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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2004-2005

Department of History


Distinguished Teaching Professor

Warren E. Roberts, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of California, Berkeley

Distinguished Service Professor

Sung Bok Kim, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Michigan State University

Professors Emeritae/i

Thomas Barker, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota

Kendall A. Birr, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Wisconsin

Robert R. Dykstra, Ph.D.
University of Iowa

Matthew H. Elbow, Ph.D.
Columbia University

June E. Hahner, Ph.D.
Cornell University

Donald E. Liedel, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

William T. Reedy, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

Bruce B. Solnick, Ph.D.
New York University

Robert F. Wesser, Ph.D.
University of Rochester

Joseph F. Zacek, Ph.D.
University of Illinois


Allen B. Ballard, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Harvard University

Graham J. Barker-Benfield, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Iris Berger, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin

Ronald M. Berger, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin

H. Peter Krosby, Ph.D.
Columbia University

John Monfasani, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Dan S. White, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Lawrence S. Wittner, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Gerald Zahavi, Ph.D.
Syracuse University

Associate Professor Emeritae/i

Dewitt C. Ellinwood, Ph.D.
Washington University

Associate Professors

Donald Birn, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Richard Hamm, Ph.D.
University of Virginia

Richard H. Kendall, Ph.D.
Yale University

Nadieszda Kizenko, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Ivan D. Steen, Ph.D.
New York University

Ann F. Withington, Ph.D.
Yale University

Associate Professors Emeritae/i

Clara J. Tucker, Ph.D.
Syracuse University

Assistant Professors

Charlotte J. Brooks, Ph.D.
Susan M. Gauss, Ph.D.
SUNY at Stony Brook

Amy E. Murrell, Ph.D.
University of Virginia

Jennifer M. Rudolph, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Adjuncts: 6
Teaching Assistants: 23

The objective of the Department is to provide its students with a thorough grounding in the past, seen from both social scientific and humanistic perspectives, and in the nature of history and historical analysis. The Department prepares undergraduates for a variety of career options which rely upon a sound liberal arts education, as well as for graduate study in both academic and professional fields.

To accomplish its objectives, the Department offers programs leading to the B.A., the M.A., the Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History, and the Ph.D. An honors program and a combined B.A./M.A. program are also available to qualified students. In addition, the Department participates in several interdepartmental programs, including Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Social Studies, Womenís Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Russian and East European Studies. Students interested in ancient history or are referred to the Classics Program.


The study of history prepares students for a variety of career paths, extending from fields such as law, education, and religion, to journalism and media ventures, and to business and government service. The Department maintains a Career Advisory Network, which is designed to link History majors to graduates who have gone on to employment in a broad range of professions.

Special Programs or Opportunities

The department encourages its majors to participate in those international programs relevant to their particular historical interests. For more detailed information, see the section on the Office of International Programs. The department also offers its undergraduate students opportunities for internships in local museums and historical agencies through A His 499.

Degree Requirements for the Major in History

General Program

B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits in history including a minimum of 18 credits at or above the 300 level from course work listed under one of the designated fields of concentration: United States, Asian, Ibero-American, or European history; a minimum of 6 credits in courses at the 300 level or above outside the field of concentration. Alternatively, a World History concentration is available with 24 credits of course work at or above the 300 level (which may include A His 286 and A His 287). Of these 24 credits, a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 9 credits are allowed from courses in United States and/or European history.

Honors Program

Application and Selection

The application and selection process will be overseen by a History Department Honors Committee. That committee will consist of three faculty members: the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the faculty member teaching the honors seminar, and one other faculty member whose expertise is outside the fields of the other committee members.

Each February, the Honors Committee will solicit applicants to the honors program among students with junior standing. This solicitation will take place in the following ways:

  1. The Committee will ask faculty members to recommend eligible students. Those students will then be sent a personal letter informing them of their recommendation and inviting them to apply.
  2. The Department Honors Committee will send letters directly to all other students deemed eligible based on their grades and credits.
  3. Faculty members will be asked to make announcements in class.
  4. The application process will be announced on the department website.
  5. In each of these formats, special emphasis will be placed on the benefits to be gained from participating in the honors program.

    A student will be deemed eligible based on the following criteria:

    1. Overall GPS of at least 3.25; History GPA of at least 3.50.
    2. Completed at least 15 credits in the history major (at least six of these credits must be above the 300-level and must have been earned at UAlbany).

    Applications will consist of the following:

    1. Two faculty letters of recommendation (one must come from a faculty member who has agreed to advise the studentís thesis).
    2. Short statement of general area of thesis research.
    3. Academic transcript/audit.
    4. Writing sample, preferably a paper written for a UAlbany history course.

    Applications will be due March 15th. At that time, the Honors Committee will select no more than 15 students to participate in the program, taking into account both qualifications and the feasibility of the studentís proposed project.

    The Committee will also consider special petitions from students who do not meet all of the above criteria but who are otherwise strong.

    Results will be made known to students by April 15th.

    Program of Study

    Students will spend one year (two semesters) formally enrolled in the honors program. They will earn 12 credits in the process, in the manner outlined below:

    Fall Semester

    1. A His 497Z (4 credits) - Independent Research and Writing in History - to be conducted under the direction of the studentís thesis advisor. The purpose of this independent study will be to make significant progress in the studentís thesis research.
    2. A His 495Z (4 credits) - Senior Honors Thesis Seminar - All students in the honors program will meet weekly to discuss common readings about historiography and historical methods. Members of the history faculty may make guest presentations about their fields of study. This seminar will also focus on the studentsí research and may include the presentation of studentsí thesis proposals. (This course content ultimately will be up to the discretion of the faculty member teaching this seminar.)

    Spring Semester

    1. A His 496Z (4 credits) - Senior Honors Thesis Seminar, part 2 - This second half of the honors seminar will focus on writing and presenting the studentsí honors theses. Students will read one anotherís work (e.g., bibliographies, outlines, rough drafts) and will gather as a group for a formal presentation of final drafts with their individual thesis advisors. Final theses should be no more than 60 pages in length and will be due by April 15th.

    Credits from the above honors program courses will be credited toward the undergraduate major concentration deemed most appropriate based on the subject of the studentís thesis.

    Students enrolled in the honors program will gain priority in registration for all other upper-level history courses. They will also receive:

    1. Access to department computers to assist in the writing of their theses,
    2. Library borrowing privileges ordinarily reserved for graduate students.
    3. Financial support to assist in attending the American Historical Association or other professional historical conference.

    Evaluation for Honors

    The decision about whether a student will graduate ďwith honors in historyĒ will be determined jointly the thesis advisor and the faculty member teaching the honors seminar. This decision will be based on the following criteria:

    1. The quality of the thesis,
    2. The studentís successful completion of 36 credits in history.
    3. The studentís GPA; at least 3.25 overall and 3.50 in history.

    Students will be informed of this decision prior to graduation, and, if successful, will be recognized formally at the department graduation ceremony. The winner of the prize for ďbest thesisĒ will be announced at the ceremony as well.

    Combined B.A./M.A. Program

    The combined B.A./M.A. program in history provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and masterís degree programs from the beginning of their junior year.

    The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the major program in history described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, General Education, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions, such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, other professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.

    Students are considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.A. requirements. Upon meeting B.A. requirements, students are automatically considered as graduate students. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty, one of whom must be from the Department of History, are required for consideration. Students are admitted to the combined program upon the recommendation of the departmentís Graduate Committee.

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