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Undergraduate Bulletin 2008-2009

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
 Robert R. Dykstra, Ph.D.
   University of Iowa
 June E. Hahner, Ph.D.
  Cornell University
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

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, Madison
 Ronald M. Berger, Ph.D.
  University of Wisconsin, Madison
 Richard F. Hamm, Ph.D. (Department Chair)
  University of Virginia
 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 Professors Emeritae/i
 Donald Birn, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 DeWitt C. Ellinwood, Ph.D.
  Washington University
 Richard H. Kendall, Ph.D.
  Yale University
 Clara J. Tucker, Ph.D.
  Syracuse University

Associate Professors
Nadieszda Kizenko, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 Amy E. Murrell Taylor, Ph.D.
  University of Virginia
 Ivan D. Steen, Ph.D.
  New York University
 Ann F. Withington, Ph.D.
  Yale University

Assistant Professors
 Carl Bon Tempo, Ph.D.
  University of Virginia
 Sheila Curran Bernard
   Boston University
 Richard S. Fogarty, Ph.D.
   University of California, Santa Barbara
 Susan M. Gauss, Ph.D.
   SUNY at Stony Brook
 David P Hochfelder, Ph.D.
   Case Western Reserve University
 Loretta Kim
   Ph.D. expected 2008
   Harvard University
 Patrick Nold, Ph.D.
   Oxford University
 Ray Sapirstein, Ph.D.
   University of Texas at Austin
 Kendra Smith-Howard, Ph.D.
   University of Wisconsin, Madison

Affiliated Faculty
 Anthony DeBlasi, Ph.D.
  Harvard University
  Department of East Asian Studies
 Phillip B. Eppard, Ph.D.
  Brown University
  College of Computing and Information
 Stanley J. Isser, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
  Department of Judaic Studies
 Vivien W. Ng, Ph.D.
   University of Hawaii
   Department of Women’s Studies

Adjuncts: 6
Teaching Assistants: 27

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, Women’s Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Russian and East European Studies.

The study of history prepares students for a variety of career paths, extending from fields such as law and education, to journalism and media ventures, and to business and government service. The Department maintains a Career Advisery 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 or Europe, 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.
[Note: Students admitted to the history major before September 2005 may also choose to concentrate in either Asian or Ibero-American History.]

History Honors Program

Each spring 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 closer contact with faculty and more intensive training in historical research and writing than is normally possible.
Students may be admitted to the program in the spring semester of their junior year after formally declaring a major in history. To be admitted, students must have completed 15 credits of course work in history (at least 6 of these credits must be at or above the 300-level and must have been earned at the University at Albany). In addition, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and an average in history of 3.50. Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History for more information on the application process. Completed applications should be submitted no later than February 1 of the junior year.
Students admitted to the honors program are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits in history, fulfilling all the “Requirements for the Major” listed above. Within the 36 credits, the student must complete the following three honors courses. Credits from these honors program courses (A His 495Z, 496Z, and 497Z) can be counted toward the above requirements and will be credited toward the concentration most appropriate to the subject of the student’s honors thesis (for example, “American” or “European” or “World History”).

  • A His 497Z, Independent Research and Writing in History, 4 credits, to be taken during the fall of the student’s senior year under the supervision of a thesis adviser secured by the student.
  • A His 495Z and 496Z, Senior Honors Thesis Seminar, 4 credits each. This seminar will meet throughout the year under the supervision of a department faculty member and will offer students a small-seminar format for learning about historical research and writing, as well as for sharing and critiquing their own work. By the end of the year each student will, in conjunction with this seminar, product a thesis based on original research that is no longer than 60 pages in length.

Students in the honors program will gain priority in registration for these upper-level history courses and will gain access to the History Department’s computing workshop to assist in writing the thesis.
Department faculty members will evaluate the students’ progress at the end of the spring semester senior year. Students will be judged eligible for graduation “with honors in history” based on the quality of their thesis as well as the satisfactory completion of all other curricular requirements with a grade point average of at least a 3.50 average in history and 3.25 overall. All these will also be automatically considered for a prize for best undergraduate honors thesis in history. Students selected to graduate “with honors in history” will be honored formally at the departmental graduation ceremony in May.

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.

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.

Combined B.A. History/M.A. Pubic Affairs and Policy

This program will allow a student to earn a B.A. in History and the M.A. in Public Affairs and Policy in approximately one less semester than would otherwise be required.

For the Department of History, the combined degree program will better serve its majors and meet student needs, allowing its students the same options as those in departments where combined degree programs already exist. A joint program would also complement the department’s focus on public policy history. Moreover, the proposed joint program will complement the existing dual program leading to an MA History/MA Public Affairs and Policy.

In order to complete the combined degree program, students would need to meet all the requirements for the BA in History, including all major requirements, the minimum liberal arts and science graduation credit requirement, the residency requirement, and the General Education requirement. Students would need to meet all the requirements for the MA in Public Affairs and Policy. Students could take up to 12 graduate credits during the senior year that would be applied toward both the credits required for the BA in History and the 45 credits required for the MA in Public Affairs and Policy. Applicants to the program would need to have a 3.2 GPA and, as in the case of the other combined M.A. programs and the combined MPA programs, the GRE would be waived.