.


In addition to meeting  General Education requirements and other degree requirements, all history majors must complete seven history courses, plus a junior seminar and an 8-credit senior project (37–40 credits total):

  • The broad survey courses at the 2000 level serve as the foundation for more specialized work at the 3000 level.
  • All history majors are required to take the Junior History Seminar in the spring semester of their junior year. This course is open exclusively to history majors.
  • All history majors will be assigned a senior project advisor by the end of their junior year, and are required to register with this advisor for 4 credits of senior project (SPJ 4990/Senior Project I) in the fall of their senior year, and 4 more credits (SPJ 4991/Senior Project II) in the spring of their senior year.

  Areas of Interest

  • History majors normally take four or five elective courses that are clustered within an area of special interest to the student. At least three of these courses must be at the upper (3000–4000) level.
  • History majors must also take at least two or three elective history courses outside their area of interest. At least one of these must be at the upper (3000–4000) level.
  • The student’s area of interest within the major should be developed in consultation with a faculty advisor at the beginning of the junior year, and must be approved by the board of study. Normally, a student will select from among the following nine areas:
    1. American history
    2. Ancient and medieval history
    3. Asian studies
    4. Early modern history
    5. European history
    6. Jewish history
    7. Latin American history
    8. Modern history
    9. Women’s history

Summary of Academic Requirements

A total of seven history courses, plus the junior seminar and the 8-credit senior project:

  1. HIS —/Seven history courses as follows (25–28 credits):
    a. Four or five history courses in an area of interest (including three at the 3000–4000 level)
    b. Two or three history courses outside the area of interest (including one at the 3000–4000 level)
  2. HIS 3880/Junior History Seminar (spring semester, junior year): 4 credits
  3. SPJ 4990/Senior Project I: 4 credits
  4. SPJ 4991/Senior Project II: 4 credits

Minor requirements:

The minor in history is designed for students who wish to supplement coursework in another major with an array of history courses.

It is particularly suited for students who have an interest in one period or a specific area (for example, early modern or modern history; European, American, or Asian history).

Students interested in the minor should consult with the Department Chair of history and complete an Application for a Program of Minor Study. They will then be assigned an appropriate advisor to help plan their minor program.

Academic Requirements for the Minor in History

At least five courses, three of which must be at the 3000 level or above.

Related Minors:

Asian Studies
Contemplative Studies
Gender Studies
Global Black Studies
Jewish Studies
Latin American, Caribbean, and LatinX Studies
Museum Studies


  • Associate Professor of History
    • BA, University of Oxford (England)
    • MA, University of Sussex (England)
    • PhD, Yale University
  • Associate Professor of History
    • BA, St. Joseph’s University
    • MA, Fordham University
    • MPhil, PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Professor of History
    • BA, Bryn Mawr College
    • MA, PhD, University of Chicago
  • Professor of History
    • BA, Vassar College
    • PhD, University of Cambridge (England)
  • Assistant Professor of History
    • BA, Emory University
    • MA, The University of Chicago
    • PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Lecturer of History
    • BA, International Studies College (Beijing, China)
    • MA, Shanghai Normal University
    • MA, University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professor of History
    • BA, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    • PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Lecturer of History
    • BA, MA, Fordham University
    • PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and History
    Director, School of Film and Media Studies

    PhD, University of Maryland

  • Lecturer of History
  • Lecturer of History
    • BA, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    • MA, University of Wisconsin- Madison
    • PhD, University of Wisconsin- Madison