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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2003-2004

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

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

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

Charlotte J. Brooks, Ph.D.
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, Women's 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 Department of Classics.


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

Each semester the Department of History admits qualified students into the honors program in history. The purpose of the honors program is to provide well-qualified students with close contact with faculty and fuller training in research and writing than are normally possible.

Students may be admitted to the program in the second semester of their sophomore year or during their junior year after formally declaring a major in history. To be admitted, students must have completed 12 credits of course work from the Department of History with at least 3 credits of this work completed above the 100 level. In addition, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and an average in history of 3.50. Students must submit evidence of their written work, preferably a paper written for a history course.

A departmental director administers the program, admitting students and evaluating their work.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 42 credits as follows:

A His 497Z Independent Research and Writing in History (4 credits), to be taken in the second semester of the student's junior year.

A His 495Z and 496Z Senior Honors Thesis Seminar (8 credits). In connection with this seminar, each student writes an honors thesis of 50-70 pages. The student must secure a thesis supervisor and second reader. The thesis must be approved by the supervisor and the second reader. The student makes an oral presentation of the topic in the seminar or in an appropriate class.

A minimum of 18 credits at or above the 300 level from course work listed under one of the following fields of concentration: American, 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 total of 24 credits of course work at or above the 300 level (which may also include A His 259, 286, and 287) in the World History field of concentration, including a minimum of 6 credits and maximum of 9 credits from courses in American and/or European history.

Additional history courses (6 credits).

The honors director reviews the progress of each student at the end of each semester. If a student is not doing satisfactory work, the student is warned and, if appropriate, dismissed from the program. Unsatisfactory work in a semester would be failing to maintain a cumulative average of 3.10 overall or 3.30 in history, having unjustified incomplete grades, or otherwise performing below the honors level.

Students are graduated "with honors in history" upon satisfactory completion of the curricular requirements with a grade point average of 3.50 in history and 3.25 overall.

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 master's 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 department's Graduate Committee.

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